The problem with US is many fold, food and health-wise. Food: yes, we have an incredible variety! It's amazing. When I came here from the former USSR, my family would go to the supermarket just to gawk at all the full shelves (the shelves in the USSR supermarkets were mostly empty at the time). However, we have places called "food deserts" - inner city poor neighborhoods where it is hard to find a truly nutritious option, like vegetables and fruit. There are generations of people conditioned to live on fast food and junk food, and those who consider pizza a well-balanced meal, and sugary cereal the healthiest breakfast in the morning. The food manufacturers that produce all the greasy, sugary and unhealthy deliciousness are so good at what they do that we are addicted to those foods, sometimes literally. It is worse then drugs: it's everywhere you go, it's in your face, all your friends are pushing it, there is no escape.
Fitness: Because the US is a big country, it is very spread out. Some of the newest neighborhoods don't have sidewalks, so going for a walk or a bike ride may be more complicated then just getting out the door. The proliferation of video games and other electronic entertainment induces us to spend time indoors, often sitting or reclining, instead of any active forms of socializing. If your job is largely sedentary, if you cannot get a workout outside or in your house, you may want to join a gym or fitness center, however, those are expensive, time consuming and intimidating. Also, we as a culture are conditioned to expect instant gratification. Commercials for various 'miracle weight loss cures' reinforce that. So when people do attempt to get healthy and get in shape, they are discouraged when they do not see instant results.
I love my country. I consider it the best country in the world. However, we have cultural issues that are causing us significant problems, like obesity, crime, dependency, etc. We need to change our culture, from the inside. We need to vote with our wallets and forks, to encourage healthy food choices in the restaurants, supermarkets and at homes, to spread the Spark, to get people motivated to better themselves through exercise. It is up to each and every one of us to spread the Spark to our friends and relatives, to teach our kids how to be healthy, to encourage positive change around us.
You say you live in Malaysia - wow, how cool is that. Enjoy and appreciate the fresh fruit and veggies, the colorful bazaars and the rich local traditions. Maybe one day you can come visit the US and enjoy the burgers and junk food. Thank you for a thought-provoking post.
| current weight: 161.8