Let’s Declare War on Obesity!

Let’s declare war on obesity. Let’s assault it as if it was D-day and the allied forces were storming the “bulge” head, fighting an invading horde that seeks to conquer the world by modifying our foods, pumping them with corn fructose, steroids, antibiotics, ammonia, etc. Unlike the “war on drugs”, the war on obesity is winnable.

The time of being politically correct when it comes to being fat is over. Understandably, there are extremes when it comes to self-image and negative stereotypes, but obesity isn’t limited to our exterior shell. It affects our heart, liver, and brains, as well as our circulatory system, cognitive development and more.

We are a nation of abundance. It’s abundantly clear that we must re-prioritize our lifestyles.

One-third of U.S. citizens are obese; another third are overweight. Combined they represent over 61 percent of our country. Millions suffer from Type 2 diabetes and millions more are pre-diabetic. Thanks to these figures and the phenomenon of non-activity, children of today have a good chance of becoming the first generation of Americans to die at younger ages than their parents.

Who woulda’ thunk it! Today, kids have to be told to go outside and play or have play dates arranged for them. Without sounding like an old geezer… that never happened back in my day. My parents had to drag us inside or we were warned when the sun sets, “we better be inside or in front of the house.” I remember running all day playing with bean shooters, army against army, while I strafed my opponents with a Gatling gun-like barrage of navy beans. Remembering the welts they raised on my “opponents” brings tears to my eyes.

We made up games. No one taught us how to play, we just did. Now, television ads encourage kids to get one hour of play each day. One hour! Our First Lady is trumpeting healthy consumption and exercise. But to what end? She’s battling years of sedentary habits, supported by 1500+ cable channels, video games and texting.

How did we become this way? Our attention is captured by electronics that keep us glued to our collective seats. We are too busy to eat proper meals and there are too few healthy alternatives that fit into our busy lifestyles. We’re not exercising; yet , there’s been a boom in health clubs, exercise equipment, diet products, etc.

If you are lucky to have grocery stores in your neighborhood, they are loaded with products (replicated by order of dominance) and positioned to grab our dollars and market share; yet we don’t cook. One-third of all meals are eaten inside a car. We’re not sitting at the family dinner table. Remember David Schwimmer’s ad, of the early 90’s, about sitting down to have one meal together? I couldn’t believe it then, yet, it’s gotten worse. Is family dining becoming an anachronism? Nothing seems to work. The excuses are dominating all practical thinking.

Something is out of proportion and it’s more than our waistlines. We are losing our life perspective of loving, living and giving fully our most a precious gift, our time. Henceforth, let this be the day that war was declared on obesity by charting new priorities.

Try to think about these in any order you choose. Our daily bread; what, when and where we eat. A respite to make time and enjoy each other’s company.  Time for self-reflection; to live, love and be healthy.

 

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