Is Getting Healthy a Hopeless Cause for Adults?

3SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/11/2009 12:10 PM   :  114 comments

Last week while I was watching our local morning news show, one of the country’s leading pioneers of fitness, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, was giving an interview regarding the rise in childhood obesity, especially here in Texas. While I applaud his effort, I was taken aback when he stated he was giving up on trying to change adults, therefore, he was now focusing his attention on the next generation, our kids.

At first I was a tad angry--here was the “Father of Aerobics” stating he was giving up the fight for adults to get healthy. How could he? After all he was the first to coin the term aerobics back in the late 1960s. He was the one who led the crusade to get us all off the couch and moving and now he was abandoning the cause he worked so tirelessly over the years to change.

But I must admit, the more I thought about this, the more I believe Dr. Cooper may be on to something. He and countless other health and fitness professionals have given the world the knowledge and the tools for well over 40 years now on how to get fit and healthy, and it is up to us, as adults, to implement these ideas into action. Maybe he believes that before this next generation gets set in their ways, he can help influence them much earlier than he could with adults.

We must all learn to accept the obstacles of losing weight and getting fit in a society riddled with fast food restaurants on almost every corner and where every day conveniences keep us from getting in the activity we need. We need to demand more from our schools to get physical education reinstated and healthier food options in the cafeterias. We, as adults, need to be role models for our children so they can see how it is to live a healthy life. We have to be willing to put as much energy into getting fit as we do in all other aspects of our lives. If we fail to take action now, we will all pay the price in the future. This is once again where SparkPeople comes into play. The tools are available, it is up to each and every one of us to use them.

I am pleased to hear Dr. Cooper hasn’t given up entirely on wanting to change the country’s health and fitness direction. I think by tackling our kids and their weight issues, parents will be forced to change, too, therefore, this will be a win, win situation for everyone. And maybe this is just another approach to get us ALL to change.

Even so, I am not willing to abandon the ship. It took me 43 years to finally learn the concept that diets do not and will not work. It is up to me to decide I deserve to be healthy, however, I am glad to know SparkPeople is crusading to get the world fit and healthy even if it is one person at a time!

Do you believe getting the world fit is a hopeless cause? Are you willing to commit or recommit yourself to being healthy? Will you commit yourself to getting your kids healthy?


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Comments

  • 114
    I do believe that adults can change, and this change is necessary for them to raise their kids right. Parents need to get their children off their butts, away from the PlayStation, and outside to play. Parents need to feed their children healthy food.

    The schools are blamed for so much these days. Fast food is blamed for so much. Well, we do need to do something about the schools. This doesn't in any way excuse parents from doing their jobs as parents though. I think that parents are too fast to pawn off responsibility for their own bodies and for their children on schools, and to blame fast food. Well, fast food doesn't force itself on you. You won't get fat from fast food unless you eat it. I haven't had fast food except for Subway in 11 years. I have a few lbs to lose, but I'm sure it would be worse if I had a McD's addiction.

    Anyway, PARENTS are responsible, and can change. Changing for the children is probably the most powerful incentive to lead a clean and active lifestyle. - 6/2/2010   10:11:24 AM
  • 113
    "My personal goal is to live to 125 and beyond. I sincerely believe that each fit person that leads a long, fully cognitive, active life is the best advertisement for leading a health lifestyle"

    I agree that's my goal too! I was just looking at those people who live to be 100 and 125 and one lady claims to be 130yrs old! :) My goal is to live as close to that age as possible! :) - 3/13/2010   3:54:47 AM
  • 112
    I kind of agree with you MICLWILDE but you have to remember, America did not become unhealthy and lazy overnight, it was a process, so changing America for the better and reversing the process is not going to happen overnight. It took time for people to reach this state and it will take time to undo it all. I think more and more people are slowly getting it even if you don't SEE a change in weight just yet, it is sinking in and eventually the weight and activity levels will go up. I hear more and more people that I talk to when I'm out and about talking about eating healthy and excercising, much more than I used to now. It's sinking in, it just might not look like it but it's sinking in slowly I think.
    - 3/13/2010   3:50:50 AM
  • 111
    I agree with you kwright26, I don't think families should single out an overweight child and let the other thin ones eat whatever they want. Eating healthy is better for you even if you are thin! It's not JUST about weight. Thin people can have health problems too from eating too much junk. So if one kid in the family is overweight, then the whole family should eat healthier and not just the overweight kid. It's not good for any kids psyche to be singled out from their siblings for any reason that creates resentment and jelousy. The parent should just announce that the whole family is going to start eating healthier and exercise more without even mentioning the overweight kid and when discussing the overweight kid's weight, it should be done alone in private with the kid not in front of everyone. It's not good to make a big issue of the overweight kid's weight that will give them emotional issues. - 3/13/2010   3:37:04 AM
  • 110
    I say don't give up on the adults because healthy kids start with healthy adults! Most parents who have the knowlege, even if they can't change themselves like they want to, their being conscious of a healthy lifestyle is what will make them choose healtheir foods for their kids. Most obese kids are that way because the parents are not health conscious or concerned about eating healthy. Even the health conscious parents who have trouble losing all of the extra weight themselves will raise the kids so as not to have a weight problem. So no, don't give up on the parents or adults, health conscious adults is what makes healtheir kids. It does no good to teach kids but they go home to parents who are not health conscious and who continue to buy and feed them junk. - 3/13/2010   3:28:40 AM
  • 109
    The focus has to be on HEALTH at all ages, comprehensively - no one escapes, young or old.

    A focus on HEALTH would de-rail greed, the diet industry, anoerexia, self-esteem problems, and traditional medicine's surgery/drugs/radiation treatments, ALL of which are EQUALLY horrendous. - 2/1/2010   8:27:33 AM
  • 108
    I need to be successful so that I can help my child be successful. Can't give up!!! - 12/26/2009   10:48:30 PM
  • 107
    Getting the "World" fit would be an over-whelming undertaking! since adequate health care would have to be included, wouldn't you think? And we all know how un-avialable it is in our own Country. So lets try starting with one neighborhood, one city, one state of the US first. Maybe once we proved that a so called Advantaged Country can do it then the rest of the World would follow our lesson & example. - 12/23/2009   5:31:10 PM
  • 106
    It has to start early, but kids and weightloss are a dangerous combination. In terms of teaching healthy eating and fitness, providing opportunities to exercise--without pushing--and providing lots of healthy snacks and foods--without deprivation are the key. Unfortunately, sometimes it can get out of hand and a parent with an overweight child can quickly turn dieting into an obsession. It has to be treated gently, and all children have to be treated equally regarding food and exercise. Everyone has to go out and play outside (not just the fat child) and if the overweight sibling gets fruit for dessert, everyone else does, too...he or she shouldn't have to watch Mom, Dad, and the other children eat ice cream sundaes with chocolate sauce while nibbling on grapes.
    My mother and I have discussed this at length: when I was a kid, I wanted to eat salad and cottage cheese and applesauce because that's what I watched her eat. I had my own weight issues, certainly, but in my teens I got it figured out the healthy way. She on the other hand had a different experience. Her thin sister was allowed to eat whatever she wanted whenever she wanted, while my mother was limited to ten potato chips, couldn't have sweets, could have a hot dog only if it was boiled... the list went on, and food became an obsession because it was a point of contention for so long. Another friend of mine in her forties was told almost daily while growing up that she was fat and needed to lose weight, but no one ever told her how aside from not eating. Today, her medicine cabinet is stocked with bottles and bottles of diet pills, she skips meals, and her eighteen year old daughter (who also skips meals, but makes attempts at exercising) stands in front of the mirror agonizing over her thighs and arms (she's not fat by any means). This daughter grew up learning her body parts as "calf and fat-leg" instead of "calf and thigh". Needless to say, I'm a little perturbed at seeing a mental complex and thought pattern that could have been avoided if the parents had been healthier. - 12/15/2009   12:48:34 PM
  • 105
    I think that, for the most part in our culture, getting adults to get in shape is hopeless. Getting anyone to get in shape is hopeless for that matter.
    We are facing a health care crisis in the states, and still, as a nation, we are not trying to get fit.
    As individuals, we have to make the choices to make ourselves fit. No one can cause it to happen. We have to do it for ourselves. I appreciate those, like Cooper and Spark, who are there to give us the information and tools when we get ready for them. I just don't think that we, the big collective we, the whole country or world, are going to get fit because someone else says we should.
    Cooper is really up against some huge obstacles here. How can he compete with the marketing of McDonalds, Hostess, and others? He's really got his work cut out for him.
    We, as parents, can compete, though it isn't easy. We can get fit and teach our children to do the same. - 12/10/2009   12:56:31 PM
  • MARGOMCP
    104
    I think we need fitness experts now, not to badger adults into exercising but to continue researching and learning what works well and what doesn't work. New computer-assisted machines and opportunities arise and we still need those evaluated and looked at honestly by people we can trust rather than the sales and marketing people trying to make a buck. - 12/10/2009   11:17:06 AM
  • CATHYELCIK
    103
    I think the blogger has a valid point. We've had the tools and we (and by we, I mean the collectively obese community) have not pulled them out of the toolbox. The best way to change adults is to get to the kids. It worked for a generation of kids who put on seatbelts automatically because our driver's ed instructors told us that the first thing to do was LALA lock the doors, adjust the seat; lock the seatbelt, adjust the mirrors. My father insisted for years that the only belt he needed was the one that kept up his pants, and yet I wouldn't dream of getting into a car without fastening my seatbelt. The same can be said about teaching kids to recycle. If we can teach kids about healthy choices, they'll grow into adults that make healthy choices. A friend of mine recently said that when in the middle of a long road trip, they tried to cross dinner off quickly by pulling into McDonald's, her kids whined for a healthier option. She was irritated (there wasn't an easier alternative) but decided it was a great thing that they were asking.

    So yeah. The bulk of adults are lost causes. And if Dr. Cooper wants to give up on them, that's fine. We have Spark to believe in us! Now if only I could figure out how the hell to search members so I can find my friend on this site.... - 12/2/2009   7:48:00 AM
  • CATLADY52
    102
    It seems to me that it comes down to taking responsibility for our own actions. - 9/22/2009   2:16:45 PM
  • TADDINGTON
    101
    I think it will take a culture change of making being active and fit fun, and having the buy in of other industries to downsize portions we are served. Americans struggle with too many hours of work, grabbing food on the go and not taking time to exercise. We're exhausted as a society and tend to eat emotionally with stress... or maybe that was just me... and now I 'm attune to the bad choices I've made for years and how only I can control what I do next. Sparkpeople is renergizing me and I don't feel so alone in this battle to lose 100+ pounds anymore. - 9/20/2009   11:59:50 AM
  • 100
    I believe that as we get older, health issues become more realistic. I believe that most sensible adults should be educated about the causes and benefits of their actions and thus it would be beneficial to educate them on living healthy - 9/20/2009   11:44:48 AM
  • 99
    Well, we ARE the grown ups. Thanks, nice post. - 9/18/2009   12:27:00 PM
  • 98
    My personal goal is to live to 125 and beyond. I sincerely believe that each fit person that leads a long, fully cognitive, active life is the best advertisement for leading a health lifestyle.

    The next generation has a big challenge in front of them. Our grocery stores are doubled in size with products, more items are positions for allow us to be tempted to pick up extras, we now can shop from home allowing the natural tempting colors of fruits and vegetables to be missed and more and more of our technology is leading us to be stationary. We are the hope for the future to teach what was enjoyable about making a healthy home cooked vegetable soup, going for walks to talk with our neighbors and the joys of simple/clean living. - 9/5/2009   6:25:04 PM
  • 97
    No, I don't think it is a waste of time. For the first time in my life I am serious about being healthy. I have a father that has Alzheimer's and in going to the support groups, you learn that eating healthy and exercise can help the mind and help keep you healthy a lot longer. So, about 4 months ago, I decided to start going to Curves and it works. I have a goal of losing 50 pounds by next April. I don't know if that will happen by April, but I will lose the 50 pounds. So far, I have lost 13 pounds and 17 inches and I feel a lot better. My clothes fit a lot better and I just feel a lot better about myself. - 8/23/2009   7:51:21 AM
  • 96
    Just by losing weight and inches I have persuaded my kids to become healthier. One girl likes fresh veggies and the other has joined spark people. - 8/11/2009   8:16:43 AM
  • CHER321
    95
    I do home daycare, and I teach the children about healthy eating,and exercise so they will grow up with the right habits. I am still working on Changing all the bad habits for myself that I grew up with. I know what needs to be done, and I am working on it. - 5/27/2009   10:02:34 AM
  • 94
    Our processed time saving foods are killing us and our kids. Everyone needs access to healthy good vegetables and fruits. I live in a very small rural area where there isnt a health club around for 50 miles, and the local grocery store is yes a piggly wiggly with iceburg lettuce as the main vegetable.I see obese kids who drink soda all day long and parents exhaused from working in factories where the food choices are terrible even our local hospital serves all fried foods and the doctors and nurses are obese.I think we need our kids to learn by example and educating low income families and having access for them is important to fruits and veggies. I dont understand why in the agriculture state of TN our kids elementary schools arent growing vegetables as a project. I have even offered to start a kids after school health club in the gym but the insurance they have wont allow it and they dont have PE. The are no bike paths skateboard parks or recreation in the city areas. I have contacted our mayor about the lack of resources available but his response is well its the way it its we have sidewalks at least. Its a national epidemic where Mc Donalds and fast food chains are most peoples substinance---GROSS. - 3/25/2009   9:07:11 AM
  • 93
    Yes, I'm already committedto getting my children healthy. I've started with one child whom I think needs more exercise than the other three. She ahs started walking around our neighbourhood with her friends at least 2 - 3 times a week, for a least an hour. That, itself, is an achievement to me. - 2/16/2009   1:36:32 AM
  • STRAWBERRY*MOON
    92
    I believe in the possibility of change or I wouldn't be here. I do suspect it is easier to instill healthful behaviors in children than it is to change a life of bad health habits, but I believe it can be done--and I'm going to keep trying until I get it right - 2/15/2009   12:51:04 PM
  • 91
    I don't think it is a lost cause. Like Sasi_Queen said...this website is making a real difference in educating us about creating a healthy lifestyle. Growing up my parents didn't teach us healthy habits because all they saw in front of them were active, skinny kids. They didn't teach us that all the junk we consumed would catch up with us later in life. I am committed to learning all I can from the SparkPeople community and educating my young neices and nephews to live a healthy life now so they can reap the benefits in later life. - 2/15/2009   12:29:53 PM
  • 90
    I don't think it's fair to give up on people, I think what needs to be understood is that everyone has to find their time to committ. Better yet, how about the health problems, personal problems, etc.. that always get in the way? I'm sure it can't be easy for someone who's going through a lot to think about getting to the gym and cooking dinner every day. - 2/13/2009   1:59:22 PM
  • TIMMYO
    89
    I dont think it a hopeless cause but it is a busy , struggling life and people have so many other things going on and try too fit in exercising but some people fail because either tired or health issues limiting them. I have always been self movitated and love to hear and see people doing healthy tips to inprove there life expectatance. - 2/12/2009   11:12:22 PM
  • 88
    we are definitely not a hopeless cause. - 2/12/2009   11:01:20 PM
  • 87
    No I don't think adults are a hopeless cause, but as adults we must realize it's our fault we are the way we are. I know why I got fat, I ate wrong, and spent too much time sitting on by backside not exercising. Calories in VS calories out! I had to want to get fit and healthy, no one could do it for me. I do think it would be a bit easier for wt loss and health if the good foods were less expensive, and put out in a more obvious area as opposed to hidden among the other stuff that is less expensive. I have definatly changed my eating habits and now I know for sure I can do it, and only I can do it. - 2/12/2009   9:08:14 PM
  • SUESZAREK
    86
    I can understand the frustration - especially after 40 years of trying, and still seeing obese people everywhere you go. I would imagine throwing up my hands and saying "why bother". But - isn't that why we're all here? To get healthy, and fit, and encourage either other? We can't control everyone, we can only control ourselves - and more directly what goes in our mouths. - 2/12/2009   7:17:48 PM
  • 85
    Trying to make the whole wold healthy? Yes, that's a no-win situation! Many people are starving. And in our country many make poor food "choices" because getting ANY food is beyond their budgets, so they load up on whatever is cheap and filling. I know such people and can't pretend that I think they can afford to eat healthfully.

    My sons are in their 30's, and both are married but enjoy cooking. Each is working to balance meals and each prepares many vegetables and salads. And each one cooks for holidays while each wife is a helper aka sous chef. So I don't worry about my children. lol - 2/12/2009   6:19:26 PM
  • 84
    Adults already know how to get healthy for the most part. I mean, who doesn't know that junk food is unhealthy?! Exercise is a little trickier, it takes time and energy, both in short supply in today's world, especially if one is already overweight. But a person can lose weight without tons of exercise, they just won't get the health benefits of rebuilding the muscles, and maintaining heart strength. Its an abundance of bad food that's the culprit in obesity. I've heard people say that there is no bad food, which is absolutely untrue. There is plenty of bad food and Americans eat tons of it. As for children, no child would be overweight if his or her parent's did not allow it. Children eat what their parents have in the home. Don't buy junk and your kids can't eat junk. Pack their lunches and the problem is solved. Then don't allow daytime tv watching!!! Never, ever, allow a tv in a child's bedroom! That's just bad parenting. Its really very simple. The first step in having a healthy life is for a person to take responsibility for her choices and quit blaming it on circumstances out of her control. - 2/12/2009   6:00:29 PM
  • 83
    I don't think it is hopeless just very hard. I finally with the help of Sparkpeople took off that nasty 15 pounds and am much more fit. Children learn from parents though and we need to get out and exercise as an example. (My 77 year old mom plays tennis 3 times a week and my 79 year old dad uses an exercise bike). So far my kids are fit too but I know they will have to work at it!
    - 2/12/2009   5:49:44 PM
  • 82
    I think in fact it is simple - so simple that we don't do it. It is not difficult for me to get a banana and coffee - but instead I grab a pop tart? I LOVE bananas by the way. It isn't hard for me to park at the first spot I see rather than drive around and around to find a spot right in the front. Sometimes we seem to not do the simple things that are better for us.
    And as far as why try since we all die anyway - well, I'm 60 - and I want to enjoy the next 30 years! And so I walk, and exercise and drink that water. Got to try to keep those pop tarts out of the house though!! (DH loves them and he doesn't worry about weight.) - 2/12/2009   4:55:56 PM
  • 81
    Oh, geez, what a question, thought, whatever. In the sense that no matter what we do or don't do we are all going to die sooner or later, I guess maybe the whole issue is a little absurd, especially when taken to extremes. But trying to theorize as to whether to start with adults or children when the factors contributing to unhealthy habits are so varied is also absurd. I did not grow up in the typical American household. My college buddies were astounded to learn that I'd never in my life eaten a frozen dinner, carry-out meal, etc. My parents never forced me to clean my plate when I was obviously eager to run back outside ... they knew I'd be back when I got hungry. I remember learning also, from these same people who'd lived through the Great Depression and worse, that the one thing you should NEVER cut corners on was what went into your stomach! My father was never even slightly overweight his entire life. Neither my mother, or any of my ancestors were overweight until they approached their 50's, and then quite a bit of the weight gain after that was the result of the aging process and eventually just giving in to dibilitating diseases & disorders thrown in the mix.

    Even so, and even though I was an athlete up into my early 40's, I fell into bad habits which led me to gain what I knew was an unhealthy amount of weight. Just as I had one day woken up to the fact that I was sick and tired of my 35-year old smoking habit; the same thing happened to lead me hear a few years later to work on those extra pounds. So what is my point? I guess it is this: Just as the American Lung Association never gives up on ANYONE who is still smoking, neither should WE give up on ANYONE who is overweight, overindulging in unhealthy eating habits, etc. It is up to EACH INDIVIDUAL to decide for themselves when they are ready to make changes in their lifestyle; and once they are truly serious about wanting that, they WILL do it!

    SHAME ON YOU, DR. COOPER! And please feel free to send this to him for me Nancy! Good grief! - 2/12/2009   4:38:17 PM
  • PHYLLG
    80
    I'm starting week two of my Spark journey. At 60 I am running out of quality time with my daughter and any future grandkids if I don't get serious about my health. Thanks to all the information, good feelings and friendly sites. When I wake at 2:30 am, I now sign in and get motivated from the comfort of my home. Again thanks. - 2/12/2009   3:47:14 PM
  • 79
    "Yes, excerise more, eat less is simple. But excerise - when? what type? How often? Eat what? How often?
    It does get overwhelm, confusing. We drive ourself crazy and end up frustrated. Attempting to lose weight, change your life means having those moments of feeling like a failure. That's hard."

    It is that simple. I think where the confusion comes in is buying into the marketing hype that is used to distinguish one product or method from another. When, what, and how often is pretty much irrelevant when it comes to exercise. It doesn't matter when, what, or how often (within reason) you exercise. It isn't the time of day or type of exercise that makes it effective, it is the effort you put into it and that is it something you will learn to sustain as a healthy habit.

    What you eat is important only in that you eat enough to quell hunger and get the nutrients you need. 2000 calories of junk food doesn't cut it while 1500 calories of nutrient dense food does. The same is true for how often you eat. Stop listening to the marketers and start listening to your own body. It will tell you how often you need to eat.
    - 2/12/2009   3:02:56 PM
  • 78
    The statement that really struck me the most: ..."It took me 43 years to finally learn the concept that diets do not and will not work."

    You are SO right!!! I've been in recovery for over 12 years for a compulsive eating disorder. And the word "diet" was the first thing that had to go!
    If anyone out there is "on" a diet, be forwarned, at sometime you will probably go "off" the diet. Then where will you be? The ONLY permament solution is to make lifestyle changes....
    - 2/12/2009   2:55:29 PM
  • CMB113
    77
    Often if the kids are obses so aren't their parents - afterall who is feeding the kids? Buying the food? The parents.
    The problem, as we all may have experienced weight loss is that for the past TWO decades that I have loss and gained is the frustration about imformation we keeping recieving - first its 30 mins of excerise 3 times a week - now its 10,000 steps or 45 mins most days of the week. Count calories, no count fat. Now the latest thougth is food combinations - eat this with that. Or eating fice or six small meals a day (you has time for that? Even Weight Watchers have revamped their programs numerous times.
    Yes, excerise more, eat less is simple. But excerise - when? what type? How often? Eat what? How often?
    It does get overwhelm, confusing. We drive ourself crazy and end up frustrated. Attempting to lose weight, change your life means having those moments of feeling like a failure. That's hard.
    - 2/12/2009   2:48:01 PM
  • 76
    The world has changed so. Time is passing by so fast we can barely keep up with whats going on around us, so with all the tech. that coming out such as more computers asscess,mp3s.ipod. telephone gadgets with tvs,videos,etc, even the cars has videos,tvs,computer access,etc. no matter where you at these days you take home with you so my point is no one ever take the time to enjoy life with the family . In stead of taking a walk around the corner to chat with the neighbors, or walking down to the store, going out on a picinic and playing ball or games like we use to and even if you do everyone sitting around watching portable tvs,videos,protable game systems. Most people don't like going out anymore due to all the shooting in stores, food places. They do not like their children to go out alone afraid they may be taken or shot. Even the school took away Physical Education Class(WHY?), and the major problem is these days everyone has to work triple hard to make ends meet so no time to do much of anything. Us few that do make the time is the lucky ones. Perhaps there will come a time when people will take back control over their family life style, to live a healthier full life. - 2/12/2009   1:19:47 PM
  • 75
    Focusing on the children is a good step...........let me tell you about my grandson's school sponsered band camp over last summer. Each time I picked him up each afternoon I would ask what he had for lunch.....each time it was junk food..........now the schools have proclaimed they will start by elimanating the soda and candy machines but yet serve the kids pizza, burgers, and take them to fast=food places.......HELLO????????? - 2/12/2009   12:43:54 PM
  • 74
    Getting the world fit? Not likely because there's a huge percentage of the population who just refuses to "get it." There's another percentage like my husband who THINKS he's eating healthy because he has a piece of chicken for dinner and a pear for a snack. He's in total denial about the candy bars, pies, chips, dips and other fattening junk he eats.

    I think, however, that there is a growing awareness of health and accountability, and more people are getting on the bandwagon. This is encouraging. And those of us who are setting a good example are encouraging others to get with the program. My own example has inspired several people around me to at least think about it. They aren't quite "there" yet, but they're catching on! - 2/12/2009   12:40:58 PM
  • 73
    Getting the world fit? No, it will never happen. It takes each person to decide that they are unhealthy and need to do something about it. There are too many people, especially as adults, that are content to remain the way they are...exercise and healthy eating is a chore to some. It was for me until I found out I had dangerously hight blood pressure...that's all it took for me to quit smoking and decide to get healthy. Yes, it is very important for the parents to implement a healthy lifestyle with their children, but if the parents are not healthy, it becomes a real task. Let's start with the kids by getting the soda and junk machines out of the schools. I am committed to getting healthy, finally after all these years, and SparkPeople is just one area that's going to help me make it happen. - 2/12/2009   12:14:48 PM
  • 72
    Unfortunately we live in the land of plenty. We are bombarded with ads for foods every where. I've put myself last for a long time. Not anymore! I've been making a healthy life style change for years now. I will no longer put myself last! I'm about to be 54 and don't look it. Diabetes runs in my family. So I am ever vigilant about my fitness & diet.
    - 2/12/2009   11:51:52 AM
  • 71
    Just last week my husband and I were at a small wedding (less than 100 persons) I love to people watch and as I looked around I would guess 90% were at least 20 lbs. over weight. Almost all the women were,and some of the children as well. My husband and I have just recently started to lose weight and get back into shape. If we hadn't already started that revelation at the wedding might have been enough to motovate me. I am in my early 50's and was one of the "older" ones, it really sadden me to see a room full of young people with weight issues. - 2/12/2009   11:42:17 AM
  • MOTOMOJO
    70
    The problem with Americans is that they lack self-control and live hand-to-mouth, figuratively and literally. That's why we have economic issues today and that's why the majority is overweight and a significant number of people are obese. Their parents failed them. And they will pass this along to their own generation. America is in serious trouble. - 2/12/2009   11:19:42 AM
  • 69
    I haven't given up on me yet; I'm a work in progress and probably always will be.

    I lived a relatively healthy lifestyle for many, many years. Even when my kids were young, I managed to fit in occassional physical activity. A series of health issues put me over the top with my weight and I've been trying to recover from that for years.

    From the perspective of having to choose where to focus efforts, I believe it makes sense to work with children and young adults, but there needs to be somebody championing the cause of we seniors and semi-seniors who are trying to be healthy - even if we have to band together and support each other in the quest (as many of us do here on Spark People).

    - 2/12/2009   11:15:30 AM
  • MIEZEKATZE
    68
    It's sad but Dr. Cooper is right on.... as adults, we need to take responsibility for our own actions. We all know that eating a full tub of ice cream isn't good for us, but we do it anyway.

    As for our children, what's scary to me is how many schools don't have gym classes anymore for fear of a lawsuit - whether it be in regard to a child's physical level of activity, a child getting hurt, or there is just no money. Granted, I remember LOATHING gym class when I was younger, and couldn't wait to leave, but looking back I remember discovering that I actually liked to swim and play basketball (even if I wasn't good at it).... and now I am thinking about joining an basketball team! We need to encourage our children to be better and not value superficial immediate things. Too much emphasis is being placed on getting that instant results - that iPod, that car, that cell phone, that hamburger, those french fries ... and not enough on saving... saving up for that iPod, cooking your own hamburger with fresh ingredients. True indulgence comes from getting a feeling of accomplishment, a quality which seems to be lacking in today's generations.

    Phew, I have no idea how I got so long-winded!
    - 2/12/2009   11:14:33 AM
  • 67
    I committed to getting healthy 14 years ago and when I decided to do that, I started going to a community centre with a swimming pool to take step classes, aerobics, weight training and aquasize.

    Not very long into my training I noticed that about 75% of all the little boys in the pool had boobs. About 80% of all the little girls also had boobs, but were much too young to be developing. I was shocked at what I saw and recalled that when I was their age I was a little chubby, but I was one of three chubby kids in my ENTIRE school. Now obese is the new "norm." It's scary.

    Now that I think of it, those little boys and girls that I saw at the community centre 14 years ago are now about 21 years of age!! And I can't help but wonder if they are obese adults.

    I think that education in the form of example is a profound way to teach our children (before they are old enough to go to day care or to school) to eat well and be active. If people who have kids aren't doing that, they are contributing to the multitude of health problems their children will likely have.

    My parents were sedentary people who told us kids to "go out and play" but never played with us. We ate what my parents (I suppose) thought was good food, but I recall white bread, white rice, cheez whiz, luncheon meats, fried steak, canned veggies, etc.), and we hardly had treats like potato chips and pop, still I grew into a very fat teenager because once I was able to prepare food for myself, I could eat anything I wanted. And I recall being as lazy as any teenager is today. Lazy and a bad attitiude seems to be the norm, but I wonder if that isn't just because of the food choices one makes when one is a teenager.

    When I started here at Spark I noticed some important and interesting things happened quite quickly. Because I was tracking my food I realized that I just couldn't eat high calorie foods with no nutrition anymore and still stay with in my calorie range, so all the empty calories had to go. Also I noticed that most of my calories came from fats and proteins and that had to change. When my diet became balanced and filled with nutritious, whole foods my mood changed and I haven't had a bout of depression UNTIL I ate badly one day and noticed just how much it affected my mood. Exercise helps too, but I honestly think that food plays a much bigger role than most of us realize.

    I firmly believe that if my parents were a better example I would have been more active - 2/12/2009   11:08:55 AM
  • 66
    People can change, I'm proof. I spent 10 years (maybe more) getting fat, ignoring or getting irregular exercise, eating a horrible diet, drinking heavily, and smoking like a chimney. I haven't shed all these bad habits, but I have shed 115 lbs, and do all the bad stuff in much more moderation than I used to. I wouldn't have listened to anyone before, it took my personal aha moment.

    So, honestly, one guy changing his focus to children doesn't bother me. Since this generation is the first not expected to live longer than their parents - it's probably a good thing. There are plenty of resources out there for people of all ages, they just have to have their aha moments and decide it's something they're willing to do. - 2/12/2009   11:08:19 AM
  • 65
    One of the biggest reasons why my husband and I decided to have gastric bypass was that we wanted to be around to see our kids finish growing up. We weren't exactly setting good examples for our kids around food, and that made me feel VERY guilty. Now, I am able to talk about nutrition and health with my kids, and insist that they FUEL their bodies, not just feed themselves. I put a moratorium on dieting until the child has finished growing, because until then, I don't think dieting is a healthy thing. Once my oldest (now 17) finished growing, she wanted to diet, but I told her, "You need to EAT HEALTHY, get enough protein every day, and eat food that is as close to its original source (like veggies and fruit instead of processed foods) as possible." She read a book that turned her off of meat, so she decided to go vegetarian (pescetarian, actually, as she still eats fish). I insisted that she track her protein and her vitamins, as it is VITAL that she keep herself healthy. She has been doing that on SparkPeople! And she is doing great.

    My other three kids are learning about portion control and are great about trying new recipes and foods. They are good sports. I think when they stop growing, they will already have healthier ways of eating than my oldest did. I just hope that my husband and I will continue to Walk the Talk and be good examples for our kids! - 2/12/2009   11:00:10 AM

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