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Old 10-26-2008, 04:56 PM   #1
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Default How can "they" help you lose weight?

Given the season, I've been hearing all sorts of things about how society can address health care costs and, specifically, the weight/health factor. I've heard everything from raising the amount of money charged people so they'll feel the pinch and take more responsibility for their health to creating free community-based government programs. It seems like everyone has an opinion. I got to thinking: There are all sorts of wonderful chickies here with tons (literally) of weight-loss experience who can talk about the issue in terms of personal perspectives, not purely political ones. I realize there are bound to be different things that help or don't help people, but maybe there are also some common themes.

How could "they" help you, or how have they? Eat healthy, lose weight, exercise, get in shape, whatever. "They" could be anyone from the government to your family or company. What is society doing right or not doing right? Is there something you've experienced that maybe others are missing out on?

For me, "they" has been you all. It's been so great to interact with people who understand what I'm going through, yet I still feel like I'm the one responsible for me and am responsible for my choices.
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:19 PM   #2
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I'd have to say that the labeling required by the government is helpful.

The various versions of the food pyramid - also helpful.

Also, regulation of wording such as whole wheat/whole grain.

Non-government, the emblem or stamp of the whole grains council to indicate a serving is at least 1/2 serving of whole grains or a different stamp to indicate a whole serving. http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org (Just found out about this yesterday here on 3FC - in a post by Mandalinn)
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:51 PM   #3
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Honestly I'm a big believer in less government control - I'd like "them" to stay out of my life as much as possible.

What I do think *they* can do is to EDUCATE. Kids and adults need to be educated about nutrition and exercise from day one. And I'm not talking "you have to take PE and do 30 situps" or "eat veggies and grains" type of education that everyone gets in the current incarnation of "health class". I'm talking about required courses/curricula in nutrition and personal development all the way from elementary school up through high school.

I would love to see a curriculum that included everything from proper nutrition and basic cooking skills, household finance and management, time management (including time for exercise/physical activity), and so forth.

So I guess if *they* have to be involved in our lives to that extent, at least they could be TEACHING and not just putting bandaids on the results of the problem.

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Old 10-27-2008, 12:23 AM   #4
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They could...

...make health club memberships tax deductible to reduce the expense of joining.

...reduce food portions in restaurants to decrease cost and calories simultaneously

...make our communities more pedestrian friendly to encourage walking. (I live 3 blocks from my hair salon, but it is so difficult to cross the major street that I usually drive.)

...offer more recipes in the produce department to encourage us to experiment

In each case the "they" is a little different. I'm not sure I want more government regulation, but I would like to see some changes!
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:28 AM   #5
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They could keep their nutritional recommendations independent of what the big industries want them to be.
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:30 AM   #6
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Our community has a Healthcare Center that is supported by local (several counties) and state funding. While the center houses a nursing home, it also houses the Department on Aging and Disability Resources, various community groups and a warm water exercise/therapy pool. A doctor's referral is needed to use the pool, but the cost is kept reasonable (I think it's around $6 per visit), and the cost is eligible for reimbursement by some insurance plans or if you have a medical savings account.

The warm water pool is a tremendous community resource. They have water exercise classes for arthritis and fibromyalgia, and also have water walking and water aerobics classes as well as open swim and exercise hours, with a variety of exercise equipment for using in the pool, including submerged paralel bars, a pull up bar, and water weights.

The water isn't bathwater warm, but the air and the water are warmer than in most pools so there's no "shock" when getting into the water. Just wonderful.

Our city and surrounding areas have an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. Walking, biking and horse trails; State, County, and City parks, a ski resort...
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:49 AM   #7
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they could make it so that anything on a fast food menu (McDs, Burger King etc) that has a huge amount of calories is written in big red letters with lots of warning lights. That would help me lots. Im always like "well, if i have no snacks, it should be ok, right? how bad could it be?" WRONG!
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:27 AM   #8
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My place of employement has contracted with a local gym chain to get a discounted rate that also allows us to sign up for payroll deduction. It is $10 a payday.

I also agree with photochick that more emphasis should be placed on health education. I believe that schools should offer more physical fitness program options (not just sports) as well as more classes on general health and nutrition...all the way from making the best food choices in the grocery store...to using the healthiest cooking techniques in the kitchen. I also believe that the first step is to practice what you preach and provide better school lunches. Children develop their tastes in food based on what they are fed. If they are fed crap every day for 13 years...then that is what they will grow to like.

I also agree that other than education....I don't want the government involved in my life any more than necessary. However, if they want to force insurance companies to cover gym memberships....I won't complain. ;-)
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:22 AM   #9
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I think they should make it mandatory for restaurants to have nutrition information readily available. There have been plenty of times where I didn't order something because I was able to see how many calories/how much saturated fat it had!
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:39 AM   #10
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I agree with Photochick, with the less government control thing, I believe that "they" have nothing to do with when or how a person loses weight, at least thats how it is for me. one day it clicked in my head that I needed to do it for Me, my family and just for the simple reason that life was passing me by and why? because I was heavy? its too easy to just eat moderately and exercise daily.

As far as educating people on how to do that from the get go so that they will not have to deal with a weight issue, I think it starts at home. I have a 9 year old and a 3 year old both of which would rather eat carrot sticks or "trees" (broccoli) rather than candy or junk food.

I do appreciate that most restaurants have nutrition info available but thats as far as my "they" goes really. I think the responsibility falls squarely upon each of our own shoulders to eat right, exercise regularly and if we have children to teach them that food is for nutrition not recreation. so I agree with the OP last paragraph 100% where she states we are responsible for each of our choices

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Old 10-27-2008, 09:59 AM   #11
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Hmmm....

Well, I think that if "they" want to do something, here are my ideas:


~Stop letting people use EBT cards/food stamps for soda/frozen pizza/candy bars/Doritos/Twinkies/Little Debbies, and all of the other junk foods. Seriously. Instead of free reign in the grocery store, I think that if th government is going to provide food assistance to those who qualify, that the taxpayers money should be spent on REAL FOOD. I think that the food assistance should be basic items-fruit, vegetables, bread, rice, peanut butter, milk, meat, etc.


~I think that the public school lunches DRASTICALLY need revamping with healthier options, instead of cheeseburgers, fries, chicken nuggets, and pizza almost every day of the week.

~I think that CHAIN restaurants should be required to have nutritional information available to consumers. (I personally love the little guides at Subway, Starbucks, etc. that list the calories/fat/carbs/etc. per item.)
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
As far as educating people on how to do that from the get go so that they will not have to deal with a weight issue, I think it starts at home. I have a 9 year old and a 3 year old both of which would rather eat carrot sticks or "trees" (broccoli) rather than candy or junk food.
I so totally agree with this. I posted in another thread about how my mom was a stickler for trying new foods and eating healthily.

The sad thing is that so many ADULTS don't know the first thing about nutrition - so how can they teach their kids? I think the folks on this board are some of the lucky few who either had parents who taught them or who have taken advantage of the wonderful information here to educate themselves.

But the vast majority of people have no frickin' clue about proper nutrition.

It's really really really sad.

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Old 10-27-2008, 11:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieJ08 View Post
They could keep their nutritional recommendations independent of what the big industries want them to be.
Agree 100%.
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:34 PM   #14
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A couple ideas, mostly centered around two things: schools and schooling...I believe that starting early sets the best foundation, and that kids learning about nutrition in school can help their families to learn too...and around access.

Schools and Schooling:
-Devote the extra pennies a day to have school lunch programs that serve actual, healthy food...it'll pay off long term by teaching food eating habits and a love for a variety of vegetables. Several pilot programs have pulled this off successfully, getting produce from small farms, cooking on-site, etc. While they're at it, enhance the curriculum in such a way that schools can maintain and cook from a community garden. Gardening is a tremendous learning experience for kids (Space the seeds 2 in. apart! How many inches did our plants grow on average per week? Let's talk about photosynthesis), relatively cheap for schools with tight budgets, and has been shown to increase kids interest in fruits and vegetables AND in the math and science they're learning.

-Ensure nutrition (with a focus on whole foods, moderation, etc) is taught to every student. Bonus points if you can give kids cooking lessons on how to cook the healthy stuff. Again, they'll not only have more interest, but they'll take it home. And like gardening, cooking is a great learning tool, particularly in math and science, but also in verbal skills and reading (from following recipes), and if you use recipes with some cultural context (Pan de Muerto for Day of the Dead is one example), you can get a history/world cultures lesson in there too.

-Return the emphasis to moderation. I personally believe that removing cupcakes from school parties, if those parties are fairly rare (once every month to two weeks, for example) for reasons of childhood obesity is horribly misguided. No one gets to be overweight from eating a cupcake every two weeks. People get overweight from eating unhealthy foods, in too-large quantities, day in and day out. Imagine the benefits if the energy that has been put into vilifying cupcakes (We can't have those at the class party! Childhood Obesity! Sugar! Argh!) was spent ensuring that the school lunch the kids eat EVERY DAY consisted of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and veggies, and a little bit of healthy fat. Within the context of 2 weeks of healthy in-school eating, one cupcake isn't going to make any measurable difference. Some schools have banned cupcakes for other reasons, normally food allergies, which I am more OK with...but I've read several reports on schools who are making "healthy-food-only" parties the only option and I really don't know that I agree with that. It tends to make kids idolize sugar because they can't have it (and then go running into the 7-11 to buy the forbidden Hostess cupcakes after school), rather than teaching them that, when your diet is overall healthy, there is nothing wrong with the occasional cupcake.

-Keeping physical activity in schools. In the younger grades, taking short "activity breaks" has been preliminarily shown to be even more effective than taking an hour all at once...just a little activity over the course of the day can really add up. Schools might also do well to de-emphasize competition and competitive sports in PE programs, and focus more on individual challenges/competing against yourself and your prior records. The latter is more likely to engage kids who are less active, since they can be put off with having to compete directly against the really physically coordinated/sports-inclined kids.

Access:
-Further shift Federal and State food assistance programs to allow easier access to fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, lean proteins. And if possible, give free classes (advertised at the offices where people sign up for assistance) on how to cook the healthy stuff.

-Devote resources, particularly in inner-city or high crime areas, to provide safe, well-lighted walking areas that people can use for exercise. Obviously there are different levels of this - it may be as simple as taking over the high school track for a few hours each evening with increased security, or as complicated as building a community gym with activities for the whole family. But having a SAFE place to get physical activity is important. It is easy to say "walking is free", but if it isn't safe, people won't do it.
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:01 PM   #15
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I personally believe that removing cupcakes from school parties, if those parties are fairly rare (once every week to two weeks, for example) for reasons of childhood obesity is horribly misguided. No one gets to be overweight from eating a cupcake every two weeks. People get overweight from eating unhealthy foods, in too-large quantities, day in and day out. Imagine the benefits if the energy that has been put into vilifying cupcakes (We can't have those at the class party! Childhood Obesity! Sugar! Argh!)
The only problem here is ... well ... I have a friend who has a 5 year old. This month alone in her school they've had the following:

Daddy Donut Day (daddies visit the classes with donuts)
4 birthday parties for kids in the class (with cookies or cupcakes and sugared juice for each party)
A Halloween party (with candy and treats)
The regular weekly snack where a kid selected to bring treats for the rest of the class (again, cookies, or cupcakes)

And any more, kids are no longer allowed to bring homemade treats to school. If you bring anything to a classroom it has to be store-bought. I'm assuming this is to avoid some crazy person attempting to poison a class of 5 year-olds (and isn't it sick that school admins have to think that way). At least it's that way in our school districts. But the upshot there is that at each party, the kids are loaded with supermarket cupcakes and cookies (and we all know how much sugar and white flour and everything else is in those).

I honestly think schools *should* put an end to school parties that include cupcakes, candy, and treats except once in a very RARE while for special occasions.

10 years ago, my friend lost over 180 lbs and has maintained that loss ever since. So he's very aware of nutrition and proper eating habits - and the school party thing just makes him angry every time it comes up.

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