Eat, drink and be merry
Over the last several decades there have been many changes in what we eat, where we eat, and how often we eat. Some of these changes have been positive. For example, we now enjoy foods from around the world – mangoes, hummous, and sushi have found their way into Yukon stores, restaurants, homes and stomachs. But other changes are less positive, and are taking a toll on our health:
- We are eating out or taking out more than ever, and purchasing more convenience foods at the grocery store. These foods tend to be high in fat, salt and/or sugar.
- "Supersizing" and large boxes make it easy to overeat, and we do!
- Many of us don't know to prepare nutritious home-cooked meals.
- We can't find time to cook. A survey in October 2011 conducted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada found that 41% of Canadians said that healthy meals take too long to prepare.
- We are drinking more sugar-sweetened drinks (like pop, iced tea, fruit cocktails, energy drinks, etc.) and less water and milk.
What we eat and drink is partly determined by the personal choices we make, but it is also influenced by the type, quality, and cost of food available for sale at local stores, the ability to grow food and raise livestock locally, and having the skills and resources to hunt, fish and cook. Advertising, food trends, and what people around us are eating also influence what we buy, cook and eat.
Personal choice – the decisions we make and the actions we take to improve our health – is important, but there are other influences that make it more or less easy to live a full, healthy life. For more information, read about What influences health?
The good news is that most Yukoners select food based on its nutritional content. And, we can eat healthier by taking small steps to change what we eat and how much we eat. Find out more at Small steps, big rewards.