You may think that you are saving money by getting the Value Dollar Meal, but you are losing by setting yourself up for serious health problems.

Friends, one thing we Americans love is our fast food. Put it on the dollar value meal list and we love it even more. The question I pose to you is, is it really a value? Do you think you are saving money with a $3 lunch?

When I was in college in the late 70s and early 80s Taco Bell would have tacos for around 30 to 50 cents. That's where we headed if we were hungry and on a strict budget. I ask you to ponder if this is a great thing.

We now have a society filled with overweight children in proportional amounts. On top of that, the figures for type 2 diabetes in children are at an all time high. Why, I ask. What is so different now than it was 30 years ago? The good news is that the recently completed Diabetes Prevention Program study conclusively showed that people can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making changes in their diets and increasing their level of physical activity.

High cholesterol also is being detected in many children as well as adults. Now, many high cholesterol issues are purely heredity. That's the case in my husband's family and possibly yours. On the other hand, French fries cooked in grease, bacon cheeseburgers and shakes do not help. They may taste good going down, but wreak pure havoc in your body.

The point I am getting to is that you may think you are saving by getting the Value Meal but you are not. With all the lifestyle diseases, including cancer, we are setting ourselves up for serious health problems in the future. I don't need to tell you how expensive medical bills and prescriptions are. Those companies profit from the Value Meal deals. Invariably, eating the non-nutritious foods will eventually lead to one of these many lifestyle diseases.

Many fast food restaurants are now offering baked potatoes, salads or fruit on their menus. They are aware of the issues at hand and want to encourage customers to still dine with them. When at all possible, pack your own meals and snacks for your family. Keep the fast food meals for an occasional special treat. That way you will be better off and save money in the long run. For now, happy shopping!

Laurie, TheBAG Lady