USA vs the World on Obesity?
How does the US compare to other countries in attempts to fight obesity? Do they do more or less is it better or worse? While doing research on obesity I found many courses and seminars geared toward fitness professionals with the topic of obesity. This is no so in the US and if it is I am unaware of it. Let me know your thoughts.
Caught in the middle are those who are overweight and who are being bounced around like ping-pong balls between the food industry, the weight loss industry, the pharmaceutical industry and even the medical industry. It appears to me that we ave created a giant industry around obesity with conflicting goals, all the while paying lip service to the 'fight against obesity'.
This travesty is particularly apparent when it comes to children who - according to everybody - we all love and only want the best for. Yet there is the biggest fight about vending machines in schools, and physical education is a thing of the past. Yet schools budgets do not have the money to provide what is best.
I believe that the lack of political backbone against the various lobbies is the greatest obstacle in this fight. This is one of the few subjects that makes me truly angry.
Without patting ourselves on the shoulders too hard, I like to think that we as fitness professionals are truly committed to help without any ulterior motive beyond the satisfaction of knowing that we made a difference in the life of a person.
-Our food is no longer food.
-People do not care about lack of knowledge regarding food
-Food Industry out to make $ and does not care about food.
-Nutritional Research is going backwards (studying nutrients instead of whole foods)
-People are lazy
Unless individuals take matters into their own hands they are going to be obese.
Fuel the Movement,
The United States is undoubted more concerned with obesity than many other countries because we are in the top 3 fattest countries in the world, and we have exorbidant health care costs.
If we could control excess weight gain, we would control many diseases. Lifestyle habits may prevent heart disease, high BP, high cholesterol, stroke and diabetes.
However we talk a big story, many studies, and much focus on exercise, but we have not been able to stem the tide.
We need to look at the source (underlying emotional or physical components) of the symptom (overweightness). Working on the symptoms is not the answer. We may want to focus on teaching our young to contol their food intake and be responsible eaters, instead of feeding them pizza.
Additionally we are afraid to face that we are personally obese, 66% of us are there. We tell our children that it is ok to be who they are, but we don't tell them that who they are as fat children may be emotionally and physically damaging.
Educating the public is step one. Supporting and following through on what we teach is step two. Options and resources is step three. Taking responsibility in controlling intake is the intrinsic key to step four.
Could it be because obesity is such a complex disease? Obesity is chronic disease that very well will present with other complex clinical conditions that are outside the scope of practice of the certified personal trainer. Here is something I read in the ACSM textbook "Exercise Management for Persons Living with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities" regarding "Exercise and Multiple Chronic Conditions."
It reads, "Several very common combinations of multiple chronic diseases are frequently seen in exercise training or rehabilitation programs, so it would be prudent for lifestyle intervention teams to become familiar with the management of persons with these combinations, which include the following:
Obesity,arthritis or back pain or both, and "heart disease."
Obesity, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, or back pain or both, and "heart disease."
Obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke, arthritis, or back pain and both, and "heart disease."
Obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke, arthritis or back pain or both and renal failure
Any or all of the above with depression or both.
Shawn, I've only included the combinations that pertain to the obese population.
Ask yourself, is the average personal trainer truly prepared to take on the obese population singlehandedly only after having taken a course or a seminar or would it be more prudent that the personal trainer be working with a team of professionals who understand and can treat the various complications that might arise as a consequence of diabetes.
Shawn this is just food for thought from my perspective . Thank you for such a thought-provoking question.
It is the result of eating processed, packaged food and not exercising.
It's a result of eating fast food, and huge portions.
And not exercising.
Silly to "declare war" on obesity. It just takes a little time and effort. People have plenty of time but dont want to put in the effort.
I agree with the others and here are a couple of links to look at:
In the US (and Europe) I believe it behooves the governments to consider the health of their citizens and drastically cut back on subsidies for processed foods and vastly increase subsidies for fruits and vegetables.
Also, I believe there should be a movement such as the anti-smoking one or the wearing of seatbelts, to encourage people to move more. I don't know how you could get such a movement started, but Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign (with which I have no affiliation) is a good start. Unfortunately, what will happen when she is no longer First Lady?
Well, I guess I haven't answered the question, but thanks for allowing me to vent.