Monday, March 17, 2014

Fight Obesity

I wrote this post almost a year ago when I first set up this blog, and I've held on to it ever since.  Why?  Because it's depressing. 
In the last few months, I've read it and re-read it, wondering if I should post it.  Or at least rework it before I posted it.
Finally, I just said - screw it.  Sometimes the truth hurts.  But when sh!t gets scary, that is the best time to finally wake up and realize it's time for a change.
So, perhaps this post will motivate others to make their change...?

In the last few years, as I continue to educate myself in living a healthy lifestyle, I have learned more and more about the Obesity Epidemic in the United States.  I've come to realize it is seriously scary. 

For example: did you know that from 1985 to 2010, Americans went from an average obesity rate of under 10% to an average obesity rate of almost 30%?  Take a look:

Even more frightening?  This is not just something that's been gradually increasing over the last 15 years.  Yes, there have been small steps from the late 80's and into the early 90's.  But... check out the HUGE jump from 2002 to 2009:

What's worse is, the above is only for OBESE people.  Add over weight people to the above matrix, and... well, we are NOT in good shape as a nation.

What does this mean?  Well, obviously this generation is getting dangerously fat, and fast.  But not only that - my generation and the children after me may actually be facing a shorter life expectancy than our parents.  We may even risk dying before our parents... simply from being too fat.

Interestingly sad facts:

- In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

- People who are obese have average annual medical expenses more than $1,400 higher than for normal-weight people, and obesity is expected to cost the U.S. $344 billion a year in related health costs by 2018.

- The average casket size pre 1990 was 28" wide.  As of 2010, purchases for options measuring 36" or 44" wide have doubled in volume (and also require two plots to accommodate burial).

The even sadder piece of this puzzle?  Although the Americans are clearly pioneers in this field, the rest of the world may eventually catch up to us some day:

I am really scared by this.  Really scared.  The impact on our health system is already massive and is just going to continue to grow.  High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, joint pain/mobility issues, skin infections/ulcers, and gallstones are only a few of the side effects of from living with obesity.

I could go on, but I won't.  If you're curious about obesity trends and how they impact people in real life scenarios, I recommend watching this series of TV shows from the UK.  Quite interesting!

Supersize vs. Superskinny

If you want to start from season 1 episode, check out this user's page:

Otherwise, Season 6 Episode 3 is particularly interesting:

Anyhow - back to the topic.  What can you do to reverse this trend?!

Interestingly sad facts that you can change:

- For an individual, obesity is usually the result of an imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.

- Only about 25% of U.S. adults eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. 

- More than 50% of American adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity to provide health benefits.

I guess we should revisit my mantra... FRUITS AND VEGGIES, FRUITS AND VEGGIES... AND GET UP OFF YOUR BUTT!!


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