There is no doubt about it, no way to hide the fact, just look around you in any crowd, any public area and you will see more fat people than ever before. More children tip obese at younger ages than ever before. In the world's richest country, people are nutritionally starving. People are big yet unfed. Type two diabetes is being treated with drugs in lieu of lifestyle changes. Why? Because we act so darn perplexed about why we are fat. We read articles that claim the level of healthiness is the same to assuage our guilt. Studies that show no discernible difference between the caloric intake of fact people and thin make the cover of newspapers and magazines. Articles on eating well are regulated to the back pages of niche health food quarterlies.

Not being sure of the correct answer make give rise to intellectual laziness. We don't know so we don't care. Or bodies react though, whether we care or not. Four times additional pressure is loaded on our knee joints for each additional overweight pound. Lungs and heart strain harder to pump and keep us going. Belly fat sags our skin. Our teeth decay. Skin loses its natural radiance. Eyes and hair become dull in color.

There are five groups of snacks. They are not equal, and each must be addressed on its own merit.

1) 100 calorie snacks. These have been so cleverly and conveniently packaged by our friends at the giant food corporations. The consumer (no pun intended) is led to believe eating one of these prepackaged snacks is a good idea. Good, because now calories don't have to be counted. Good, because they are usually sweet thus filling, and have absolutely zero nutritional value. Some of them are so fiberless they actually have negative nutritional value. They make the consumer feel full while clogging the arteries with tropical palm oil, high fructose corn syrup, and food colorings that no one ever needs to eat. If you want a 100 calorie snack buy a small apple or a banana, or hard boiled egg.

2) Comfort food snacks: these are gooey and fatty and rich. No matter what your ethnic background you reach for this item when under duress. There may or may not be anything wrong with the item per se, it's more about the eating pattern. If you stress eat every day, you need to address the underlying issue. Solving the stress with poor eating habits will only create additional problems down the road. Problems associated with morbid obesity. The next time you reach for a comfort food snack take a moment to consider what's really going on with you. Are you really hungry? Would the urge to eat dissipate if you waited five minutes? Would the urge relax if you wrote down how you feel in lieu of eating? Nutritionists advise you use the substitution method, for example you crave chocolate cake so you eat an orange. I never met anyone who could do that! I throw it in as a suggestion if you can do it.

3) Salty foods: Salt is packed in to foods you would never imagine could be so salty. Soda for example. Sometimes salt is in the ingredients in hiding, renamed MSG or natural and artificial flavorings. Look for the sodium content in the ingredients. Too much salt effects the body to work effectively. Don't worry about not getting enough salt. IF the only salt you ate was the salt you ADDED to your food at the table, you'd probably get enough. Salty foods have a strangely addictive quality. Potato chips advertise that you can't eat just one. The best way to avoid salty foods is to avoid processed foods. If you make your own snacks the salt is considerably less. The cost is less too. Per pound the cost of a potato goes up proportionately to the amount it is processed. Thus, a potato chip is more expensive than a fast food fry is more expensive than a frozen food cut French fry, is more expensive than a potato you buy in the produce section and heat in your mircowave oven.

4) Chocolate: in a class by itself. Dark chocolate rich with antioxidants is actually good for you. Cheap chocolate rife with tropical palm oils is very bad for you. If you must have chocolate do yourself a favor and buy the most expensive kind you can afford. The cost will keep you from getting it very often. The taste will keep you from being tempted to the average candy store brand.

5) Healthy snacks: we all know what they are, we just don't always care to eat them. Or they are not as readily available. Stores, except for grocery stores, rarely carry nice apples because the shelf life is too short. A twinkie, on the other hand, is forever. Buy yourself the better apples, your favorite raw nuts, berries, yogurt etc. before hand and keep them around so you have a healthy snack with you. This is better than walking into a convenience store and looking for food. The juice companies have worked hard to promote juice as a healthy alternative to soda but the truth is there is a lot of sugar in juice and not much fiber. If you want to avoid soda drink water, or unsweetened tea.