Fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyles have become the norm in almost every corner of the world. With more and more people living in cities and working longer hours, more time is spent indoors rather than out.
This has led to a fast fashion and fast food culture that’s taken over many corners of society. And, as with any other bad habits, this new way of living has brought its fair share of problems as well.
Overconsumption is one key example — it’s not just an issue for your closet; it’s a serious problem that affects our health and the social sphere at large.
In the following article, we will explore the ways in which overconsumption negatively affects our lives, as well as some of the social costs that come along with it
What is overconsumption?
Overconsumption occurs when individuals consume more than what is required to maintain their current state of health. In other words, when we consume more than what we need, we are overconsuming; when we consume less than what we need, we are under consuming.
In order for us to maintain our current state of health, we only require about 3,500 calories per day, per individual (no matter what age or gender).
The problem occurs when we consume more than this amount — it becomes a source of health problems, like obesity, and also a waste of resources, like food and water.
Why Overconsumption Is a Problem?
Overconsumption has a number of negative effects on society, ranging from environmental damage to increased food waste. It is also a major contributor to many social issues, from the rise in eating disorders to the rising rates of obesity in our population.
The first and most obvious of these effects is the damage it does to our environment. In order to create, transport, and sell products, the manufacturing industry uses a lot of natural resources.
These resources could be used to support a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that doesn’t damage the environment while people are able to live healthier, more fulfilling lives.
However, this is not the case when people overconsume — when we consume more than what we need, we end up using natural resources in order to create and transport our products, rather than using them to support our own lives.
And, once these products are gone, we are left with a pile of natural resources that could have supported our own sustainability.
What Are The Effects Of Overconsumption?
How does overconsumption impact our lives?
There are many ways in which overconsumption affects our lives. First of all, when we consume more than what is required to maintain our current state of health, we are creating a serious health risk for ourselves.
This can lead to a wide range of problems, from obesity and cardiovascular disease to cancer. The same can be said for water and food waste — when we consume more of these things than we need, we end up wasting them.
This can have a serious impact on our current environment, with consequences ranging from soil erosion and water pollution to increased food prices and increased carbon emissions.
Social Costs of Overconsumption
The increased consumption of natural resources and a lack of sustainable consumption have led to a rise in social issues, such as obesity, food waste, and even the rise of eating disorders.
Obesity: Obesity is a serious public health problem that affects millions of people around the world. It is defined as excess body fat that occurs when we consume more calories than our body can use.
It can lead to a number of health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic pain.
Food Waste: According to the United Nations, we waste approximately one-third of the food produced around the world — this is a huge issue that has both environmental and social consequences.
On an environmental level, this causes water pollution and increased carbon emissions. On a social level, wasted food causes hunger and malnutrition, both for those who need it and for the environment as a whole.
Eating Disorders: Eating disorders are serious mental health issues that affect an estimated one in every five young women in North America.
Read More: Why Is Sustainable Consumption Important?
How to Reduce Overconsumption and Achieve a More Sustainable Culture
For each of the social costs associated with overconsumption, there is also a solution that can help to reduce it. Let’s go through the various social costs and ways in which we can reduce them:
Obesity: By reducing the number of processed foods we consume, we can help to reduce obesity. This is because processed foods tend to have a high amount of sugar and fat, which are processed into the products that cause obesity. Instead of consuming these unhealthy, fast foods, choose to consume more whole foods, which are less likely to cause obesity.
Food Waste: There are a variety of ways in which we can reduce food waste, such as reducing the amount of food that is wasted in our homes and consuming less than the entire meal. This way, we can avoid wasting food and help to reduce the amount of waste that occurs in the food distribution system.
Eating Disorders: Eating disorders are a serious social issue that can affect anyone at any age. In order to reduce the prevalence of eating disorders, it is important to consume a balanced diet and engage in regular exercise.
Read More: Why Reusable Water Bottles Are Bad?
Overconsumption is a serious issue that occurs when individuals consume more than what is required to maintain their current state of health and also more than what is necessary to sustain the environment.
It also has a number of negative effects on society and can lead to a rise in social issues, such as an increase in obesity, food waste, and the rise of eating disorders. The first step in combating overconsumption is to understand what it is and the social costs it has on our lives.