Whether or not something would be considered “normal” in the medical field depends very much on which definition of normal you use. If we assume the definition as stated on Dictionairy.com, we can think of the term “normal” to mean: conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; regular; natural. The word that sticks out to me the most in that definition is the term natural. When I think of the word natural, I rarely associate it with the term normal.
For example, I believe it is natural for people to eat a balanced diet, but I don’t think it’s a very normal habit of most people these days, myself included. We are told when we are younger the importance of a nutritious diet; however when you look at the obesity rates in the US it seems pretty clear that many of us have forgotten the key components.
Some additional issues that arise in regards to eating a balanced diet are: economic inequality and distribution of non-processed foods. Arguments have been made on both sides relating to the cost of eating healthy, but the bottom line is that there shouldn’t even be a discussion surrounding it; energy needs to be directed at educating people more effectively about their diet and making non-processed foods more readily available to everyone.
Another factor that I believe is a major culprit in the balanced diet dilemma is the ease of eating unhealthy. In my opinion, it’s much easier/less time consuming to drive through McDonalds than it is prepare a balanced and nutrient rich meal. But it’s obviously not a healthy, or natural, alternative.
I believe some of the responsibility for increasing childhood obesity rates is the fault of the major food companies/distributers. They know what a balanced diet should consist of, yet they continue to create things like pizza hut’s “hot dog bites pizza” and taco bell’s “waffle taco”. I think it’s a fantastic thing that America is a capitalistic society, however it seems to inevitably lead to the owners of companies focusing more on making a profit rather than creating items that are in the best interests of the consumer.
The concept of “creating a narrative” also comes into play with advertising of these unhealthy products. For instance, in a commercial advertising the “hot dog bites pizza” and cookie cake from pizza hut, it tries to normalize the behavior of eating such grotesque things by hiring healthy and thin looking actors to portray the warped message to the general public. People often form a false perception of what foods are acceptable to eat and how they will impact their health.
Back to the basics: