Mindful Eating

mindful eating
Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio’s photo collection of people from around the world with how much food they ate per day went viral this year. After traveling the world and noticing an increase in obesity at home in the United States, Menzel and D’Alusio were inspired to use simple photography as a means to expose the pandemic.

As healthcare and obesity become rising topics of controversy in the United States, Menzel believes the solution is rather simple. “Healthcare is so extremely expensive in this country because we’re treating the problem after the fact, rather than trying to do something about it before,” he says.

While certainly a problem in the United States, obesity is a world-wide epidemic that is continuing to increase. With the United States at the top of the list, other countries plagued with obesity include China, India, Russia and Mexico. Yet, while more than $147 billion is being spent annually to treat obesity in the United States, the U.S.  percentage has continued to increase. Since 2010 it has increased by 13 percent.

Menzel and D’Alusio’s compilation of photos brings light to the meals we eat, compared to those around the world. Unfortunately, we see an unsurprising trend in the pictures: most of the families from richer countries eat meals with thousands of calories, while those in developing areas make do with much less.

So how can we limit our intake? Mindful Eating, which has its roots in Buddhism, is a growing topic currently being explored by experts at the Harvard School of Health, Oprah Winfrey and the Google campus. It focuses on meditation, expanding one’s consciousness and promoting awareness of what one is eating. By remaining mindful of what you are consuming, small snacks and “mindless eating” will start to disappear. The goal is to stop and take the time to appreciate the food we eat, and our connection to the cycle.

Menzel and D’Alusio want their work to inspire people to think about their lives, and in return, they hope that it will spark some positive change. Their results are on exhibit at the Nobel Peace Center, and have already given millions of people a brief glimpse into this growing hunger disparity.

To view the photos, click here: Photo Set

– Nick Magnanti

Sources: Time, One Green Planet, Dose, Wired, U.S. News, Nobel Peace Center
Photo: Wired