Why does eating healthy and exercising break the bank?

LaTarsha Towers
March 26, 2017

Wendy’s and Burger King have $4 dollar meals that can be purchased for those on a budget but these meals include unhealthy choices. Taco Bell has a “value meal” but the combo choices are not healthy. You can go to these same restaurants and purchase a salad but not at a “value” price. McDonald’s just came out with an all new Quarter Pounder with cheese to make it even juicier which makes it even more unhealthy. They also quite frequently have a 2 for $5 option on their menu items with the exception for their salads or wraps. Why is it that restaurants appear to promote unhealthy eating?

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What restaurant has a “value price” for their salads and wraps? Chick-Fil-A has great food and their only targeted meat is chicken which is healthy. However, two combos from Chick-Fil-A can easily cost the consumer close to $15. We won’t even touch on the size and quantity of the grilled nuggets. Where would a mom with a budget that would like to purchase quick but healthy food options go to feed her child(ren)?

Go to the grocery store. That would be the first suggestion that others give. They may say that “fast food” restaurants are not meant to be cheap and healthy. Why are they on every corner then? In a society that being obese is the majority rather than the minority, why are they continuously making it easy, cheaper, and enticing to eat unhealthy. Everyone has “cheat days” but why are there never specials on their healthier options? McDonald’s deliberately added salads, wraps, and yogurt to their menu to include the healthier market; however, they never do anything to save that market’s “coins”. Is eating healthy only for those that can afford to eat healthy? Does this means that if you don’t have an extra $50 to $100 to spend on groceries that you should be unhealthy and obese?

Get a trainer and allow them to prep your meals. Sounds like a pretty great idea. Right? It’s easier and you don’t have to go to the grocery store because it’s included. Easy enough, right? Sure, if you can afford it. Most people who offer meal prep services charge approximately $7 per meal for dinner meals. Calculate that times two or three or the number in your household in addition to their cost for their training session. What does that average? For myself, I would pay $98 a week for dinner alone. This does not include breakfast or lunch. Then, multiply that times four weeks in a month totals to $392. Again, this does not include the training services, potential weekly charge for delivery of meals, breakfast, or lunch. Oh, and the snacks that you are recommended to eat between meals. Sounds rather pricey but what options do you have when McDonalds and Wendy’s only offer “value prices” for their unhealthy selections? We will not even discuss the shakes and meal replacements. $85 for a seven day or monthly (I cannot remember which one) supply for an individual would equal to $170 for my household. The plot and financial budget thickens. I will, however, add that with companies such as Stilwell Fitness offering meal prep classes for only $50 is a great investment. This will not save your grocery bill, but it will give you a blueprint to healthy eating options.

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In my experience with having a daughter that is under the age of 12, I already have to easily spend an additional $60 or more a month on a fitness center just so that my daughter can exercise alongside me. Sounds crazy right! Planet Fitness, Fitness Connection, and similar locations that promote $19.95 for membership does not allow kids under the age of 12 to exercise; however, they have a kid’s gym where the kids just hang out. What does that do for a child that also needs to exercise? Does not help at all now does it? What cost efficient options are there? Google. That’s probably the cheapest choice. It seems that Google can give you a ton of different ideas and exercise regiments; however, many companies have noticed that Google is doing this so they are now requiring membership. Everything comes with a price.

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Where are the healthy choices? Where are the people that understand that obesity is at an all-time high? What are the choices when it is understood that the gym facilities, trainers, grocery stores, and fast food restaurants are businesses that run from profits which means they must obtain payment for their services? Who can they run to?

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