Monday, June 06, 2005

Obesity Is Not Inevitable If We Would Just Wake Up

There is a very disturbing news story out today that reports some rather grim news regarding the future prospect of obesity in the United States.

Ivanhoe Health reports on the findings of University of Missouri-Columbia medical researchers Dr. Frank Booth and Dr. Simon Lees who said at the American College of Sports Medicine's 52nd Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee this past week that they expect childhood obesity rates to be at 100 percent by the year 2044 and adult obesity rates to reach that level by 2058.

Whoa! Is this really the inevitable fate of America? Well, if current indicators are any measure for what's to come, then the answer to that question is YES!

In a way, I am pleased that two medical researchers have created a sense of urgency about the problem of obesity because we have not given it the lofty importance that it needs to find a viable solution. While I do not agree with what they are doing in West Virginia to deal with obesity, I am convinced that people need to start taking this issue a lot more seriously than they are.

Part of that includes being open to the possibility that the traditional recommendation of a low-fat/low-calorie/portion-controlled approach to losing weight just doesn't work for everyone. This one-size-fits-all mentality has led us down a path of failure for so many years that you wonder why they even bother continuing to recommend it time and time again. If this were a business, then it would have gone belly up a long time ago.

The fatalistic prediction of Dr. Booth and Dr. Lees is based on the fact that Americans are not eating as they should and they are forgoing exercise as an ingredient in restoring their health to where it should be.

I understand this dynamic personally because I used to be one of those who ate like there was no tomorrow and exercise wasn't even in my vocabulary. But when I decided I needed to do something to overcome my obesity problem, I turned to the low-carb lifestyle and daily exercise to get me there. Now, 180-pounds of weight loss later, I have never felt this good in my entire life! It really can happen for people if they make up their minds to do this for themselves.

Do Americans care enough to "get off the ball and do something now" as Dr. Booth put it in an interview with Ivanhoe? Did you know your body was meant to enjoy exercise to function properly? As horrifying as that may sound to some people, you were born to move and move a lot! Exercise is not optional, but required if the obesity problem is going to be brought under control. Combined with a healthy low-carb eating plan, anyone can start to lose weight and feel great in just a matter of months by following a regular exercise routine.

Otherwise, the research concludes that there will be an increase in early deaths, rampant spread of type 2 diabetes (rates expected to triple by 2050), and the development of various forms of cancer.

Interestingly, Booth puts the burden of doing something about this on doctors by asking them to inquire with their patients about their personal habits, including whether or not they exercise, what they eat, if they drink alcoholic beverages and if they are smokers.

If the American Civil Liberties Union doesn't have a cow about this, then I'm sure there will be a lot of patients who will balk at their doctors pointing the finger at their problems so openly and honestly. But that's exactly what we need to have done if obesity trends are going to be reversed.

People need to suck up their own pride and get out of denial. YOU ARE FAT, plain and simple. It's time to wake up, America! We've sat back on our rears basking in the glory of our plentifulness for far too long that we are destroying ourselves from the inside. The fight against obesity is one that we all must take full responsibility for and do something about.

I know it may seem hard, but it must be done. But take it from someone who's been through the struggle himself, it is entirely worth it. There are so many things I can do now that I could not do before I started livin' la vida low-carb. Simple things like standing up out of bed without having to jerk myself forward and roll out. Or even walking from the parking lot to the front entrance of Wal-mart without gasping for every breath of air. These little things and more are the rewards of restoring your health and regaining your life.

"The public also needs to start taking responsibility for childhood inactivity," Dr. Booth exclaimed. "Children are not mature enough to make informed decisions about their eating habits and activity without instruction from adults."

Dr. Booth is exactly right. If obesity is ever going to be reduced considerably in this country, then we adults are going to have to be the example for the next generation in both our eating and exercise habits. What are we doing to show them the importance of doing what is right in regards to their health?

I saw a group of children at my church yesterday morning who were stuffing their mouths with the worst possible food you could eat. I told them that eating those were not healthy for them. Their response to me was that they weren't worried about that because it's not hurting them today.

And therein lies the problem. We wonder why Americans have gotten overweight and obese, but we don't look at what we are doing to contribute to the problem at an early age. Obesity will not go away on its own. Immediate action to correct this very real problem is needed to prevent the inevitable from happening in less than 40 years!

Please contact Dr. Booth and Dr. Lees to thank them for their research on this subject and urge them to continue to promote healthy lifestyle choices. They have done a great service by bringing this issue to the forefront of public debate.


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