Obesity and overweight epidemic

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otseng
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Obesity and overweight epidemic

Post #1

Post by otseng »

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, two-third of all Americans over 20 are considered overweight. And one-third are considered obese. (Source: Prevalence and Trends in Obesity Among US Adults, 1999-2008)

And kids are not that healthy either. One-third are either overweight, obese or morbidly obese. Michelle Obama wants to cut child obesity from 20% to 5%.

And the problem also exists worldwide. The World Health Organization states:
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults overweight - at least 300 million of them clinically obese - and is a major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease and disability.
So, how can the overweight/obesity problem be addressed practically?

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Miles
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Post #2

Post by Miles »

That's a toughie. I suggest attacking the image. Making overweight such a onerous and repugnant condition that it becomes shameful. Of course there would always be those who go to the opposite extreme, but that too could be made just as undesirable. How to go about it? Perhaps beginning with public service announcements on TV.

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Post #3

Post by otseng »

One of the problems is the high consumption of sweets (soft drinks in particular). And a significant amount of processed foods are sweetened (cereal, sauces, bread, juice, chips, etc). So, how can sweets be cut down?

One of the culprits is the rise in corn syrup. And this is because it is relatively cheap.
HFCS is somewhat cheaper in the United States as a result of a combination of corn subsidies and sugar tariffs/quotas.[18] Since the mid 1990s, the United States federal government has subsidized corn growers by $40 billion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-fructose_corn_syrup

So, one thing that can be done is to simply stop corn subsidies. It'll save $40 billion a year. It'll cause the corn market to return to free market principles. It'll bring the cost of corn syrup to true market prices, so it'll increase the cost of sweetened products. Which hopefully will reduce demand (and consumption) of sweetened products.

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Post #4

Post by McCulloch »

One problem is that consumers expect cheap food. You get what you pay for. Spend more on high quality food and you will not become as overweight.

Another problem is lack of education. It is appalling to me just how little the average North American knows about nutrition or just how out-of-date what many people think that they know is.
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
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otseng
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Post #5

Post by otseng »

McCulloch wrote:One problem is that consumers expect cheap food. You get what you pay for. Spend more on high quality food and you will not become as overweight.
And people should also eat less. So, the food budget might not change much by eating less and buying healthier food.

One story. Our family regularly goes to Picadilly cafeteria. On Saturdays, a kids meal is $1. The daily special is $5. So, you can feed a family of 5 plus tip for less than $20 and get decent healthy food. But, whenever we go, the place is practically deserted. So, even when food is cheap and healthy, people are not interested in it.

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Post #6

Post by McCulloch »

And people should take time to prepare and eat food. Fast food is killing us.

Go to the local farmers' market and buy organically grown vegetables, free range fowl raised without added hormones. Prepare them at home and serve with a locally produced micro-brewery ale or domestic wine. You will not become obese.

Grab a fat laden, over caloried meal at the local food court with extra sodium, low fiber, trans and saturated fats. Wash it down with carbonated and caffeinated artificially flavored sugar water. You will become obese and die sooner.
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
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Post #7

Post by otseng »

There needs to be more bicycle paths and sidewalks. When I visited the Netherlands many years ago, I was impressed with their bicycle system. I think it'd be nice if the smaller cities could have something similar.

There needs to be more public parks, swimming pools, nature trails, tennis courts, soccer fields, etc for people to go to. They should all also be free. Maybe impose a junk food tax to pay for all these?

Parents should limit kids TV/Wii/Computer games to one hour per day. Ideally zero hours per day.

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Post #8

Post by BwhoUR »

Good topic. As a female who has struggled with my weight ALL MY LIFE, although no one would know since I'm good at it :eyebrow: I've run the gamit: fad diets, strict portion/calorie control, working out 2 hours a day (no lie!!), diet pills (the fibre trim kind), frozen dinners, only eating 3 or 4 things every day (example: bkfst: cream of wheat, lunch: bean burritoes and baked lays, dinner: same as lunch, water pills, etc. The longest and most effective and easy to continue on a daily basis change is what Otseng suggested at the beginning:

1. NO SUGARY DRINKS EVER!!!!

Not only does your calorie count go waaaay down and teeth are saved, but it is easy and you don't miss the drinks at all. I don't mean no cal drinks either, I do not drink Diet Coke or anything with aspartane or artificial sweeteners, it's counter productive because your body ends up craving sugar in other forms. Even my all natural, organic, juice intake is only in the morning and only about 4 oz or so.

The other thing that is smart is to:

2. NEVER SKIP AN EGG BREAKFAST!!!!

The protein is so necessary, it helps curb hunger later and kids need it for their brains. Only on Saturdays do we get waffles instead of eggs.

3. MODEST WORKOUT SCHEDULE.

Even when I can't eat healty or can't keep to my workout schedule (very modest, 15-20 minutes on the treadmill every other day and 5 minute abs in the evening while I'm watching TV, walking to starbucks or the bank at least once a week - about 2 miles). My weight is perfecto and I can stick to this regimine forever.

How do I apply this to my 8 year old?

Simple, she plays soccer, swim lessons, dance lessons, runs against the fastest boy (and sometimes beats him!), throw her outside with the dog most evenings with her knight gear on, goes with me on my weekly walks, no sugary drinks (no coke, pepsi, dr. pepper, or 7up. Only OJ in the morning (about 4 oz), milk for lunch, and for dinner: a second small juice, Sunny D, choc milk or water. And we get a sweet treat (aka dessert) every day!

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Post #9

Post by Abraxas »

Miles wrote:That's a toughie. I suggest attacking the image. Making overweight such a onerous and repugnant condition that it becomes shameful. Of course there would always be those who go to the opposite extreme, but that too could be made just as undesirable. How to go about it? Perhaps beginning with public service announcements on TV.
A lot of people are already ashamed about their weight yet still continue to overeat. This "method", and I use the term generously, has never solved any problem before (this being the same thing society has done for a long time to "cure" homosexuality, how did that work out?) and I am relatively certain it never will in the future. Further, it just creates a victim out of those who are overweight for medical reasons beyond their control. The irony is for a lot of people, increasing the amount of pressure will cause them to eat more, worsening the problem.

Beyond the obvious about eating healthier (though I will note organic foods have no additional nutritional value) and exercising more, I don't think the obesity problem will ever be solved until we change our lifestyle. As it is, the vast, vast majority of working Americans have jobs that are not very labor intensive. They sit behind a desk for eight hours a day in most of the corporate services type roles, or, at most, stand if they work retail or food services or similar. Even manufacturing, which used to involved a lot of work on the part of the employee, is becoming increasingly automated. Further, with real wages remaining stagnant and the cost of living going up, people are working in these capacities longer and longer, leaving less and less time for food preparation and exercise.

In order for Americans to not only lose the weight, but to actually become healthy, we, as a culture, are going to have to change radically and move in the opposite direction we have been headed in.

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Post #10

Post by Miles »

Abraxas wrote:A lot of people are already ashamed about their weight yet still continue to overeat.
True, and I would never expect my suggestion, or any other, to be fool proof. What I can foresee is its possible effect on a decent number of overeaters. Even 25% would be a good result.
This "method", and I use the term generously, has never solved any problem before (this being the same thing society has done for a long time to "cure" homosexuality, how did that work out?) and I am relatively certain it never will in the future.
It wasn't present as a solution for everyone, just a good percentage. And are you suggesting that deliberate overeating is on par with homosexuality?
Further, it just creates a victim out of those who are overweight for medical reasons beyond their control.
In this case you can't be a victim unless you allow yourself to be. The message would address those people who CAN control their overweight.
In order for Americans to not only lose the weight, but to actually become healthy, we, as a culture, are going to have to change radically and move in the opposite direction we have been headed in.
And I think that was implied in the OP. The question is, how is this going to be accomplished? Any suggestions?

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