cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
We seem to be losing our concept of ‘self-control’ in eating. We rely more and more on the government doing the job for us through regulation. The problem is this: it ain’t workin’.
My rant this morning is aimed at the latest release of information on the level of obesity in our country. Ten years ago our state ranked highest in the country in the level of obesity in the population; Mississippi beat us out this time around. Today we are ranked at number 25…but that is deceptive since our actual obesity rate went up from 19.4% of the population to 27.4% of the population over that same ten years. The only thing that made us drop in ranking was the fact that other states’ rate of obesity increased faster than did ours.
We seem to have forgotten what self-control is all about. That concept has given way to us becoming lazier and lazier while we depend more and more on government to regulate us to good health. We educate our young people about nutrition and health in school while we feed them fat and sugar during noon lunches. We see government advertisements touting the benefits of a good diet while new laws are passed to limit our rights of free choice by telling corporations what they can and can’t serve. While my ‘complaint’ seems counter-intuitive, what we’re really creating is an atmosphere where we don’t have to take responsibility for ourselves, and that environment simply leads to the demise of the concept of personal responsibility. Too often, we fool ourselves into thinking that we aren’t really causing harm by what we consume and by the amounts we consume. Look at the concept of ‘buffet’ lines where there is no limit other than stomach capacity on what we can shove into our faces. Those parking lots seem quite full quite often.
All this has a very significant impact on the health of our country…on the health of each of us individually. Obesity is a huge contributor to diabetes and heart disease. Those two conditions are significant contributors to the increasing costs of health care in the United States, and we all know that is way out of control. The dollar impact doesn’t begin to touch on the human misery caused as the result of obesity. That misery flows from heart attacks, loss of limbs, and loss of sight, inability to climb stairs or walk more than a few steps…all this and much more flow from our obesity.
The ‘body mass index’ concept has always struck me as a bit on the skimpy side but it is what it is. I am barely at a ‘healthy weight’ with my height of 5’10” and a weight of about 168 to 170 lbs. Another three or four pounds and I am classed as ‘overweight’. If I weighed in at 210 lbs., I would be classed as obese, and frankly I believe I’d think I were really heavy but maybe not “obese” since my clothing wouldn’t fit anymore. We easily rationalize, especially when something has happened gradually.
The extra weight is something we may simply not let ourselves think about. The results of that extra weight can fill our lives with medical conditions that are not pleasant, and significantly shorten our life spans. Pills can only do so much for us no matter what the TV commercials lead us to believe. We have to take responsibility for ourselves and we can control what, and how much, we eat and drink.