Saturday, September 22, 2012

Looking At Ourselves

Two-thirds of all American adults and one-third of children in the United States are overweight or obese. That's a direct quote from this article in today's (Saturday) New York Times. We are a nation of fast food junkies. It's just easier. Wen I was a kid and I told my mom I was hungry, she gave me a piece of fruit or made a sandwich for me. Now I see so many parents who are just too busy to be bothered, and giving a kid a packaged snack that's loaded with sugar and/or salt is just easier and more convenient. The kids are enticed by the advertisements that are all around them, and the parents, however well-intentioned, are also. The big food processing corporations do not put the health and well-0being of the general population at the top of their priority list.

Great advancements have been made in medicine and pharmaceuticals to combat the illnesses and diseases that excessive diets foster, so it's become easier to stuff our faces with unhealthy sugary drinks, french fries, fatty meats, and rich desserts, and deal with the consequences at the doctors' offices. 

Earlier this year, at the insistence of my cardiologist, I lost ten pounds. I didn't think I was particularly fat, and neither did many of my friends and family. After I lost the weight my blood pressure dropped from 140/80 to 120/70. If ten pounds can make that significant a difference, what effect could thirty, or forty, or fifty pounds have? Those extra pounds were the equivalent of me carrying around a bowling ball all day long.

Here's just one definition of obesity. If you're too tired to go to the link, here it is in a nutshell: Obesity is an abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more over an individual's ideal body weight. And if you have any doubts about what is a 'normal' weight for your height, here is a medical chart. So, 20% over the top number of your weight range is not 'plump' (pleasingly or otherwise) it is obese!

To wit: