Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Obesity is a problem.

After thinking about what I wrote a little while ago (My Concerns for the State of the Nation) I thought of another thing that should be fixed: obesity.

According to the American Obesity Association, "Obesity is a complex, multi-factorial chronic disease involving environmental (social and cultural), genetic, physiologic, metabolic, behavioral and psychological components. It is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S." Today, public health leaders recognize obesity as a "neglected public health problem."

The AOA also says: "The number of adults who are overweight or obese has continued to increase ... Currently, 64.5 percent of U.S. adults, age 20 years and older, are overweight and 30.5 percent are obese. Severe obesity prevalence is now 4.7 percent, up from 2.9 percent reported in the 1988..."

Obesity prevalence has increased across all education levels, but it is higher for persons with less education. For example in 2001 27.4% of the obese did not finish high school, while only 15.4% of the obese finished college. I am not saying that people are obese because they did not finish high school, and less people are obese because they completed college, but it is an interesting hypothesis. And if it were true, our push for education should be even stronger!

All of this leads me to my revolution, and the things that I want to change to help fix the problem. First, the USDA says "51 percent of children and adolescents eat less than one serving a day of fruit, and 29 percent eat less than one serving a day of vegetables that are not fried." I say "you kids should eat more fruit!" I think if school lunches were better prepared, using natural and local produce, the kids would live healthier lives, and the communities would benefit. Another change that should take place in schools should be the removal of pop and candy machines. These kids do not need more advertising in their lives, nor the sugar that comes with it.

After school is over, it is up to the parents to take over. In my new revolution we will encourage parents to take charge in the diets of their children, offering fruits and vegetables instead of chips and donuts, and water instead of pop. It would provide a better family environment if the parents would make their childrens’ food, and sit down and eat it with them. Families are part of communities, and when one gets better it affects the other.

Lastly, Everyone should watch the movie Super Size Me.


rmacapobre said...

im obese. and sometimes i feel im helpless. do you think government should intervene? what about the private sector? for example, government should give tax incentives to people who make that transition to being obese to being healthy. this crosses a lot of lines. the right to be obese for example if there is such a thing. qu'est-ce que vous pensez? ..

rmacapobre said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Except the reason that the vending machines are there for is to create an increased source of revenue for the school district.

Perhaps they should instead sell out to the cell phone companies and get towers put up? Then they could get an extra $2k a month in rental fees.

But you'd have parents complaining about radiation damage to their babies.

Fast food/vending machines make money because the food is cheap and reliably makes people feel better. It's the new opiate of the masses. Laws won't change that. Laws SHOULDN'T change that. Let people be people. If they kill themselves with over-eating, so be it.

And don't come after me with "well then they'll cost you money with their healthcare."

Socialized medicine is also a crock.

Curtis said...

I agree, everyone should see the movie "Supersize Me", but then again, anyone can watch that.

This goes to your comment on education levels and obesity levels (percentages). Read the book "Fast Food Nation." It gives a clearer insight on so many levels of the fast-food industry, from the farmers, to the government legislations.

I'm sorry to say, but you have no revolution when you say people should follow "my new revolution" as it is common sense. What you are promoting is the betterment of your fellow human, which is more than most can say, and that you and I are on the same level.

The reason "educated" people are less obese than "uneducated" people is because they are presented with more information. Example, instead of watch "Supersize me", read "Fast Food Nation." I'm not trying to one-up the author of this blog by any means, but as an example, people who can not read are able to watch a movie, but those who can read are able to get more information out of a book with multiple sources.

Like the author of this blog states, "parents (should) take charge in the diets of their children... It would provide a better family environment if the parents would make their childrens’ food, and sit down and eat it with them. Families are part of communities, and when one gets better it affects the other."

Exactly. 100%

Your appetite is based on how you were brought up. I'm sorry if you feel helpless about being obese. But unless you are willing to take action and responsibility for what you have become, you will never change yourself for the better.

To add....an opinion to the first comment made on this point, why should the government spend money to congradulate people who lose their "obesity status." What about those who can't afford to feed themselves, let alone their sons and daughters?