Can't STOP Obesity

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  • also, just so you know, we are not good at understanding human behavior or predicting change. Researchers have been intensively studying human motivation since the end of WW ll, and they can still only predict change about 1/2 the time...if they're lucky.
  • Quote: I agree that we should all be able to manage our calories and expenditures. That can be done without having to buy the gear.

    I agree. Yes, absolutely, and with no doubt.
  • And March will be eVen better, we need to stay consistent in eating and especially exercising! WE CAN DO IT!
  • The government can do a lot -- for example access to good Parks and Recreation depts. make a huge difference for so many kids. Too many kids have both parents working and go from school to the couch - and the schools have cut their P.E. down to nothing, especially in High School.

    I really think fast food & junk food is more dangerous than marijuana for kids. Especially since it is pushed by every conceivable media at them, between the TV & radio ads, bill boards and in-store promotions you must get 1000 EAT JUNK messages every day. They just push this poison on kids through cartoons and etc., Joe Camel is one thing but every junky, sugary cereal has a cartoon and every sugary soda a celeb endorser. It's like a wave of propaganda every day with the pizza, hamburgers, soda etc.
  • Wouldn't a ban on junk food and fast food advertising be awesome?! Do you think any of those companies are asking for a bailout from the government? I don't think they'll have to, ever!

    I don't think people are well-schooled on nutrition at all these days. Just today I was at Starbucks and one of the baristas was asking another if Top Ramen was healthy, because she had that and one other item for her meals today. OMG!!! It was all I could do to keep from getting my soap box out again!

    Proper home ec and nutrition classes...I wonder if I could start a private company to teach that across the country. It's what I studied in college, a million years ago in the stone age. I could hire out-of-work home economists and nutritionists (aka grandmothers) and we could run classes for school-aged children as well as adults. We could spread our healthy-food propaganda!

  • Quote: America must be the only country where our poor are fatter than our wealthy. Poor quality foods are cheap.

    I don't look to government for solutions.
    Government contributes to the problem right now by hugely subsidizing the industries that contribute to the obesity problem. There is a reason poor quality foods are so cheap compared to high quality and that is because they are subsidized by our tax dollars. It is so bizarre and wrong that processed foods that have a million miles and steps and fossil fuels pumped into converting real foods to fake foods are cheaper than the original real food they started as.
  • Quote: Just today I was at Starbucks and one of the baristas was asking another if Top Ramen was healthy, because she had that and one other item for her meals today. OMG!!! It was all I could do to keep from getting my soap box out again!
    I guess you can get bananas at Starbuck's now. 90 cents apiece!
  • While I believe it is valid to look at ways to increase standards of living and access to good food, as well as education and mandatory physical education, etc., I think there's always one thing wrong with many discussions I encounter in the world about the obesity epidemic, which I don't deny exists.

    The one thing that some people are afraid to discuss because it seems politically incorrect, in my opinion, is that all of us have a PERSONAL responsibility, despite all these social factors such as poverty, bad food supply, lack of knowledge, lack of access to good food, etc., etc., etc., to somehow get the information and resources we need to manage our weight in a sane manner.

    We aren't sheep that have to wait for ideal conditions before we make the decision to take care of ourselves. The information is out there.

    We have to make our own decisions regardless.
  • I agree with Janga. You can't make people do anything that they don't want to do.
  • It is not one or the other. It is BOTH a public and a private responsibility. There needs to be a deep understanding that individuals live in a context that is often not of their making and is often outside their control, particularly children. We adults can do lots to have more positive influence on the social and physical environment for our children and we don't do it.
  • Obesity is and will always be a problem because food is just so plentiful and easy to get in the industrialized countries .... it just that simple.

    In countries where there are no grocery stores and fast food places there is not much of a problem of mass obesity.

    My best friend is Romanian and his father-in-law was visiting from Romania and he lived in a small town called Sebes and they get their produce and meat from the towm market.

    When he was here I took him out to lunch. I took him to the buffet at Golden Corral and when he walked in and saw all the food and all the people (mostly obese) eating his jaw almost hit the floor. All he could do was stare at everything for a full 5 minutes and then he said two words (translated by my friend). He simple said "Too much"

    I am not sure what the answer is but one thing I am POSITIVE and that is the answer is NOT MORE government thats for sure. Remember it was the goverment that started handing out those humongus blocks of cheese to combat poverty?

    I am not sure we can ever solve this problem. Food is just too easy to get.

    I loved what George Carlin said... he said the United States is one of the few places where the poor people are fat!
  • There are a lot of factors that contribute to obesity, and treatment/prevention needs to be just as multi-faceted. We were watching a show the other night, and I commented to my husband on how many "labor-saving" devices had been advertised during just the one program, including an electric knife.

    I remember reading a study in college of weight gain in secretaries in offices when electric typewriters replaced manual typewriters. Some (mostly women at the time) gained no weight, but very few. Most had gained a significant amount of weight in that year.

    Every year, it seems we find a way to do less physically. It's engrained in our society that "labor saving" is a good thing.

    That's obviously only one tiny example, of all of the thousands of factors that affect eating, exercising, and activity habits. It doesn't mean that anyone is blameless (or single-handedly to blame, either). It does mean that we need to be aware, and share the information regarding all of those factors that have an impact.

    I think that weight loss and health needs to be less of a taboo subject, and the various superstitions and myths need to be addressed too. I think that education and positive messages are generally more effective than punishments (from a behavioral perspective, punishment is almost always less effective a behavior changer than is reinforcements - punishment tends to temporarily suppress behavior rather than eliminate it).

    Fixing the problem isn't going to be fast or easy (not only as a nation, but even in individual efforts - I think the main reason my current success has overshadowed any previous success is finally seeing the "bigger picture," not trying to lose weight as fast as I can, without plans in place for maintenance - instead, working from the "back end" and deciding what changes I am willing to make for a lifetime and then putting them in to practice and taking any weight loss as "reward" for the effort, not judging it the effort itself).

    Humans have a tendency towards procrastination and favoring short-term rewards over long-term ones. The instant-gratification society we've created, makes that even more true. Learning to look to the future is a skill that needs to be directly taught.
  • Actually, studies of domestic labor show that "labor saving" devices do not save labor at all. Standards merely increase and people (women) spend MORE time cleaning house, etc.
  • Quote: Actually, studies of domestic labor show that "labor saving" devices do not save labor at all. Standards merely increase and people (women) spend MORE time cleaning house, etc.
    So true, but we've become "efficiency" experts (at least physically). We work harder and longer, and yet burn fewer calories doing it. The mental stress and exhaustion of working long, hard hours are still present, but the physical benefits of physical labor are absent. We've thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

    We work longer, worry more and sleep less, yet we eat more and burn fewer calories than our predecessors.
  • We can do it if the government got behind changing out lifestyles.

    For instance, if roads and car travel weren't so subsidized, people wouldn't be so fat.

    There are just so many levels on which to affect this. Stop subsidizing corn, invest in public transit, etc.