Just Great. Obesity Rates Still Rising in the US. [rant + personal advice]

Obesity rates increased in half the US states in the past year. They did not decrease in any state. This despite the growing awareness of the public, healthcare professionals, and government officials.

In an annual report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, aptly titled F as in Fat,  a horrific picture of a country eating itself to death emerges.

In 31 states, obesity rates exceed 25 percent. Childhood obesity is at an alltime high. In 30 states, more than 30% of children are either overweight or obese.

What you need to know:

The report goes on to describe the various measures being carried out by federal and state bodies, such as school lunch nutrition standards, weight screening, community activities to raise awareness, and more.

But can all these efforts put even a small dent in the source of all our woes – TOO MUCH (BAD) FOOD IS IN THE SYSTEM!

At the end of the day, it all comes down to money. How can government’s puny budgets (counted in millions of dollars), match up to Billions of dollars in advertising by the major food corporations. How can people stay slim if everywhere they go, junky food is conveniently shoved in their face. At work, at the bookstore, at school, the gas station, the mall, the deli at the supermarket, the movies, the ballpark, the Starbucks counter at the supermarket, and even at the fitness center. Not to mention fast food establishments conveniently located at every corner.

Big food will claim that it’s a matter of personal responsibility, but do individuals really have as much power as we think we do? Our whole way of life revolves around convenience, time saving inventions (TV Dinners, anyone?), and companies making more dollars for their investors. Even if it kills us along the way.

We need to take a long, deep look at how the system got to be broken and make some real changes, before it gets too late. The current measures, as well as proposals presented at the end of the report are comparable to using a flyswatter to stop an oncoming buffalo herd.

Right now, its still every consumer for themselves against the might of a well oiled industry.

What to do at the supermarket:

The choices you make in the supermarket ultimately effect your health, your family’s health, and the results of next year’s survey.

Choose foods that are less processed.  Fruits and vegetables, fresh and frozen. Whole grains. Less sugary snacks. Lean meat and milk products. More fruits and vegetables. Cut down drastically on soft drink purchases (switching to tap water will save a family of four $500 a year). Did we mention vegetables and fruits?

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  • Caitlin

    Gluttony tax? That may reduce the number of obese people throughout the US, or at least raise the price of the food.

    According to newsy.com, one of the reasons Colorado is the skinniest state is because of a health conscious community. They support each other to remain healthy. http://www.newsy.com/videos/the_obesity_epidemic