Obesity, Disease, Politics & Power
So, why do I feel apprehensive about this national strategy to combat obesity?
Does America really need a national strategy to combat obesity?
Does the USDA need expanded powers over national nutrition standards?
Does Medicare require additional funding for obesity-related coverage?
At present, the USDA heavily subsidizes the very foods that have driven the rise in obesity.
Instead of giving them more power, perhaps they could be encouraged to shift their funding away from corn, wheat, rice, soy & sugar and towards fruits, vegetables and animal proteins that provide a better nutrient to calorie ratio.
Instead of classifying obesity as a disease and increasing medicare funding to include more obesity drug prescriptions and surgeries, perhaps the government could shift some money away from obesity treatment and towards obesity prevention.
Those are the types of big government initiatives that I could get behind.
I don't agree with all of this article, in that I do not believe government is going to be able to fix the problem of obesity, in fact even the idea that government can *fix* obesity seems odd to me. We know in fact obesity has WORSENED via the subsidies listed above. The last thing we need in our "Big Brother" society is more government telling citizens what to eat, when to exercise and what to do. It's simply not going to work. The way all the obesity epidemic outcry is going, what next fat camps?
If they really wanted to fix obesity, and well let's just say have our society be a healthier place, I think many of the changes are inherent ones and ones that would be directed from concerned individuals, ie NOT WAITING FOR THE EXPERTS OR THE CORPORATIONS that profit off all the bad food...
That said, question those experts, corporations and medicos. Why do we all take their word for granted when profits are part of the game? Why should I believe them myself? I was literally almost DEAD at near 700lbs and had to beg and fight for my own life because no one would listen.
We need to question overly mobile lifestyles, where people move all the time and the breaking down social connections. Yes those affect obesity. The more social you are the more active you are. The more social you are, the more healthy food and eating habits. Eating a greasy hamburger in your car while rushing to work does not count as a healthy meal.
We need to question a society that has become so virtual and the disappearance of true leisure--remember the 1970s when people still went outside? OK, I am being facetious here, I know it but some of you will know what I mean.
Maybe they should invent something more exciting then just pretty boxes with lots of graphics for us to sit around and look at.
We need to question a society where so many are relegated to living in little boxes next to sculpted parking lots. How about the people who live in neighborhoods where leaving one's apt means constant stress, hassle or even danger?
They need to return to the metabolic realities of weight and really listen to those who have especially crossed the line of extreme weight, why is this happening to some people and not to others? What is going awry in our bodies?
We need to re-haul the food. Those with money can already make this a part of their lives. There is the local food movement and others where one can find the information. Some of us have the knowledge but not the cash, and that can be torture, seeing the healthy and whole food that would return at least some health to our bodies out of reach except in drips and drabbles. I ask myself all the time, why does having a lower amount of money mean always having to eat crummier food? Yes one can get some cheap broccoli, and carrots for low money but I am talking about having a meal with some ingredients beyond "survival eating". Why does a cheaper meal at a restaurant always mean a cheese-coated disgusting crummy-MSG laden meal?
We need to want REAL food again instead of garbage in brightly shiny colored boxes. People need to go back to gardening and we need community gardens for people who have no land.
We need more healthy lifestyles, where people have a connection to one another and a place to be. This society has too many disposable people where if you are not healthy, thin, fit,or well off enough you get relegated to the edges of society. Millions live with no place, no niche and no belonging and INACTIVITY accompanies all that. In my case I try to live my life being connected to my community and fighting this as much as I can via volunteer work, the arts, etc,. Why are so many being relegated to the fringes and given no place?
Our economy does not work for our well-being. Why aren't people being taught HOW TO DO things in school anymore? Our children are sat in front of books given Ritalin to remain quiet enough and then told, to be fit? How does that work? Does that make any sense?
Why aren't we taught to build, do and fix things? Why is that relegated to only very few groups in society anymore? Why don't I know how to grow a garden? Why don't I know how to sew? These things bug me. How did I get to this age and end up with so few skills? These are things I want to fix.
Sadly today as everything has gotten more expensive, it costs money to do anything. Soon they may charge us even to breathe, the way things are going. Lack of money outside of great initiative in finding volunteer work or groups to join, often means NO MONEY TO DO.
If a society functions on making people just passive consumers, who do not ever make, grow, or do anything--seriously, but CONSUME and take in, how does one maintain a healthy weight in that atmosphere? The other day, I told someone "I wish I had a workshop" and what ever happened to CRAFTSMANSHIP?
Even our activity now is like retarded repetition, get on the treadmill if you can afford the gym and WALK TO NOWHERE. Lift those cans up and down. Up and down....blah blah blah. Why don't we have more real things to do? Why has real leisure and DOING been relegated to the wealthier classes? Part of me thinks we would have all been better off staying on the farm, though I am too far gone for that now.
We need to keep our families together. We need to go back to where family counted above economic nomadism for jobs. Wouldn't I be more active seeing nieces and nephews on a day to day basis instead of once a year? This goes back to the earlier social aspects.
Real research needs done on the effects of stress. Stress, cortisol go together as I have written on "The real causes of the obesity epidemic". essay. People, if they are employed, are over-worked. Everyone I talk to says they are over-stressed with too many demands. They seem to take this stress as a given rather then desiring a simpler way of life. Very few question the mad making busy-busy go-go of this society, where so many are almost racing in circles. They may be right that the noose has been drawn tighter, economical survival is more dear, but it is something I would like people to think about.
Keeping people on an ever-spinning hamster wheel is not helping their health. I think this is one of the biggest influences as to why everyone is getting fat and unable to maintain healthy weights. People didn't stay skinnier in the old days, because they were more "responsible" and "better people", moral failings existed then too, the system allowed it more.
The toxins need examined, they ARE finding out the plastics, chemicals and more are AFFECTING the OBESITY. I have posted dozen of articles on this matter on this blog. You ever see the obesity initiatives addressing this issue? I sure don't.
THEY NEED TO STOP HOUNDING PEOPLE and telling them lies, that if they simply starve themselves and "move" more that they will automatically become thinner. Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over when it does not work? Do they think all those fat kids they want to help WANT TO BE FAT?
For many people that is SIMPLY NOT WORKING.
I of course don't have all the answers. The above is just my thoughts. I see obesity as a symptom of a society that has lost a healthy way of life overall. For me obesity was a symptom of extreme stress, and endocrine disease, applying my experience to the big picture, people are getting fatter because of the world and society they live in. We have never had a society like this one before and it is showing the affects in people's health. I do not see a mega corporation or bigger government solving the problem. People need to rethink their priorities overall. People need to say we need REAL ANSWERS NOT LIES.