This year, more people will die from the effects of Obesity than from Malnutrition!
I don’t know about you, but that was a shocking statistic to me.
Here are a few more interesting stats:
I highly encourage you to watch the new documentary film, FED UP, that is narrated by Katie Couric. The look at our obesity epidemic, especially the problems our children face daily as they navigate the lure of food advertisements is quite eye opening.
When I chose to write this blog about obesity and this epidemic, I knew that there would be skeptics among my audience of readers.
So many of us think that obesity is ‘someone else’s problem’ - people who have no self control.
I acknowledge that food is a touchy subject. With health being an interest of mine, I am highly intrigued by food and health choices. There is no one right answer - not a one size fits all solution.
We are individuals, with different body constitutions and imbalances. Please know I am not advocating the film to promote a diet of some kind - a lifestyle change and call to action on behalf of our children is what drives me as I write.
As a parent, I promoted and insured good health when my children were young. I’ve also come to realize that we teach and practice what we know. So, my ideas about what contributes to ‘good health’ was different than it is today.
My parents urged me and my brothers to ‘clean our plates’ and ‘think of the starving children in Biafra’ when we balked at eating any of the foods put on our plate. My parents also encouraged my children to ‘eat more’ and my dad especially, beamed with joy if my son ate an enormous amount of food. This would of course make him big and strong - good intention and lots of love on my parents' part.
My son and daughter have many fond food memories, as do I. Those memories and food smells are a lure to eat as we did in the past, even when we have learned some of the foods we ate were very unhealthy for us.
Besides the actual food, there is another problem associated with the obesity epidemic. The onslaught of advertising to children and the increase in the number of products that are marketed to children is disturbing.
When it comes to children, mine and yours, we should not exploit the vulnerabilities of young children. Yet, that is exactly what is happening!
Parents who try to guide their children down a healthier path will have such a tough time, amid the barrage of commercials, unhealthy offerings and advertising messaging everywhere. And yet, parents cannot be with their children 24/7.
I also learned that many of us who walk around appearing to be “thin or normal size” may be internally metabolically obese. The studies show that 50% of all Americans are metabolically obese, with 20% of these people having no idea that they are at any risk, due to their outward ‘thin’ appearance.
And we are exporting our fast foods and processed foods to the rest of the world, who are now also increasingly adding to their waistlines and becoming unhealthier.
We all need to be concerned about this, as our young people are on a very frightening path.
The film points out much more and is easy to watch, with many familiar commercials and sites and jingles. The familiarity makes it all the more eye opening, as we often don’t pay much attention to what is familiar.
Our children are counting on us to care for them and guide them to the best of our ability.
I cannot pretend that I don’t know better, even if Healthy eating is like swimming upstream.
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