Our National Obesity Epidemic

 


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You see it everyday, news and information that bring to the front our problem with our weight. It is a national problem. It’s not just your older sedentary population; it’s not just your overworked middle-age population; and it’s not just your nerdy teenage population. It is a national epidemic.

The first question I always have, is how did we get here? How did we go from one of the most physically fit nations, to just wallowing in our weight? The answers I believe lie in an observation I have made watching people as they go about their daily lives.

The first thing you notice about everyone today, is how blessed we are as a country. That’s just a wonderful thing to observe. But stop and think about that, for just a moment. What happens when you have everything you want or need? You become complacent, in other words lazy and fat. Alright, you have contributor number one.

The next thing you notice is how well organized we are with out time. Everyone is an expert on multi-tasking. We can accomplish so much with our day that we have organized ourselves right down to bedtime. What have we left out? The time we need for appreciating what we have and reflecting upon the things that make us happy. No time for family time, cooking meals, and eating as a unit. We are in a hurry to get to our next scheduled activity. We have also created amazingly high levels of stress. Stress is the second contributor.

The next thing you need to notice is what wonderful jobs we have and how educated our workforce has become. The vast majority of Americans have jobs that require very little physical activity, thanks to the mental activity that is taking place. What does this do to our bodies? We no longer need to use them to provide our necessities. Our mind is our money earner. The physical body just gets us there. Contributor number three: no physical activity

The last contributor to this epidemic is our business world, our insatiable keep up with the Jones’ attitudes and the advertisers who play on this. Let’s face it; our eating habits usually are a product of the last best selling food item. McDonalds, Burger King, and Taco Bell are living proof that we are a nation of advertising junkies. We don’t eat because we know it’s good for us, or even because we’re hungry. We often eat just because of the commercial we saw on TV.

When you combine all of these contributors into one huge problem, do you know what you have? You have an obese population, with an ever increasing list of health-related issues. This is where we are today. We have a population that doesn’t really realize how they got here, or where to go to correct the problem. Half of them don’t even think we have a problem. Many of the obese will tell you they are satisfied with their weight, and don’t intend to do anything. They don’t intend to do anything until they are diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes, or thyroid conditions. Then they realize maybe there is a problem. The down side to this? By the time you reach this stage, it is often too late and too difficult to correct one health problem without creating another.

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