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    COACH_NICOLE   71,929
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Obesity Epidemic Continues to Grow: Who's to Blame?


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I read this news story in the Health News section of SparkPeople this morning. One-quarter of Americans report being obese—that's not just overweight (which would push the number even higher). It's obese (a BMI of 30 of higher, which equates to a 5'9" adult weighing 203 pounds or more).

When I was in college studying fitness and health education, I remember learning about the government's plan to curb obesity and improve health: It's called Healthy People 2010. It's full of lofty goals, like not just reduce but eliminate health disparities, reduce overweight and obesity, increase physical activity and fitness, and many more. Is it just me, or does it seem like we've been going the other direction? Is it really nutrition education that we need? (Who doesn't know that fruits and vegetables are healthy and fast food isn't?) Is it really that we need to be told to exercise more? (Of course we know that.)

Now I don't think the government is to blame for the health and weight problems of Americans. But I do think that our society (and capitalism) plays a major role. Think about this:
  • Americans work more hours, more days per year, and take less vacation days than comparable countries. If you worked fewer hours each day and had more free time, wouldn’t you also have the time to hit the gym, walk or bike to work (since you wouldn't be in a rush) and cook a meal from scratch? Wouldn't you stress less and maybe turn to food to cope less often? And perhaps you would rely less on childcare, so you could better control what your children eat each day and how much they get outside and move?

  • With all the time we spend working and relying on the food industry to feed us, what was once common knowledge for our parents and grandparents (namely cooking, food preparation and storage, canning, baking bread, raising hens, and backyard gardening) have become lost arts. We don't have much of a choice but to rely on what is quick, easy and usually, nutritionally inferior.

  • The food industry makes billions, and they spend nearly as much advertising to tell us to eat all the time. We have portable processed snacks that fit in the cup holders of our cars; gas stations make more money selling the junk food in their shops than selling gas (don't even get me started on the Big Gulp); commercials promote "Snacker" fast food sandwiches and the "fourth meal" (thanks Taco Bell); and we've been conditioned to think that if a meal isn't as big as our head, it isn't a good value or that we can't watch a movie without a 1,500-calorie tub of popcorn smothered in trans fat "butter" flavoring.

  • On top of that, food manufacturers do not have your interests in mind. They are in business to turn a profit. Keep in mind that when they keep their costs down (i.e. cheap ingredients, which are arguably unhealthier), they profit more. And we spend more of the dollars we save at the store on health care.

  • We eat more meat than ever, and the meat we eat comes from factory farms, where animals are raised in confinement (not grazing as they would in nature) and eating a diet of soy and corn, not grass. This means cheaper meat, so we eat more. But this meat is also not as good for us, and is higher in artery-clogging fats. (Did you know that grass-fed cattle that is raised without confinement is leaner, but also contains healthy Omega-3's found in fish?) Our grandparents ate meat sparingly and as a side dish—because raised in nature, meat takes longer to produce and costs more. So food manufacturers have rushed the process of fattening animals to get them to market faster (so their profits increase), making it cheaper for consumers. But at what cost?

  • And everything (give or take a few big cities) revolves around the automobile, which runs on oil. We are so dependent on cars, it took gas prices rising over $4 a gallon for some people to start driving less. Many other industrialized nations rely most heavily on public transit, walking and biking. They live closer to where they work (because they have to), and they use their bodies more than they use their cars (if they even have one). If driving hadn't been made so easy, so cheap (up until recently), and so safe (roads go everywhere but sidewalks don't), we would all exercise more because we'd have no choice.


This isn't meant to make you feel helpless or to place the blame on the government, McDonald's or anyone else. Rather, I hope it spurs you to action. Because really, we can only blame ourselves. America is facing "epidemic" problems with health and weight because we all chose to build it this way. We can't change the way our society is structured overnight, but with every choice that you do make, you are making a difference in the world, in your own health, and in the health and well-being of the people around you. Consumers affect demand and when demand for something goes high enough, prices go down. So let's make a shift in what's cheap and what's not.

Think of yourself as casting a vote to either change the world or keep it the same. The vote happens every time you hit the drive-thru, park your car and walk, sit down for a meal, order at a restaurant, visit a farmer's market, choose conventional or organic produce, plant a seed in your backyard, or make your own meal at home.

I don't know about you, but I vote for change. I vote to spend more (when I can) on organic food. I vote to spend more time cooking and less time dining out. I vote to pack my lunch every single day even though it means I have to wake up earlier. And I vote to say no to salmonella peppers, tomatoes and everything in between by growing my own in my backyard (and at a fraction of the cost). Everyone can't do everything, but everyone can do something. Are you with me?

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TOPS2KOPSVILLE 10/17/2011 1:36PM

    Congradulations emoticon emoticon

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ABSIE107 11/10/2010 8:33AM

    Thank you!!! We need more people voting for change with their decisions about food and lifestyle! And yeah I kind of strongly dislike capitalism for many of those reasons (and others)...

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SAUMON 6/16/2010 3:13PM

    There is a growing movement for "Meatless Mondays", a campaign that non-vegetarians can take part in quite painlessly. As the name indicates, it just means taking a day off from meat consumption, doesn't have to be Monday :-) Given the North American poplation, if everyone did this, it would start to curb the environmental destruction caused by mass-producers of meat. You know, a little less of the Amazon razed for cattle, a little less factory farming... with the bonus of getting to try a vegetarian dish once a week! It is not too hard to sell this idea to friends and colleagues, I encourage you to try

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EMILY-THE-GOOD 4/15/2010 6:13AM

    I'm with you. And am trying to lead by example.

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TOFUTONI 3/10/2010 9:06PM

    Hi I just joined. One of my goals is to stop supporrting the Fast Food Industry and start cooking healthy.

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SASSY_QUEEN 1/31/2010 7:20AM

    I recently pulled some data on all 4th graders in the school system I work for ...the PE tachers are doing a study on BMI, fitness. I was shocked to find out that 34% of all children in our 4th grade (of 365 total students) were overweight......17% of them were obese. We had many students at that age over 100 lbs. I couldn't help but think......we must be able to do more at school as that is where the bulk of their day is. We need to work more physical activity into their day.....and serve more nutritious meals at school

I am also turning in a proposal to the Superintendent (who polled all staff requesting this) to develop a summer school program that revolves around health and fitness. It could be fun, educational and meet the needs of the students on multiple levels.....so....let's see if we can do it.....

Comment edited on: 1/31/2010 7:21:43 AM

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CCFIRECRACKER 11/1/2009 5:15PM

    yes, yes & YES!!! i am with you!!! i vote for change emoticon

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WISEWIFE 9/24/2009 3:30PM

    I pack my own lunch every day, can't afford to eat out. But I can't grow my own, I live in an apartment. And while I'd love to ride my bike to & from work, I can't. The roads are too dangerous & there's no place to shower after the 8 mile ride ( & I'd definitely need that shower!). Grass fed beef is worth the extra cost for the health benefits, and I buy local & organic when I can. "Cheap" food that makes me sick is no bargain.
Hugs,
WW

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7REBACCA7 3/6/2009 11:38AM

    YES ( push the junk at us hoping we buy more get obese and spend another fortune on false cures for our obesity and feed us medication to get slim or better yet under go the knife surgery For money we suffer and they stuff their pockets emoticon

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WHEELOFFORTUNE 1/18/2009 2:15AM

  "Specially since the beans are dry and I gotta soak them overnight!"

*************>
You can skip this step if you have a pressure cooker. I cook small white beans in less than an hour...without soaking them the previous night. Just rinse and toss in the pot. Cook on low to med-low. (I have a Tefal pressure cooker and I put it on the meat setting. In other words, maximum pressure.)

You may have to experiment a bit with the time and the pressure level. However, it works.

The only beans I soak overnight are garbanzos...but I still put them in the pressure cooker the next day.

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AQUAGIRL08 8/16/2008 11:50AM

    What a great article! We've started eating more at home and using eating out for special occasions. Sometimes when I read the calorie counts on some restaurant food it makes me sick because of the fat and extra calories. I can control what goes into my mouth easier and how nutritious the food is when I'm doing the cooking! I also agree that we are raising a society of work-a-holics and we need to cut back to reasonable levels. It seems that the more I work ,the more the employer expects me to work until all I'm doing is working. Everyone seems to expect instant results on everything - work longer, faster and harder so nobody has to wait for anything. It's what I've started to call "The Fast Foot Mentality". When I substitued work for exercise, I gained all of my weight! Now it's time to take back control of the situation. I'm happy to have it begin with me.

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STRIVE4BALANCE 8/10/2008 9:27PM

    I found an OLD book that tells you how to put food away called, "The Foxfire Book". Really excellent and I got it at a place in Baltimore called "The Book Thing" which recieves donations of books and then every weekend opens their doors for ANYONE to come in and take as many as they want. I shop at a farmer's market and cook all my food from scratch. I found a book in the Library to help you learn how to live in the city AND support a healthier world. It's called "Grub". Plus I buy all my food supplies in bulk and store them in glass jars that obtained from Freecycle.org

Has anyone else struggled with recipes that include raw ingredients rather than "cans or boxes" of various ingredients. Trying to figure out how many cups of beans a can of beans is has been a struggle. Specially since the beans are dry and I gotta soak them overnight!


Thanx for the entry its nice to see I am not the only one doing all these things to reduce my imprint on the planet. emoticon

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FANNI08 8/9/2008 2:43PM

    This is a subject that's been on my mind recently. We do buy most fruit and vegetables at a Farmer's market, but I'm considering putting in a garden to add some variety. I, too, grew up in a rural area where gardening was a fact of life, but became "citified" as an adult. Maybe it's time to return to my roots!

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LATEBIRD 8/3/2008 8:33PM

    What a great blog entry!
Where I live I can walk to many places, but I usually don't because it is down a 4 lane road with no sidewalks. It just isn't safe. I so wish this was not the case.

But I do vote for change by cooking from scratch at home and dinning out very little, if at all. We have a large enough yard for a garden but not a lot of sun. We are trimming some trees this year so we can grow more veggies next year. We also planted tomatoes in a container this year, we will do more of this next year as well.

I hope others are doing something toward change, even if it is only something small.


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RUSSELLORAMA 7/30/2008 12:19PM

    I'm with you! My city is the poster-child for "urban sprawl." Mass transit (or the lack thereof) is the subject for intense debate, and I would love to have more sidewalks and biking paths. It's amazing how many neighborhoods I drive through where the sidewalks just end mysteriously or there are none at all!

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DRAGONFLY02 7/28/2008 8:41PM

    You have a lot of great points in this article. I grew up in farm country and now live outside a city. I do have a large enough yard where I grow my own veggies. People I work with think it's weird when I mention growing my own food. Where I grew up, people thought you were weird for not having a garden. I miss going for walks all the time and picking berries for free. Here, I have to go to the store (which I do walk to, it's 2 blocks away....people tell me thats too far to walk for them!) to get berries and pay way too much.

I wish I could live closer to work too so I could walk or ride a bike, but even though I make good money, the cost of living near work is way to high! And even if I did live near there, it's quite dangerous trying to bike/walk to work as I would have to cross a couple major highways, no matter what. That's the bad part of my job/career...it's limited to working near a city. Same for my husband and since we both love what we do, changing careers to move is not an option.

My biggest gripe is when I get behind a school bus that has to stop at 6 driveways in a row for a distance of about 100 feet since every kid has to be picked up at their own home and not at a bus stop or their neighbor's driveway. Whatever happened to walking somewhere to catch the bus? And even at housing developments, every kid is waiting at the entrance of the development in their parents SUV, which the motor is running for either the AC or the heat where the kid is sitting inside. They get to wait in the SUV until the bus shows up to walk the 10 or so feet from the SUV to the bus. Gee, when I was in elementary school, we didn't have a bus (this was less than 20 years ago), so I walked 1.5 miles to school every day and I walked 4 blocks to a bus stop in high school. Nobody walked to my high school mainly because there were only about 4 farms in a 2 mile radius from school, so no one really lived close enough to walk, but most of us spent our evenings outside bike riding, playing sports or doing farm chores. There were hardly any overweight kids in my school. I look at these kids now and am shocked at how bad it is getting!

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SHIRLEYBOB1 7/28/2008 12:42PM

  You are so right. My 9 yr old ordered a Chicken Artichoke Panini at Panera's the other day. I thought that sounded healthy. I checked out the nutritional info later that day and found out it was over 800+ calories. He also got a blueberry scone for desert. Again, 400+ calories. It is impossible to avoid eating out all the time, but most restaurants do have the nutritional info on-line. Arm yourself with this information so you and your family can make good decisions. Now that he knows the scoop on what he eats my son is making wiser choices (next trip Caesar salad and water).

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VEGFAERY 7/27/2008 10:27AM

    Excellent entry, I could have written it myself.

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FUNINFLIPFLOPS 7/27/2008 8:28AM

    IF there were more bike paths and sidewalks..I think I would walk or bike to work...

Your blog is soo true! emoticon

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SUNNY89 7/25/2008 3:29PM

    Very true. We have tried to grow some of our own veggies. I make my own jams. Your article reminds me to continue to look for more ways to be more responsible.

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CMARGELONY 7/25/2008 11:54AM

    My Husband and I were just discussing how canning and gardening like our grandparents used is such a lost art and now are trying to go back to old ways in our household to better suit our family. Thank you for the information it nice to see that someone else in the world sees the cold hard facts. We have become a fast paced and throw away society! It is time we all wake up and start heading back to the old days before it is to late! Thanks so much emoticon

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NVMICHA 7/25/2008 10:22AM

  I fully agree...it seems like the main focus of so many people's day is food, food, soda, food, soda. It would be nice to re-aim our focus on health, health, and true wellness

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TINATC26 7/25/2008 9:30AM

    I am with you, Coach Nicole... I always say, about whatever the topic..we may not be able to change the world, but we certainly can change our little corner of it. Thank you for putting it so eloquently for all of us!!

Tina

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GLOPANI 7/25/2008 1:02AM

  This is such a great reminder. Thank you for putting in words what I feel so convicted about. We have our own plot to raise our own vegetables, of which we do. We eat to much meat. I'm sick of buy meat. I just feel as if I don't cook meat it's not a meal. This is just my conviction. I'm blessed that my family will eat whatever I serve. I have to be more intentional in changing this. Again thank you.

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LOYOLACAT 7/25/2008 12:13AM

    I remember as a child growing up in the 50's, very few over-weight kids existed...No fast food, no television, no video games, and the list goes on! We're gullible consumers! Blinded by capitalism, commercialism, materialism, workaholism etc.... We're bombarded every minute of the day by commercials selling us everything under the sun! As you said, what ever happened to common sense? We're all to blame in a sense... but there's time to change the cycle of destruction meted out by advertisers. ( we do have choices.) Someone has to protect the children!!! People have got to wake up and start being accountable for their children's health.

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MIZBEE1 7/24/2008 7:41PM

  I agree 150 percent Let's get busy change is good emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LUDSYRED 7/24/2008 5:54PM

  wonderful info, but the store's and my family sure make it difficult to go that way. I'm working on it though. thanks

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ZOROBABEL 7/24/2008 3:26PM

    I live in france, in a big city, and it's true that people are cycling , or walking a lot.
my husband and i have no car because the buses and subways are enough and most cities are being rebuilt in order to avoid cars. they are putting cheap bike renting everywhere

As for cooking, even if people tend to buy more and more prepared food, they still cook a lot , especially in the evening.

we work 35h a week, so for most people 8 hours everyday with big lunch break is common.

markets are held two or three times a week with producers , so it is easy to buy cheap vegetables and fruits according with the right season.

still, a lot of people choose to do it the easy way ,and eat lots of junk food.


Comment edited on: 7/24/2008 3:28:49 PM

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DANICA68 7/24/2008 12:24PM

    great info. i am with you. i am trying to buy more organic. emoticon

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BONLOR 7/24/2008 11:18AM

    Great reading, and definitely the truth! I normally work over 10 hours a day as a retail manager and find it really difficult to squeeze in 8 hours of sleep, exercises, cardio, and healthy meals. Not to mention taking care of a family, house and pets. There is just not enough hours in the day to do everything that we have to do and unfortunately or health (and that of our families) is what suffers because of it.

I lived in Germany for several years while in the military and didn't need a car to get around. We either walked or used public transportation which was awesome. You could go just about anywhere you wanted by foot, bus or train. Unfortunately, most smaller US cities do not have very good public transportation and many of us live way too far away from work to opt for any transportation other than our own vehicles. Even the cost of gas isn't going to stop us from driving to work.

As a kid, I rode a bicycle everywhere I went no matter how far it was (there was no other option) and the American public as a whole was much slimmer and trimmer. I still have sewing patterns from back then and the average size was much smaller in measurements than today. Obviously the mode of transportation and the foods we ate made a difference. Too bad we can't get those days back.

Bonnie
emoticon

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JEANNIC 7/24/2008 10:22AM

    tHAT WAS THE BEST BLOG I THINK I HAVE EVER READ. GREAT POINTS. I TOO HAVE STARTED TO DRIVE LESS I TRY TO GO TO THE STORE WHEN AT WORK RATHER THEN GO HOME AND GO BACK OUT. I AM GLAD I READ YOUR BLOG THANKS

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SCHWINNER! 7/24/2008 8:09AM

    emoticon

Awesome blog, Nicole!! I've been trying to bike to work more, I do pack my lunch every day, and I have a few container veggies (hopefully next year we'll do a whole garden). I'm right there with you and agreeing on all points. We've had enough education - what we need is a program to actually get people to take action now!!!

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JEAN63 7/24/2008 5:09AM

  I really think the nutritional "value" of food has diminished over the past years. I recently heard that to get the nutrition we used to get by eating one apple 40 years ago, we would have to eat 3 apples today.

I also think there will be a growing trend towards urbanization which hopefully will make it much easier and less time consuming for people to shop, work ect.

I for one wasted way too much of my life commuting to work. I now walk to work and love it.

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SHOSH770 7/23/2008 10:36PM

    Thanks for ending on a positive note. It's up to us to make these very important changes. Some of them I'm already doing (we don't have a car so I either stay indoors or walk; it helps I'm in NYC) and some are currently impossible (a backyard garden does not grow in Brooklyn, at least not in my current abode, but it's a great idea!) but it's always good to have a goal.

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SCENTEDLILACS 7/23/2008 9:10PM

    I agree that Americans are too reliant on their cars. Most of my friends can hardly believe that I WALK to the grocery store (which is a few blocks away) and actually CARRY back my groceries when it is only a few bags. How did the American people get so lazy? We spend so much time working!

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LOSER482 7/23/2008 6:29PM

  I agree with you and it's said because the next generation is coming and there is fast foods coming up left and right. I have a teenager and I'm working with him now to cut down on those bad foods because diabetes runs in our family and mothers pass it down to their sons. So that is why I am trying hard to start this program and help my son. Thank you for sharing this info. emoticon

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SKISINCO 7/23/2008 5:54PM

    Great blog coach, I'm with ya! =)

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QUAIL75 7/23/2008 5:28PM

    I am absolutely with you! It's horrible that there are people dying from lack of food in the world and there are also people dying from too much food in North America.

I also think we have to change our relationship with food. I've had to work really hard to change mine and it's no longer the first thing I turn to when I'm stressed or tired but I know so many people who do.

Everyone has to read Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food"!

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CARLI_MAE 7/23/2008 5:16PM

    I'm with you, Coach! I just came from reading Jen's blog (lol), and since I joined Sparks, I've gone back to my It. cultural roots in terms of food prep, with some changes based on modern times. I've known for a long time that one burns less gasoline making multiple stops all together, rather than jumping in the car every time you need something. So I've got my auto usage down to a couple of trips a month for groceries and other things. I've learned to buy and cook in bulk, & from scratch, making things I can freeze into portions. Keeping the freezer full also causes it to operate more efficiently and use less electricity. Haven't eaten out, except at friends' or relatives' homes, since I joined Sparks either, as I have no control over what restaurants and fast food drive thrus put in their meals.

Obesity - we do it to ourselves. Time for us to all stand up and be accountable. The surest way to change the commercial aspects of this phenomenon is to start saying "No!" "No, I'm not buying Wendy's, McDonald's, BK. etc., until you all start offering me REAL food!" "No, I'm not working 16 hr days and weekends only to retire and find that I'm about to die from some degenerative disease! I am choosing life!"

As for the U.S. gov't, it seems they/we have priorities all out of whack. As already pointed out, we seem to be attempting to regulate and legislate some things that simply cannot be regulated, and ignoring those social needs that gov't IS very capable of doing! We seem to have some distorted notion that throwing money at more consumer education, or education in general, or any problem is going to fix it. If that were the case, why, after all these years since JFK initiated the first educational and fitness programs are things not better, but worse? Ugh -- getting hot under the collar just thinking about it ... Keep on ROCKIN' Coach! We need young people like you to keep on keepin' on ... us old hippies are losin' our steam emoticon

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PATDELDON2001 7/23/2008 4:03PM

  I agree, however, because we are sooo spread out, in many places you need a car to go to work or to even go to the store. If you take a bicycle you can't carry your groceries. I work in another city and have drive on the freeway to get there...(no back roads...have to go over water) I would love to take some other mode of transportation, however the public transit won't get me to work on time....Many things are a problem...we could go on ad infinitum. emoticon

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KITTEHMAMA1 7/23/2008 3:21PM

    In theory, I agree with your ideas, but it's hard for me to put them to practical use. My job pays so little that I need all the hours I can get, so I can't afford a lot of the healthier organic or locally grown food products. I live in a small apartment with a kitty that eats all my plants, so growning my garden is out of the picture. This makes me really sad, because having at least a small garden was a part of growing up in WV. I miss home grown tomatoes and peppers in particular. Because the fast food company I work for gives us one free meal per shift we work but relatively little money, I'm forced to rely on what it makes for 3 to 5 meals a week. I eat out relatively inoften and buy only used furniture and clothes so that I have a little more money to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables, but it's hard to fit healthy choices into the budget.

As for driving less/walking more, in order to find a safe apartment with affordable rent, I had to move just outside of reasonable biking range from both my job and the grocery store. I drive my car only when I have to, but it still adds up. The only public transportation that exists where I live is from the college campus to a few specific locations around town and is not a feasible option for me. There is NO public transportation and relatively few stores where I grew up in rural WV, so depending on what you need, you may have to drive anywhere from 10 to 50 miles down windy, country roads just to buy a few staple items. Public transportation is great if you live in an area where it is actually possible.

Add to all this the fact that I pay out the nose for health insurance that covers very little, and you can see my predicament. I pray that I don't get sick and that my car doesn't break down and that food prices will begin to even out. If the government would increase minimum wage a little more or offer me some decent health insurance, then I could devote more time, effort, and money to casting my 'vote.' Until then, I have to make do with what I have and look forward to the day when I can make a bigger difference.

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SHELLPRO 7/23/2008 2:53PM

    It's not just the eating, but the stress of a lot of our jobs that contribute to obesisty- I know we haven't taken a vacation in years & my husband has to work 2 jobs with todays econonmy!

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COLEMANSR 7/23/2008 1:52PM

    I hardly eat out. I love cooking at home, I know what I'm eating there. But no one made me it what I use to eat. I made the decision. But I do vote for a better system.

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JOY8030 7/23/2008 1:36PM

    This is fantastic! You could not be more right. I'm so sick of people not caring about their health. Very nicely said.

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RAVON27 7/23/2008 1:33PM

    I am with you. I ride my bike to work. My DH and I don't go out to eat much. I buy organic and go to the French Market for local produce. I would love to get rid of my electricity and go solar, but that is for another day when I buy my dream house. I drink only filtered tap water and time my showers. I will try and do more.

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DDOORN 7/23/2008 11:32AM

    This is an issue about which I feel SOOOO strongly! Hope folks don't mind, but I'm going to copy/paste a blog I wrote last year about this. A very strong source of motivation for me in my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle is (to borrow a wonderful phrase a friend once used) "Fighting Corporate Control of My Body!"

My blog: "One of my biggest motivators is fighting the "corporate ownership of my body" to borrow a friend's phrase. There are zillions of CEO's out there looking to turn over a dime at my expense. The mass-marketing of insanely unhealthy foods truly incenses me! Let's profit off of all these doofus consumers and THEN let's profit off of their MEDICAL TREATMENT! We've got a pill to take care of you! (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes management, etc) Ooops, side effects from that pill...? Here's another pill to take care of that! Ooops...surgery time? Step right this way...!

All the while profiting off of the uninformed public!

I have a burning desire not to give these corporations any more money that necessary and that starts and ends with what I put in my mouth. I rankle when at the supermarket I see shelves stretching off into the distance with a multitude of beverages in every color under the sun when ALL WE REALLY NEED IS WATER!

And the corporate world has already begun to capture major profits off of WATER! Get ready for air, people...clean air? Here you go, that'll be five dollars for five puffs!

How did we get started down this unhealthy path of eating such garbage?

Pay attention to your media...print, audio, video...! Garbage is EVERYWHERE! And touted as the coolest stuff around!

In Australia they had an epidemic of speed-related crashes and deaths. They decided to do something about it, so they assigned an advertising company the job of creating a campaign to persuade folks not to speed.

Very inventive folks, these advertising people!

They came up with an advertising campaign which took a page out of a Quentin Tarantino movie in which young sexy babes pull up in their car next to Kurt Russell's behemoth on four wheels. They crook their pinky finger at him and say: "Woooo...big engine, little winky!" and zoom off into the sunset.

So: billboards sprung up everywhere along the same line: Drive fast and prove how UN-sexy, UN-cool you are! Drive fast and show the world how insecure you are!

Same thing on the radio.

Same thing on TV.

Guess what?

It worked! Everybody slowed down!

So much for our "freedom of choice"...?

Don't you KNOW that the SAME type of success could be accomplished in persuading all of us about the benefits of healthy eating, healthy activity?

My RAGE centers around WHY ISN'T THIS HAPPENING!?!?

Sorry to grab the podium folks, but this is something that really makes me crazy AND something I use to motivate myself: I look at my healthy lifestyle as a means of FIGHTING CORPORATE CONTROL OF MY BODY!"

Don

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COACH_NICOLE 7/23/2008 11:16AM

    BASSLION-
Excellent points of course! I didn't mean to imply that the gov't is 100% off the hook. They could be doing more b/c what they're doing now obviously isn't working in a lot of ways.

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BASSLION 7/23/2008 11:14AM

    Hey hey Coach Nicole! I agree that a lot of what is going on in this country has to do with our values as a society - and I am really excited when I hear people talking about bettering themselves, spending more time with their familes, growing their own food, etc. So I am one hundred percent with you on these points. But I also think that our government could do a lot more. Being a crazy liberal, I strongly believe in universal health care. People need to have access to preventative medicine - AND medical professionals need to do more to educate the people who come to see them instead of passing out pills for everything in the world. Also - it is not a coincidence that the fattest Americans are the poorest, and I think the country could do a lot more to help poor families. If you are struggling to make it how are you going to buy good sneakers for your kids to run in and play basketball??

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NOGRAINSFORME 7/23/2008 11:12AM

    I am so with you!!!

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ALMA*GITANA 7/23/2008 11:12AM

    Thank you for this excellent blog and information. I am a true believer that we are our own worst enemy. It's easy to blame everything around us, but unless we take action in our own lives to make the proper changes, the vicious cycle will keep repeating itself.

We are in the driver seat of our life journey!! What can be more empowering than that??



emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/23/2008 11:10:17 AM

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