How To Cure Obesity?

Good morning!

Oh man, I slept like a rock last night-and it felt amazing!

{looked something like that, but a bit uglier. heh}

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At the conference this past weekend, we had an awesome keynote speaker, Dr. Hill, give an outstanding presentation on the whys, hows, research, and questions about obesity and living healthy.

It was thought provoking, fascinating, intriguing, and mind boggling. I LOVED it.

The Obesity Epidemic

Dr. Hill is the founder of the National Weight Control Registry, and has spearheaded hundreds of research projects in the area of obesity and healthy living. Pretty much he is legit, and knows his stuff. Real well.

Obesity is a multi-faceted epidemic that has hit our nation with such force that has left even the government, top researchers, and educational experts in the field scratching their heads, wondering what went wrong, and what there is to do about it.

The obesity epidemic did NOT just occur overnight, or because of one fact. Research has indicated the following reasons in contributing to the sharp rise in obesity:

  • Technology advancements
  • Increase in fast food establishments-and them being cheaper (often) than other establishments
  • More women working outside the home
  • Sheer laziness
  • Larger portion sizes
  • The ease in which food can be obtained (i.e. no more having to ‘hunt’ or ‘gather’ our food)
  • Increase in cheap sodas, juices, and highly caloric drinks in the marketplace
  • Greater commute times to work
  • Less overall physical activity -in both daily living and recreational
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor eating habits

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These are just a FEW possible explanations for the epidemic, and none of them happened overnight. Even worse, none of these can really be taken away over night either.

So what is the answer to ‘fix’ this epidemic?

Dr. Hill asked this of all the bloggers, and he even went so far as to ask, “Was it diet or physical activity that caused it?” And ‘which one would help reverse it?’

Because of my education and the tons of research hours I spent with really fabulous researchers and professors, I knew that the answer was “both,” and said so under my breath (I was still feeling under the weather, so I didn’t raise my hand.) Many bloggers shouted out their answer, (consequently, most said “diet”), and Dr. Hill sharply reprimanded the audience. He responded by saying, “both.”

{Did ya know professors love tricking students? Another thing I learned in all those years of school. Hah.}

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And the research supports him in that answer. Neither diet nor physical activity (or the lack thereof) has solely been the reason for the obesity crisis. It is the symphony of both poor diet and lack of physical activity (with all their ramifications) that guided America to the overweight and obesity epidemic that is currently gripping our nation!

How To Cure Obesity?

So yes, that brings me to the point, how to cure obesity then??

I’ll give you a hint, there is no one answer, and there is no answer (yet) that has proven to ‘cure’ this epidemic in any way. In fact, obesity and overweight is on the RISE, not the opposite.

Personally, I believe it begins with good education, mothers in the home, access to fruits and vegetables, and the beauty of sheer movement. Eating more whole foods, enjoying physical activity, and avoiding sitting for too long or eating too much sugar and unhealthy fats are the ‘simple answers’ of course.

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The issues are more complex however, as not all Americans have access to such education, food, or places to play and move around.

There is no one answer, but I do like the following ideas:

  • An increase in building of parks, bike pathways, and free places to play, run, walk and hike.
  • A higher tax on fast food that meets a certain criteria (i.e. # of sugar grams,# of saturated/trans fat grams, and/or # of sodium mg)
  • All sodas and candy to be banned from schools’ vending machines, and replaced with yummy chocolate milk, whole fruit juices, nut bars, and fresh produce.
  • More free access to nutrition and exercise classes in all communities.
  • A greater number of farmer’s market type grocery stores, and less fast food in areas of low income and poverty-stricken people.
  • Required education in the area of healthy eating, physical activity, and cooking for all schools.
  • Physicians to be trained better in the areas of weight loss, healthy eating, and healthy exercise. OR making insurance companies allow access to people like me (coaches and trained specialists in those areas of eating & weight loss & exercise) to be included in insurance plans.

I know that it won’t be ‘cured’ by tomorrow, but I truly believe that each of us has an impact on those around us. When we make even one healthy decision, that can impact our spouses, friends, kids, and coworkers! We have no idea the power that lies within us to change the world. Do not be afraid to be that change!

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Keep on being awesome, and making those great choices (and benefitting from being fit!). You are impacting a nation with every walk, veggie patty, brown bag lunch, and workout that you engage in.

Cheers!

Well, I am off to swim & run, then off to work I go, then back to teach BodyPUMP. Life is good :)

What do YOU think-what are some of the reasons obesity is such an epidemic?? What do YOU think we can do to ‘cure’ it?? 

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Comments

  1. we learn so much about this in class and it is most definitely both! It really starts how the child is raised, too.

    —–> {looked something like that, but a bit uglier. heh} <——— you are too funny :)

  2. I do think a lot of it is parents. Even during my summer school class, kids are still coming in with huge bags of chips and cookies. Since we obviously can’t just fix the parents, we need to go deeper than that, so I’d say it’s the convienence of food these days. It’s a lot easier to buy a bag of chips then it is to buy, wash, slice, and bag produce. But that’s exactly the problem!

  3. Great post love! I definitely think that obesity has stemmed from a variety of factors like you said. I also think that phys-ed classes and recess need to be mandatory in schools! They just keep disappearing and that means these kids are just sitting even more! So sad!

  4. I completely agree. We live near a water park and every time I’m there it saddens me to see not just how many adults are overweight, but how many CHILDREN are. As a teacher, it is frustrating to see so many of my students snacking on calorie-dense, nutrient-empty, packaged foods. So many of them are the ones who struggle in school, too. Connection? Definitely! I feel blessed that my children are growing up in a home that values and prioritizes health and wellness!

  5. Great Post – I totally agree!

    Too bad the way society makes us live nowadays, its sooooooo hard for people to chose the healthy over the unhealthy option. And fast food is addictive, so I totally think they should do something like the higher taxes on the unhealthier options. Shit, even at grocery stores!

    I wish I was pushed a little harder as a child to be healthy but my parents never really got out very much & other than when I was in elementary school I had pretty much no way of physical exercise other than at gym in school.

    I know that when I have children, I don’t want them to go through what I’m going through now with obesity – so I know that I will do my best to prevent my kids from being part of a bad statistic!

    • I bet you’re a great, healthy example to your family NOW. That rocks!

      True about having higher taxes on junk/fast food–it would be nice!

  6. i definitely think the fact that our lives are just SO busy and jam packed with stuff contributes a lot to obesity. it amazes me when i see parents take their kids day after day to fast food joints for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner! so incredibly sad! the increase in technology doesn’t help either. rather than kids being outdoors riding their bikes and playing, a lot of them are playing on their xbox or playstation or whatever. SAD!

  7. I live in an rural town that has a high poverty level, so not suprisingly obesity is one of the major health concerns of our area. For families taht have extremely limited funds for food purchases, it is easier to purchase convience foods rather than whole foods, because they are getting “more bang for their buck”. I believe that one of the first steps in helping with the obesity epidemic is to find ways to make whole foods less expensive. Then we need to education communities on nutrition. When I was in the 5th grade, we were all mandated to take a 6 weeks course of the Food Pyramid. That program is no longer in our school system…and that is a shame.

  8. I couldn’t agree more with Kimberly’s comment above that lack of funds contributes to the problem of obesity – it is cheap to eat unhealthy! In addition, it is also easier to eat unhealthy! It actually takes a lot of time and funds to eat well and when people get busy, get lazy, or just don’t have the funds, then food is one of the first things that gets cut, which greatly contributes to obesity!

    Another problem is that a lot of people haven’t found what they like to do to exercise! There are so many different ways to exercise but some people haven’t found their niche, so they think they don’t like to exercise (but maybe they would like it if they found the right thing)!

  9. Ahhh this is an issue that really gets to me, every time I see an overweight/obese child I just want to do something about it, say something to their parents! People just aren’t educated about the importance of being healthy or how to do it, and then they instill their habits into their children. This is getting me all worked up. Honestly, if I could find some kind of job where I could make a difference in childhood obesity, I’d be all over it.

  10. such an interesting post!

    I also think a lot of it has to do with the parents…I love my parents so much but they were also uneducated in proper nutrition so I ended up eating a lot of crap growing up…also bc we were poor :( i see some of my family even today eats poorly and so do their kids…its a sad cycle. The junk and fast food is addictive–sometimes to the point that some of my family say they cant stand the taste of healthy food…its sad!

  11. Great post and thanks for reiterating the ideas. I think that it’s really the small changes we make in our daily diets and exercise rourtines that make the largest impacts. We each need to care for our own bodies and set examples of balanced, healthy living to others.

  12. I think it is a combo of all the things you mentioned – parents, lack of knowledge and resources, laziness, and easy access to unhealthy foods.

    The solution is to try OUR best to educate our friends and families. One person at a time. Thanks for sharing!

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