1sunfight’s Weblog

July 27, 2008

Obesity in America

Filed under: Daily Observations,Obesity,politics — Julie P @ 12:26 am

Most of my life I have been runway model thin, but after I quit smoking in my mid thirties I put on roughly forty pounds, which I welcomed. However, along the way I had been the recipient of rude, unsolicited remarks, even at a healthy weight. I had my suspicions as to why this occurred; people were jealous because many were overweight, or that was my opinion of them. So while on a recent trip to the United Kingdom I noticed I felt like I fit in with my body size. I did not feel as though I stood out in a crowd; I was part of the crowd. When I got back to the United States I suddenly felt very out of place physically, I was not a part of the cultural norm of being overweight. To me it was no longer an opinion, I saw what it was like to be somewhere else where being very large physically was not a cultural norm, at least not like it is where I live. The scorn filled comments were coming from a place of envy.

Last week I got the confirmation that my assessment of where I live is that people are indeed overweight, in fact, many are obese. I first saw the results of a CDC obesity survey on CNN. It is true; the state I live in is the eighth fattest state in America with just over 28 percent obesity rate. But, what I found startling was how obese the rest of the country is. We have a very real obesity epidemic going on. (CDC results) It became even more real when I looked at their obesity trend data covering 23 years of data. The United States has gone from being mildly overweight to being a nation with extremely high obesity rates for most of the country and occurring within a generation.

To me this is a call to action in the United States instead of focusing on other people who are a healthy weight. The CDC has come up with a list of contributing factors like eating too many calories for the amount of physical activity that is undertaken, environment, and genetics. These to me are the basics, but to me we need to look further we need to look at the amount of junk food we consume, and I am not talking just about soda and candy, which are plentiful are widely consumed; and I am not talking just about fast food too, another pit fall. We also need to look at the processed food that is sold in every grocery store across the United States. So much of our food is loaded with sugar, and fructose, which is the silent part of the equation. It is making us obese and very unhealthy. Recently in California there was a bill banning trans fats; if one state can take the right step by banning an unhealthy additive in food, then it is within reason that all states can ban trans fats and put restrictions on the amount of sugar and fructose put added to our food. It is killing us.

In the meantime, Americans need to look out for themselves by looking at what and how much food we are putting into our mouths. We also need to get physically active instead of sitting in front of the television, playing video games, and living online. We are killing ourselves by eating our way into an early grave.

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