This article www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_artic
was an excellent introduction to the issue of where childhood obesity comes from. The summary answer appeared to be that obesity is catching, you get it from your parents. SparkPeople experts opined that parents are automatic role models for their kids and when they make poor choices in food selection, eating habits, and exercise their kids naturally mimic these behaviors, maybe for the rest of their lives. Sometimes obese kids pop up in a family where no one else is obese. Such examples aside, however, obese parents often seem to raise obese kids. I don't know the statistics. Maybe that is incorrect.
In any case, what grabs my attention is the pervasiveness of obesity. When we realize that something like two thirds of the adult population is "overweight" or obese, and we begin to believe that two thirds of the adult population is eating "wrong" or "poorly" or not getting enough of the "right" exercise, we are suggesting that a majority of folks have important basic ideas of living "wrong."
Is that reasonable? Is the population doomed? Can the majority actually be wrong? Perhaps yes. If the majority were once smokers, then the majority were doing something bad to their health. Other clear cut examples may exist. But we have to have eyes wide open when we suggest that most people routinely make eating and exercise choices that lead to poor health outcomes. And it would be nice to have some solid research to refer to when having such a discussion.
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