Monday, May 23, 2005

Tackling Obesity Needs Low-Carb Option, Not Just Another Low-Fat Initiative

I don't need to tell you that obesity is a major problem in the United States and is getting a lot worse. The shocking reality of just how true this is came late last week when a new report out of the state of Georgia found that a whopping 6 out of ten adults are now either overweight or obese. Sadly, those same statistics are about the same nationwide as this health crisis continues on in America.

The study, which was conducted by the Georgia Department of Human Resources, estimated that there were 6,700 fatalities that were a direct result of people carrying around too much weight.

This number is very, very sad and literally breaks my heart. Anyone who has ever been overweight or obese has thought about the possibility that their condition will lead them to their death. I sure did before I started livin' la vida low-carb. It's scary to even think what might have happened had I not begun my low-carb eating plan. These deaths are unnecessary and could be prevented if people knew how easy the low-carb lifestyle is, especially for people who need to lose a lot of weight like I did. These are the people we are trying to reach with the message of hope that low-carb can restore their health and help them lose that weight for good!

The report blames the high obesity rate on the South supposedly because the dining choices made by this region of the country tend to be higher in fat.

As someone who has lived in the Deep South my entire life, including living in Florida, Tennessee, Virginia and South Carolina, I can tell you that there's nothing better than good home cooking. But it's not the fat consumption that causes our waistlines to expand, but rather the incredibly high amount of carbohydrates in the fried chicken, pecan pie, biscuits and gravy, and other such Southern delights. If minor alterations were made to these recipes to make them low-carb, then weight problems would not be an issue to contend with.

Georgia health officials said the obesity problem in their state has led the citizens there to suffer from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and depression.

"We're seeing a number of serious health effects resulting from overweight and obesity," said Dr. Stuart Brown, acting director of the the department's Division of Public Health. "If we continue on the same path, the results will be devastating."

I'm sure state health officials from every state would echo those same comments. But when it comes time for them to consider working solutions to the problem of obesity, what do they tend to recommend? A low-fat/low-calorie diet along with an increase in exercise activity. While I strongly agree with the latter, I believe the low-carb approach should be given equal consideration as a healthy eating alternative.

My home state here in South Carolina recently implemented a new initiative regarding healthy living choices, but they too recommended a low-fat/low-calorie diet? When are they going to wake up to the fact that the low-fat diet plan just isn't working? With obesity rates at an all-time high, what could it hurt to recommend low-carb as a healthy option for losing weight?

The study also found that Georgia residents spend $2.1 billion (yes, that's billion with a "b"!) annually on medical expenses associated with their weight.

One in three Georgia middle schoolers were considered overweight or obese and the study concluded they needed to eat more fruits and vegetables as well as get more physical activity to get healthy.

We've heard that same advice our entire lives. Eat more fruits and veggies and get that heart rate up little Johnny. Sounds good, doesn't it? Sounds like a "healthy" plan. But not all fruits and vegetables are good for our kids or even adults to consume in heavy quantities. Smart choices about which fruits and vegetables they eat will determine whether they make improvements in their weight. And, of course, exercise is a must and should be encouraged in our schools (unfortunately, so many of the physical education programs are being eliminated in middle and high schools across America).

Georgia hopes to implement a 10-year initiative of their own to combat obesity with a focus on exercise and good nutrition beginning in June. But unless they include low-carb as one of the options for people to use to lose weight and get healthy, we'll still be talking about the obesity epidemic in 2015!


Blogger Paul Chaney said...

Just blogged about you and your blog on mine. Here's the link:

I'll be following your blog closely.

5/23/2005 10:38 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS, Paul. I appreciate your kind remarks and the GREAT work you are doing at the Diabetes Blog to help people who have this condition. You are to be commended for the work you do there. God bless you!

5/24/2005 7:53 AM  

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