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Food, Diet and Nutrition

American food is very varied, with many ethnic influences from all over the world. Nevertheless, a certain core American cuisine exists, and it can be quite good if well prepared. Two prominent American cookbooks that have been around for generations are The Fannie Farmer Cookbook and The Joy of Cooking. The cookbook section of any good bookstore will also have books on America’s many regional cuisines, from New England to “Tex-Mex” to African-American “Soul-Food” to Louisiana Cajun. These Life In The USA pages have more than 100 sections specifically covering every aspect of American food.

Nutrition. Americans are highly conscious of nutrition. Vitamin manufacturers and health food stores thrive. Popular magazines and newspapers treat nutrition as major news. For decades, food companies have been capitalizing on this obsession by advertising their products as being “all natural,” or “lite” even if they are selling ice cream, candy and cake. Americans are also concerned about the fat and cholesterol content of their food and its relationship to heart disease, the number one killer. To many Americans, cholesterol is not just a food substance, it is an evil, like rape, murder or, in days past, Communism. Salt, carbohydrates, and trans-fats are also widely stigmatized.

Weight loss is another American obsession, particularly among women. America is a rich country, and a fat one. One diet book after another shakes up the best-seller lists. Specialized books such as Thin Thighs in Thirty Days sell millions of copies. The diet industry, which includes numerous special diet plans, foods, and weight loss centers, is a large one. The American struggle to diet or exercise away excess weight is never-ending.

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