Obesity in America

Obesity in America … It’s a Heavy Problem

Obesity in America is now, and has been for a very long time, a double-edged sword. Americans have long enjoyed one of the highest affluence standards of living in the world. Virtually every citizen, even those who are poor or less fortunate than the majority of Americans, are able to enjoy a prosperous lifestyle by global standards.

That means that people of very modest means still have one or more televisions in their homes, perhaps a car, maybe two cars … and ample food on the table. Compared to “poor people” in other parts of the world, these Americans are, at worst – middle class.

But, this affluence in America has a down side, too. People, especially those who are less fortunate financially, tend to live unhealthy lifestyles. Their lack of education about “living healthy” has led them to frequently make fast food a dietary staple on the mistaken belief that a take-out hamburger and fries is less costly than a good and nutritious home-cooked meal. It is a fallacy, but too many people believe it is true.

The result: millions and millions of Americans eat improperly (foods with lots and lots of “empty” calories) and they become overweight … obese, even, sometimes, grossly fat. Obesity in America has been a problem for years.

How long? President Kennedy knew that the problem of obesity in America was spiraling out of control way back in the 1960s. By then, young boys and girls had already begun to show the symptoms of obesity as a result of poor eating habits and the unwillingness to engage in physical activities – sports. President Kennedy tried to rally the nation to become more fit and healthy. And he achieved moderate success.

The success, however, was not long-lasting. Within a generation, Americans of all ages, young and old, were again giving in to the temptations of fast food, lots of calories, over-eating … and the inevitable result of obesity. The problem of obesity in America continues today, of course. In fact, at present, about one-third of all adults are classified as being obese … one-third. That’s a staggering number.

Many infants are born into families that are not health-conscious. They, too, become obese. And in the case of infants, obesity can hamper and/or slow their ability to crawl and then to walk.

Obesity in America is also costly for all. More than 300,000 people die annually as a result of illnesses directly related to obesity. And the cost of health care for obesity and other obesity-related health issues is staggering … about one hundred billion dollars a year.

There are lots of programs available to help obese people dramatically change their unhealthy lifestyles … lots of surgical procedures, as well. But, these programs and procedures cannot help obesity in America unless people are willing to take help.

It’s about mind over matter for people whose weight makes life a daily risk. And yet, for too many, the discipline required to change is simply not there.  Hopefully, many of these overweight people will someday find the inner strength they need to change and improve their lives forever.