Weighing In on Obesity

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

I know, lame title, but an important topic and something that I feel compelled to address.

Before I get to that I would be remiss if I did not congratulate Cressey Performance on their 3 year anniversary. CP was a wonderful experience and I would not be anywhere near the coach, nutritionist or person that I am today if it wasn’t for Tony, Pete and Eric as well as the incredible clientèle that I had the privilege of coaching. Please take a moment and check out the CP blog and EC’s blog celebrating their anniversary.

Back to the title, I came across an article on MSN just recently about current obesity rates in America, and it is frightening to say the least.

While it seems that childhood obesity rates are stabilizing (for now anyway), adult obesity continues to skyrocket up. In 1980 only 15% of the adult population was defined as obese, as of today that number is 34%.

40 states, out of 50, have at least 25% of their adult population deemed to be obese. The best state, Colorado, is only at 19.1%. That is still 1 in 5 adults who are considered obese!

Where have we gone wrong?

Considering that 10% of all health care costs are associated with obesity, this is something that needs to change, and it needs to change now.

To me the answer isn’t getting rid of McDonald’s. Too often I hear the blame laid at the feet of the food industry, and don’t get me wrong they have certainly played their part, but so have we. We have to start holding ourselves accountable for our choices and actions.

We choose to eat McDonald’s, they did not make us pull into their drive-thru and order 2 Big Mac’s with fries and a drink, super-sized of course because it is only 25 cents more. We made that decision. Personal accountability has disappeared, and to me nowhere is it more apparent than in our food consumption.

People claim that it is too expensive to eat healthy, especially in this economy. I say bullshit. We just choose to spend our money on other things. As a country we spend the smallest percentage of our disposable income on food in the industrialized world, at less than 10%. Instead we buy a giant flat-screen tv, and the HD cable to go with it or a 12th pair of jeans, designer of course. These are fine things to have, but recognize that you are making a choice.

To piggy-back that point, the amount of money that we spend on food away from home was 48.5% of all money spent on food, which is up from 34% in 1970 and 25% in 1950. Clearly this is a problem as well, but again, we are choosing to spend that money at restaurants rather than on home-cooked meals.

Food consumption is all about choices, and right now as a whole we are choosing poorly. Nobody is deciding for you what you choose to consume, so start holding yourself accountable and start making better choices. We will all be better off for it.

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Posted on July 16th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment

  1. Sharif Jomaa Says:

    I absolutely agree that people are making the choice to eat out more often and they have no one to blame but themselves. Although let’s not forget the other part to this, which is that people are becoming lazier and lazier. If they continued to eat the way they do but exercised a bit more and eventually put themselves on a semi-decent exercise program I’m sure they’d start to lose weight.

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