I was recently reminded of America’s health crisis when I read an article in our local paper about the top 10 ranked states for childhood obesity. South Carolina (my state) was ranked 2nd in the nation for childhood obesity, and 10th in the nation for overall obesity.
This is a topic that is difficult to discuss because no one wants to come across as judgmental. However, the percentage of children with diabetes has been on the rise for many years now. Children who are obese, turn into adults who are obese (more often than not). This leads to a whole range of health problems for people of all ages- children turn into adults, and adults turn into seniors. Obesity increases your risk for: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and even things you wouldn’t even consider…. like pain in the joints from excess weight.
After living in Germany for four years, and traveling to many countries in Europe, I can attest that this problem is unique to our American culture. Americans are a people who love fast-food and can’t seem to live without soda and other sweets. Did you know if you eliminate soda from your diet, you will naturally loose up to 15 pounds per year (or more), without even trying?
Please see the link (above) to a superb video from HBO about our health crisis in America. It has four videos and they last about one hour each. If you are interested in this topic, and how this will affect Americans far into the future, please take the time to watch this series and pass it onto your friends. Did you know for the first time in modern history (since the invention of antibiotics and immunizations) the life expectancy for our youth is projected to be SHORTER than that of their parents?
What is most exciting about this problem, is that it can be completely turned around! The big question is: Will Americans change? What should you do if you are currently making poor choices concerning your health? You must greatly reduce your sugar intake (esp. through soda) and your fat intake (esp. foods with saturated fat). Finally, you must limit the amount of time you sit during the day- to become as active as possible. Did you know that walking briskly multiple times throughout the week offers tremendous benefits?
Parents must also learn the skill of saying “no” to their children! Our son gave us a list of items he wanted for his 9th birthday. Believe it or not, a six pack of soda was on the list. That seems silly right? It was on his list, because we seriously limit how often our kids drink soda. (*By the way, his birthday was in July and it is now September- he still has three sodas left from his six-pack). You can do it! You can make changes in your daily life to become healthier.
I have posted this HBO video in a previously, but this topic is so critical, I wanted to post it again.