America the beautiful, land of the free, home of the brave, and a nation of fatties. A recently released report ranked obesity in America state by state and the news is not good. Not a solitary US state can lay claim to having zero obese residents living there. Even Massachusetts which was 50th on the list is not a winner with nearly 20 percent of its residents being obese. Mississippi heads the list with over 30 percent of its residents suffering from obesity. However before you go pointing fingers at our neighbors in Mississippi as the heavyweights of our nation, you should take a look at the numbers of obese adults living in your own state using the convenient link provided at the bottom of this article.
Obesity is not a new problem for us here in the United States, but each year as a nation grow fatter and we are raising our children with the same sedentary, and junk food filled lifestyles that have led us to become a nation where obesity has reached epidemic proportions. If we do not stop stuffing ourselves with Twinkies and McDonald’s while ignoring this problem, it will only continue to get worse and the consequences on our health care system, work force, social security funds, economy, leading position to compete with other countries, quality of living and life spans will decrease dramatically.
We cannot look to the conglomerates of the diet industry and food manufacturers for the solvents to this immediate and long term hazard to the health and well being of the people of these great United States. We have looked to them to make our choices for us for far too long and it has only resulted in us getting fatter and unhealthier as each year passes. This is not a slam against the diet and food manufacturing industries per say. They saw an opportunity to exploit and profit from the willingness of Americans to have their choices in readily available "fast" foods made for consumption in the US, and decided for them, and the responsibility of policing their own eating and exercising habits given up instead to a reliance on diets and diet products to lose weight for them.
Just as we cannot look to the diet industry and food manufacturers for the answers, we cannot place all of the blame on them either. There is enough credible educational information that has been made available through the years that most adults know that they are choosing to engage in the unhealthy eating and exercise habits that are making them obese. Children on the other hand are learning these ghastly habits through the poor example we as adults have set for them.
We need to look to the nonpartisan entities that are truly concerned about the state of the health of Americans and who offer unbiased information and guidance towards solving the crisis of obesity that we are experiencing here and now in the United States. We also need to begin to hold ourselves accountable for the shape we are in. We need to stop looking to point fingers at everyone else and accept responsibility for taking better care of ourselves and to recognize that choosing not to, not only affects us, but our country as a whole.
It is not as complicated as we make it by avoiding the issue. The only true paths to health and a long life are not found in processed foods or the diet isles. Foods in their natural forms are the healthiest for us, providing many of the vitamins and minerals we need. Exercise is also necessary for health and for maintaining a healthy weight. Annual checkups and screenings to catch diseases at the earliest possible stages will save the most lives and save the most in health care costs. Educating children so that they develop healthy eating and exercising habits should start in preschool and we cannot afford to say that the funding for this is impossible. Our future and the future of the children, who will be our leaders one day, will be decided by each of us deciding to get up off our behinds and moving towards solving the rampant obesity in America. For all of our sakes I hope we get a move on soon, before it is too late.
How fat is your state. See for yourself here. http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2007