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Posted: Thursday, 29 May 2014 7:55AM

America getting fat on cheap food

Why is there an obesity epidemic in America?  A recent review in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians says there are many reasons, but one in particular suggests the availability of inexpensive food.

Molly Kimball, registered dietician with Ochsner's Elmwood Fitness Center explains the problem with cheap food.

"It tends to be calorie dense, it's cheap, and it's usually the stuff that's really not so good for us," Kimball noted.  "It's the things that are white carbs, fatty meats,  high in salts, high in sugar, sugary drinks."

Kimball says we shouldn't forget those frozen meals, too.

"Even those that are advertised as lean or healthy choices for us, they're still generally filled with not only a lot of white carbs - because that's the cheap stuff for the companies to put in there - but they're also filled with a lot of salt and in many cases a lot of sugar as well," Kimball said. 

She says also be careful when you go out to even fancy restaurants.

"The other thing when we're looking at easy access to cheap food is we sit down at a restaurant, even our nicer restaurants, the things that come to us for free before our meal, or in addition to our meal: the chips, the bread, the crackers, most of these are just excess white carbs that the majority of us don't need." 

Kimball says it's not all "doom and gloom."  We can swap a salad or vegetable for those white carbs, asking for something that's grilled instead of fried and what we drink can have a huge impact. 

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