There is a chronic obesity weight loss cycle in America right now and there are some very complicated reasons this problem continues to exist. However, let’s talk about three of the simple reasons and what you can do about them.
1. Problem: Poor Food Choices
One of the primary reasons for obesity and poor health in the country is directly related to our consumption of unhealthy food. It is not a secret that we eat a ton of processed foods and many of them lack any real nutritional value.
Next, and very high on the list, is our love for greasy, unhealthy, fast foods. Some would argue that the explosive proliferation of fast food chains is one of the key factors for so many people being obese today. For most of these quick eat companies, it is all about making money and they could care less if you die of heart disease or if your kid is 300 pounds in the 5th grade.
Solution: Eat More Natural Foods and Cook More Often
Most of the older adults in the United States remember being told in school about eating your fruits and vegetables on a daily basis and drinking 8 glasses of water. It doesn’t mean we all did it but it seems to have been taught a little more aggressively. In today’s America, we have children that literally don’t know what a tomato is and that lack of knowledge is part of the problem. We are so used to feeding our kids fast food every day that they have no idea what they really should be eating, and when you try to introduce it to them they don’t want it.
It’s going to take some work but it can be done. This drive to eat better applies to adults just as much as kids. One way to start is to skip the drive-thru and cook at home a little more often. Yes, it takes additional effort but it’s not that hard to come up with an extra 30 minutes to provide healthier food, and improve the health of your family.
2. Problem: Lack of Exercise
You really don’t have to be an expert in food or fitness to know that a lack of exercise is another major problem that contributes to obesity, weight loss issues, and overall unhealthy citizens.
A few decades ago, kids did not spend as much time sitting in the house and neither did adults. The growth of cable television and video games are just two of the reasons this has happened. There are undoubtedly many others but the main issue is we just don’t move enough.
The body is a very sophisticated machine and two of the things it needs to function effectively is the proper fuel and exercise. If you fail to give it those things, it will not work right for long. That may be an oversimplification but it is something we all should consider.
Solution: Increase Activity
One of the problems with exercise is that it sounds, feels, and looks like…exercise. Many of us just don’t want to work out and busy lives make it even harder to do. The secret is to find something that doesn’t feel like exercise. It can be something fun, or maybe even some kind of work that you enjoy doing. Either way, you need to pinpoint an activity that you don’t mind doing and one that does not give you the dreaded “I have to exercise” mentality.
Some good options for increased physical activity are:
- Walking Your Dog
- Working Around Your Home
- Dance Classes
3. Problem: Lack of Government Oversight
There are many people out there that will say that the government should not be involved in issues of what we eat, how we exercise, etc. and you might have good arguments on both sides. However, only the government can help control companies that infuse our food and drink with ingredients that not only contribute to obesity but are blatantly unhealthy.
It is not uncommon for us as consumers to find out years or decades later that certain companies knew the dangers of their products but continued to push them to us simply to increase profits. That should not be a surprise in a world where billion dollar corporations fail because they are being greedy and not caring about anything outside of more profits.
A great example of this is the use of high fructose corn syrup which is found in thousands of different products. This is an ingredient that is part of a multi-billion dollar industry and its manufacturers care about making more money not whether or not you get fat. Their job is to add it to more and more products even in cases where there are far better options. In the end, your good health is seldom their primary concern.
Solution: Education and Action
The only way to get around these problems is for watch dog groups and the government to make sure that these companies are doing the right thing. Secondly, we need to become better educated on what we eat and what we should not eat. How many of us really take the time to read product labels, and do you have any idea what you are putting into your body on a regular basis?
Finally, we need to speak out and demand better treatment. There have been many instances where Americans rose up to protest certain actions of companies and there is no better reason than your good health. We need to rise up and stop accepting the low standard products that are fed to us.
Did you know that some farmers said that they grow a separate patch of potatoes to be used by their families because the ones they grow for commercial purposes are loaded with pesticides and other unsafe chemicals? If farmers don’t want them, why should you want them?
As mentioned in the beginning, these are some simple explanations but the overall problem is far more complex. Ultimately, we need to be more responsible for our long term health and take the steps needed to make sure that happens.
What is your opinion on obesity and weight loss? Please leave your comments and suggestions.