It is obvious that being overweight and obese is an issue in the modern society for many countries around the world, not just the United States. In a recent article from USA Today, Nancy Hellmich writes about how experts that came together at the Institute of Medicine came together to put together a list of how policy makers need to help tame the obesity epidemic.
With over two-thirds of adults being overweight or obese, and one-third of children being obese as well, this becomes a serious issue for the future of the United States. Is there a lack of resources for people to be active? Is there a lack of information available on eating healthy? Is there a lack of information on the things that can increase the chance of being overweight or obese? No!
Henry David Thoreau said it best, “there are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” The policy makers need to get creativity, they are still providing solutions of yesterday that aren’t working today. The goals of the “bold actions” they think are essential to the prevention and control of obesity are things that should be part of the process not the goal.
The solutions for obesity prevention and control are not tangible items. It all starts with the mindset of the individual and those individuals that surround them. The issue with obesity is not related to any physical issue, it’s a behavioral issue. We need to make the right choices, no matter what choices are put in front of us throughout the day.
I do not discredit the goals that the committee recommended for policy makers, however, for children, they place the emphasis on the schools and government. The emphasis needs to be place on parents/gardians in the home. The children need to see their parents/gaurdians making the right decisions when it comes to food and exercise.
If I was on the committee here is my suggests on what should be done to prevent and control obesity:
- Provide applicable nutrition education for employees through corporate wellness programs on how to shop, cook and eat food, and exercise opportunities. Taking the time to shop for the right food is essential to obesity prevention and control. Many individuals don’t cook because they do not know how the food will turn out, so it’s easier to go to a restaurant. And, chewing your food enough times to help with the digestive process. Proper exercise programs must be based on the abilities of the individuals and the demands of their job.
- Provide education for parents on how nutrition and exercise affect child development. Parents need to be knowledgeable on how children adapt to the physical and psychological demands place on them, and how nutrition helps or hinders growth and development.
- Provide expert coaches for nutrition and exercise in elementary, middle and high schools. Coaches with formal education and experience that are knowledgeable about nutrition, exercise programming and behavioral change that can motivate children to be active.
- Get rid of all sweets, candy and junk food in schools. Enough said.
If the health of the nation is so important, lets not avoid the real problem that today people are trying to use solutions of yesterday. To provide a solution to the problem of today and tomorrow the health and fitness industry needs to be creativity and provide applicable solutions that do not cost an arm and leg.
James Lee Branham