One of the aspects of healthy diet that Dr Dean Ornish stressed in his speech is its affordability. Specifically, according to the speaker, who is the founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and a famous American physician, argues that the foods that have the potential of enhancing one’s health are low-cost and do not require major financial investments. This statement, however, is arguable. Healthy diet is often an unattainable goal for individuals with low socio-economic status, and this can be observed from the list of foods that Dr Dean Ornish classifies as ‘healthy’.
Namely, brown rice that contains the so called ‘good’ carbs is usually of a higher price, if compared to white rice. In addition to this, the majority of foods that contain ‘bad fats’ are also cheaper than ‘goof fats’ foods such as avocado or nuts.
The fact that healthy diet is very often not a matter of individual choice, but the matter of one’s financial possibilities can be seen from the fact that obesity is mostly observed among people from low socio-economic classes. A hamburger today costs less than a head of broccoli, which creates difficulties for individuals who aspire to lead a healthy lifestyle but have very little access to economic resources. Therefore, obesity today becomes the marker of social class. In the meantime, modern discourses in the United States stress the importance of individual’s agency in making his or her food choices, and Dr Dean Ornish contributes to the construction of this misconception.
However, the problem of unhealthy eating is very often not the result of an individual’s weak will power as it is common to think, but the structural problems within American society that does not give individuals equal chances of making their own food choices.