It was ironic that today as I reached 10 on the crossramp and 10 on the resistance on my Precor elliptical machine at the gym, I looked up to see a CNN Report titled “America is Getting Fatter”. This was clearly no newsflash as fast food restaurants continue to market to the inner fat girl/boy in all of us.
Using a model of population and other trends, a new report released on Tuesday by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation projects that half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2030 unless Americans get it together and start eating right and exercising. This is not as surprise especially after the CDC reported earlier this year that 35.7 percent of adults and 16.9 percent of children age 2 to 19 are obese. I haven’t always been overly concerned with the statistics surrounding obesity but in the recent years I have paid close attention to it. I’ve had weight issues my entire life. And I wasn’t overweight but I had a sibling who tortured me daily about my “fat thighs” and how big I was. It led to a lifetime of image issues, so I’ve always been conscious about it. But it wasn’t until 2004 when I did something about it and haven’t looked back.
So when I see statistics like this, especially those related to children, it bothers me. No, its more than bothersome. I’m often enraged. Now don’t get me wrong, I love food. I’m a baker for Cupcakes sake! I love a Chick-FilA 8-pack just as much as the next person. But what have we become as a society when it is considered innovation (and not disgusting) to sell a hamburger that uses Krispy Kreme doughnuts as a bun. DOUGHNUTS. Glazed pieces of goodness that are 5 Weight Watchers points a piece (on the old system and ask me how I know), smothering a greasy hamburger loaded with toppings. And this is what we place on menus and call it “eclectic”. The silver lining I suppose is that this burger costs somewhere around $12 and you have to go to a sit down spot to get it. What really burns my biscuit is the fast food restaurants who care nothing about the health of its patrons. So easy to drive thru and get a bag o’grease for the road. Wendy’s has a “deal” where after 11pm, you get a free upsize on your French fries and your drink. Because what you need after 11pm is MORE fries and MORE soda right?! Burger King, who makes the tastiest breakfast treat of all, the magnificent Crossanwich, with it 310 calories, 15 grams of fat and whopping 1030mg of sodium, is offered 2 for $3. Because one just is never enough right? Its no wonder why states like New York and California are attempting to legislate our bellies. Someone clearly needs to. Just last week, the New York City Board of Health approved Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on big sugary drinks. Under the plan fast food restaurants, delis, movie theaters, sports stadiums, and food carts are banned from selling sugar-sweetened drinks in cups larger than 16 oz. There are a few exceptions but for the most part, NYC is trying to HELP those who can’t help themselves. Of course the beverage industry is up in arms about this but I’m glad that someone is doing something to help America push back from the table.
With the advent of technology it has become easier and easier to add physical activity to your day. Apps like Nike Training Club turn your living room or driveway into a gym so money is no obstacle to working out. 30 minutes a day can help decrease your chance of disease, curb obesity, and lead to an overall better life. Group training or group motivation also helps. A recent group has popped up on Facebook call Nakidfine & 9. It encourages you to set 9 goals for yourself and not only look good in your clothes, but better yet, without your clothes! Friends and strangers have a judgment free zone to discuss exercises, nutrition, and motivate others. There are tons of groups like this online. America, you don’t have to go softly into the cold dark fat night. Fight back! Take control of your lives! Now drop and give me 20 pushups and I’ll see you after Zumba.