February 28, 2013

Obesity Rates at an ALL TIME HIGH!

Well....so much for latest in fitness equipment. Too bad all that money spent during the 2010 Olympic games (promoting active living) didn't measure up. And how come that picture of the slim, trim, fitness instructor hasn't motivated the province of British Columbia to get off their obese arses???

When will "we" begin to ask the question instead of providing the answers?

(insert deep breath of frustration here)

This morning, as I was enjoying my morning scrambled eggs (with spinach, tomato, and feta), I scanned the news stories only to see yet another article on how fat we are all becoming. This was paid particular attention to my province of BC....(and we are supposed to be the healthier of the provinces). And yes, if you are wondering, the article came with the traditional picture of a headless obese person (thank God...I wouldn't know what an obese headless body looked like if it wasn't).

The first thing I should do is ask how the statistics were gathered, what populations where represented, etc....but I don't have the energy this morning. So I'll go straight to the point of my post...why do we continue to invest in health promotion campaigns when it is clearly not working?

Perhaps it is because obesity is not only a socio-environmental issue, it is also a very personal one? I'm sincerely asking this question (without one hint of sarcasm...really). I am not the obesity expert, but I do know obesity has roots in our society, our environment, our families, our beliefs and attitudes, our mental health, and our personal health habites (i.e. sleep, stress management, etc.).

You can't have an "eat an apple" poster next to a McDonald's restaurant (not to mention posters do nothing but make people giggle as they bite into their Big Mac). You can't expect the rushed and stressed out to bypass the fast food option and reach for something that will take minutes to prepare. In a nutshell, I'm thinking it may be more of an individual behavioural thing than anything.

Our society certainly offers the "role models" for beauty and health doesn't it? Did you catch the Oscars last Sunday? You better believe most of those starletts counted their calories and sweated their cut little bums off to prepare for it.  So why can't we?  You would think that the pursuit of thinness would slowly and surely lead to the desired thinness...right? Could it be this pursuit is the reason behind obesity? Maybe it is the product of too many failed attempts at losing the weight? Maybe it is because, for years, we have been reaching for the grains and cereals and have made efforts to avoid the fat (as strongly suggested by our wise registered dietitian nutritionists)? Maybe it has to do with the pollutants in the air and water (playing with our hormones and cells)?

But why ask the big questions? That would take time, effort, and money (not to mention piss a lot of special interest groups off).

I think it is time for our governments and academics to focus their attention on other determinants of obesity. Clearly, whatever we are doing to try and prevent obesity or reduce the average weight of the British Columbia ain't working.

But I'm not going to think about that now. I'll think about that tomorrow. (Scarlett O'Hara)



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