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Why Do Restaurants Feel Like Home to So Many Obese Consumers?

Blame the escalation in the obesity epidemicplaguing our world, in part, on crafty restaurant chains that haverecognized and taken advantage of just how time-starved and, in somecases, lackadaisical consumers have become about preparing their ownhealthier meals.

Unfortunately, patients than ever are eating out more often thanever before, justifying their health-harming decisions because -- aftertaking into account the time it takes to drive to the market, then buyand prepare the food -- for them it's faster and cheaper in the longrun.

That's why the National Restaurant Association estimates the American restaurants will gross more than a half-TRILLION dollars for the first time ever, by year's end. No wonder, the association speculates more than half of the average household budget for foodover the next decade will be spent on meals on wheels, rather than athome. So much so, restaurant patrons treat restaurants like extensions of their own homes.

Folks, this is one area you can't avoid if you want to optimize your health. Americans spend about 90 percent of their food budget on processed foods, a ratio that must change dramatically if you want to live longer and feel better.

Even though I have virtually no free time, I remain very committed to preparing more than 95 percentof my own meals to preserve my health. At times, this decision can be ahard one, but it's crucial to your health and, speaking fromexperience, it can be done.

Christian Science Monitor October 6, 2006

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