Are You Willing to Take the Pledge to Be Healthy Today?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I am a health fanatic. I read everything I can get my hands on when it comes to healthy living--everything from nutrition to exercise to the role sleep plays in our lifestyle and on and on. If it has healthy and living in the title I read it.

Recently I came across three very staggering and disturbing statistics about the health and well-being of Americans, especially our children. If you feel as passionate as I did when I read the research, I think one by one we can slowly turn this trend of obesity and unhealthy living around. It isn’t going to be easy, but it must be done, if we want to live healthy and productive lives and more importantly if we want the next generation to do the same.

The latest research shows that by the year 2030, 86% of Americans will be classified as overweight or obese! That is only 21 years away!!! And if this trend does not change, ALL Americans will be overweight or obese by 2048!

To think that this trend is going to change without our commitment and hard work, we must think again. This trend has yet to see a decline, since records have been kept. This must change, NOW! Not only does obesity endanger our health but according to Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, lead author of the study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, expect for health care cost to double with each passing decade.

The second stat that shocked me was the one stating that by the end of next year (2010)-a little less than 2 years away-cancer will surpass heart disease as the number one killer of individuals. This is a very frightening statistic since many of the risks for causing cancers can be related to our lifestyles. Yes, some cancers do carry a genetic predisposition, but many first generation cancer diagnoses may be related to a lifestyle of poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep and our inability to deal with stress.

Finally, and possibly the most unfortunate stat is the one claiming that this generation of children will be the first generation in over 200 years who will not experience the life expectancy of their parents or grandparents. In the wonderful world of science and technology, there is still no substitute for healthy nutrition and exercise. This is something we MUST teach our children by living as an example. You deserve to be healthy and so do your children!

With diseases such as Type II diabetes and heart disease reaching epidemic proportions we are slowly imploding as a nation. A few years ago while I was attending a cardiology seminar, the cardiologist leading the discussion stated that those individuals who have been diagnosed with Type II diabetes are put in the same high risk category as those HAVING ALREADY suffered from a heart attack. Talk about a wake-up call. Here we have our children being diagnosed at an alarming rate with Type II diabetes, which was very rare prior to 1980, now facing many long term health effects at such a young age if we do not change TODAY!

A running friend of mind who works as a transplant coordinator for some of the largest hospitals in the south mentioned to me that pediatric hepatologists (liver specialist) are quite alarmed at the rate of fatty liver disease in young children. Having elevated liver enzymes for years on end can lead to non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, as well as end stage liver disease. Unfortunately, we cannot survive without our livers; therefore many of the patients, if we do not reverse this trend, will require liver transplants--this in a world where organs are few and far between for transplantation as is. Once again telling us all of the urgency to change the direction we and our children are heading in.

I hope you don’t view this blog as nothing but doom and gloom. At least for me, education is fundamental to changing our views. The research is out there. And while it’s easy to turn a blind’s eye to such reports, eventually we will all be paying the price in increased health care cost or losing our children well before their prime. This is a reality, even for health care providers who are urging their patients to change but do not have the means for doing so.

So what can we do? We must change our lifestyles and be role models for our children and families. They say one person can’t make a change--I don’t believe it.
This is where SparkPeople is such a valuable tool. And for your kids, I highly recommend the SparkTeens site.

If we all take the pledge that we are not going to allow unhealthy habits to control our lives then WE CAN and WE WILL make the change. Are you willing to take the pledge to be healthy-not just to be thin or a certain number on the scale, but truly embrace the world of healthy living?

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I pledge to be healthy and to lower my blood sugar Report
I pledge to try every day to fuel my body with healthy foods and be active and exercise. Report
I pledge to be healthy and to lower my blood sugar and cholestrol Report
Of course I'm in!! I like to think that each of us can play a small but significant part in improving our nation's health picture. Report
Yes! I pledge to live a healthy lifestyle - along with all the others, I thank SP for helping me along the way. Report
count me in ! i joined sparkpeople on 7-3-2011 at 250 pounds my goal is 125 and i lost 1 pound ! my motto is never give up and there is no such word as i can't !!!!! Report
I love this blog. TRULY what I need to remind myself everyday.. thank you! Report
Yes! I took the pledge!
I am trying to avoid being another statistic in my family tree of Heart disease,Type 2 Diabeties and cancer. My dad is curently recovering from open heart surgery he needed this past January. Having many issues because of Diabetes and years of abuse to his health he is having a very hard time recovering and will take much longer to heal. I would wish everyone to avoid going through this at any cost. I will not let this happen to me! Report
I took the pledge! And although I do not have children YET I look forward to affecting my family in powerful ways so that we all can be a little healthier everyday! Report
I took the pledge! Not when I actually joined Sparks, but when I commited to the SparksPeople life style. Report
I took the pledge when I joined SparkPeople. I have changed many unhealthy decision and will continue to do so. Report
Latecomer here, but me, too, Nancy. I once weighed 220 and am down to 155. Four months ago, my triglycerides were 330 (top of the range is 150), and my internist was not happy! Just got my bloodwork back. Total cholesterol's 134 (it was 210), and my triglycerides are 82. So there's a whole lot we can do by eating right... and I'm anxious to see how the numbers go when I lose these last 20 pounds. Report
i'm in too - this for me was a great reminder its not all about weight loss and I want my kids to be healthy and enjoy a full life. Report
Yes - I take this pledge to be healthy and not just focus on the scale. I am learning that it is all about the journey!! Report
I will take the pledge, even if I stray off track sometimes, I will continue to commit myself to being a healthier and thereby happier person :) Good luck to all! Report
I plead the wait...I pledge to get fit..stay healthy and active...add me as well Report
I, GolfChick2-0, better known as Gretchen, take the Pledge to be Healthy and not allow un-healthy habits to re-take my life. I CAN!! Report
I am taking the plege!
Great blog!!

~JoAnn Report
I will take the pledge to live a healthier lifestyle and spread it to family and friends whenever possible. Report
I take the pledge, and am planning to challenge my spark teams to take it, too. Report
I take the pledge too Report
I pledge today to living a healthy lifestyle and eating healthy Report
I pledge to continue living a healthy lifestyle; eating, exercising and making myself more aware. Report
I pledge today to keep living a healthy lifestyle. These figures are alarming and we should all take a heed and take action to improve our standard of living toward a more healthy being. Report
I pledge today and for the rest of my life that I will adapt to a healthy living style. I am worth it! Report
I pledge today, WOW the numbers are surprising and so sad! Thank you, that is definetly a motivator! Report
I pledge to live a healthy lifestyle! I pledge to eat healthy foods and make exercise a priority in my life. I hope to be an example to my loved ones as well! Report
I pledge too! This is message is awesome and worth sharing to others and I will! Report
I made this pledge when I joined SP for the reasons listed in this article. There is an unfortunate history of heart disease and cancer in my family. I want to live a healthy life as I get older. Report
Yes Report
I'll pledge to continue living a more healthful lifestyle & setting a good example for my grandchildren. My husband & daughter have joined SP also. Report
I pledge to continue living a healthy lifestyle. Exercise and healthy diet are the focus of my life. Report
Taking the pledge! Here's to being healthy! Report
Yes!!! Report
I also take the pledge! Report
I pledge to continue eating healthy and excersizing regularly. I pledge to deal with stress in a productive way. Report
I make the pledge to continue living a healthy lifestyle. Report
I pledge to make healthier choices, and am commited to incorporating and maintaining consistent physcial activity into my life, to track my intake and share with others on sparkpeople to ensure ongoing success. Report
Nice post Report
I pledge to: eat healthier, work out regularly, try to get more sleep (this one may be out of my control). I also pledge to spend more time with family and friends, sharing, caring, giving, loving. Report
I took the pledge six years ago when I quit smoking and changed my diet.
Everyday I renew this pledge every day in the choices I make - whether its sleeping, eating, stress, sitting or exercising,ect. Report
Thank goodness I've found this site and gotten myself on track, because I refuse to let my future children have lower life expectancies than me. I'm doing this for them, even if they don't exist yet ;) Thanks for these statistics, it reaffirms exactly why I am here! Report
Wow, these statistics are really eye-opening. But I am seeing it all around me. When I think back to when I was a chubby little girl in the 1970's, most people in my neighborhood and at school were thin. I was in the minority. Now I look around me and there are heavy, overweight, and extremely obese people everywhere I go. It is sad what we have done to ourselves as a nation.

I pledge to live a healthy lifestyle and also to take my children in that direction. I am trying to become more physically active in my everyday life. Instead of just getting the bare minimum of exercise every day, I want to have my family lead a more active lifestyle. I will pledge to get more involved in physical activities with my kids, and to make sure they are making healthy food choices as well. None of my kids are overweight (I would never have them go through what I went through as an overweight child!). But I do let them indulge in too much junk food. I need to work on more healthy choices available in the pantry. Report
wow what powerful statistics. Nancy thanks for putting this out there - hopefully it will serve to kick some butts into action. it saddens me to see so many children out there who are overweight. I pledge to be the best role model for my child and to those around me that I love.
Wow to all be obese, we would be like the people on the ship on Wall-E. I pledge never to drink all my meals from a cup while riding around on a flying chair. In all seriousness, this is a wake up call, and I want to stay and be healthy and promote a healthy lifestyle to all my friends and family!! Report
I pledge first of all to but God first in everything I do, to have a healthy week, to loose 2lbs. this week! Not just this week, 4Life! Report
I take the pledge!

In solidarity,
Maha Report
I pledge to work harder to be healthy and fit. Go SparkPeople!!! Report
I pledge to live a healthy lifestyle and lead by example. I don't want my son to deal with the fat jokes and stares growing up like I did. He will NOT be the fat kid!!!! Report
I don't agree with the above statment that ALL Americans will be obese by the year 2048. That's like saying, "I've told you a million times!" I think the numbers will be high, but not at 100%.

With that said-- You can count my husband and I in!! Report
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