HBO Documentary Films in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The National Institutes of Health, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente have put together a four part documentary addressing the obesity and overweight epidemic in this country.
I thought it would be helpful to you and your families to see the severity of the problem, as they present it, in order to give us the motivation to get our children as well as ourselves out of this obesity death trap.
Eighteen (18) plus percent of our children right now are obese. “If we don’t now take this as a serious urgent problem we are, all of us, individually and as a nation, going to pay a real serious price.”
In its last survey of America’s Health, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that 68.8% of Americans are obese or overweight.
The Bogalusa Heart Study, created by cardiologist Gerald Benson, is historic for its discovery that heart disease begins in childhood.
Obese is not just fat cells sitting there. Those fat cells building around and inside your abdomen, penetrate every organ and play havoc with every body part. It is the driving force for hypertension, heart disease, high blood fat and lipids, blindness, amputations, cancer. diabetes, stroke, kidney disease, arthritis, joint damage, gall bladder disease, reduced brain function. It penetrates your liver and is now one of the major causes of liver transplant. A scary finding is that fat gets into the fabric of the liver causing it to get stiff and diseased. This may be the leading cause of transplants in the decades ahead. There is hardly any part of your body not harmed by excess fat.
Diabetes follows obesity as night follows day. In type II diabetes your body still produces plenty of insulin, but it becomes ineffective at the cellular level in doing its job of removing glucose (blood sugar) from your blood. As a result the high blood sugar gets to and ruins every part of your body. It makes you sick. You don’t have to be obese for this to happen. If you go from 2% overweight to 5% overweight you have increased the risk of this happening.
The cells that make your insulin can also get sick from overuse and not produce enough insulin. The bad result is the same.
Obesity is preventable. It is not one of those unfortunate products of nature that we have to accept. However, rates of obesity began skyrocketing in the 1980’s so that now over 1/3 of the men and women in the U.S. are obese.
Poorer people tend to have higher obesity rates but everyones rates are going up. The health care costs as well as the human toll are getting out of sight and place a major burden on our society.
(At this point one must realize that obesity does not just make you feel bad and have you go out and buy new clothes. It is a major drag on the productivity and financial health of our country. It is a daily drag on the fabric of our country and the outcome of ones life. View it differently, more seriously, as you proceed.)
In many American towns over 50% of the children are obese and overweight. In the 70’s 5% of children were overweight or obese, now it is over 30%.
Ideal cardiovascular health is defined by seven factors and health behaviors and they include:
Normal blood pressure
Not having diabetes
Having a lean body mass index
Not being a smoker
Currently in the United States less than 1% of the population meet these criteria for ideal cardiovascular health.
(It seems like it’s a good time to explain and teach these seven factors to our children and help them commit to qualifying for having ideal cardiovascular health. Then we should go on to save ourselves along with them.)
Obesity and overweight can be the number 1 cause of human misery and expense burden to our health care system. Collectively it costs over $150 billion dollars a year, one half paid by public Medicare and Medicaid funds.
Soda and other sugary drinks are the number one source of sugar in our diet. If people are overweight or obese it doesn’t mean that the game is over. Many of the poor health measures that come with being overweight can be quickly brought down to normal levels with weight loss. Physical activity is referred to as the wonder drug.
Let’s all commit to battling this epidemic, beginning with the children of our family and, by setting an example ourselves. Everyone can become a leader in this dimension of his or her life. Each one of us can easily impact a dozen people. Let’s go for it!
Check out Bob Rossilli and his fitness company on Facebook @ Fitness Over Fifty Inc or at his website, www.fitnessoverfiftyinc. You can get in touch with Bob, a Certified Fitness Trainer and Specialist in Senior Fitness and Fitness Nutrition at 631-629-4757, 781-910-3279 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. He can help you set up and implement a personal exercise and food program. Bob himself has lost almost 90 pounds and maintains his 146 pound weight. He accomplished this with all of the aches and pains and limitations of a sexagenarian. You can also look Bob up personally on the fitness staff of the Y Jewish Community Center on 74 Hauppauge Road, Commack NY.