Imagine science textbooks 100 years from now. Apparently we are doomed to have a chapter that says, "In the year 2048, the American population completed the full mutation and morphed into a new, totally obese nation." Sound incredible?? Even a bit insane?? Well according to experts, our destiny seems to be a 4 more decade movement that will result in almost every American overweight or obese. I'm sure Lane Bryant and all those plus-size stores are rejoicing - and maybe we should be investing in those stocks!! But seriously - is anyone even listening?
One of the researchers in this new study, conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, is quoted as saying that if the current trends of the past 30 years continue, that's apparently the direction we are going in. I know 100% on an exam or getting 100% returns on your money is a good thing; 100% of the population overweight is a whole other story. Specifically, all African-American women could be overweight by 2034 and 90% of all Hispanic males could be overweight then too. The rest of us will catch up by 2048. That's one race I don't want to be part of - nor my kids or grandkids if I can do something about it.
Let's also realize that our healthcare costs will rise substantially - to $957 billion in 2030 - because overweight costs more in healthcare $$$ - and though I applaud the comments in this report that asked for more pedestrian-friendly cities - can we GET REAL!! We are eating too much, we are eating the wrong things, we are certainly not moving enough everyday, we are using food as our emotional drug - and just adding a bit of walking daily is not enough. I think we need to wake up and realize that we all need to not only learn the rules of basic nutrition and exercise - we need to really get help shifting our habits - get real about our food/emotional issues and we mostly need to take on this job as a full time profession. We don't wing anything else important in our lives - not our checkbook or our car maintenance or the decisions we make that involve our kid's welfare - how can we be "winging this?"
I have worked with people for over 25 years in family lifestyle coaching - and no one can be helped until the "switch flicks." What switch? The reality that your life and the quality of your life is significantly determined by your eating habits, your exercise habits and how you live the health script we call life. Many people get scared straight by a cataclysmic medical event - diabetes, a heart attack or stroke, a diagnosis of cancer. Don't wait for that event - care enough to begin to take the daily steps you need to shift habits, patterns of eating, relationships with food. Involve professionals if you can afford it - because you don't want to be a part of the predicted statistic. I wrote Fat Families Thin Families because I recognize this grim reality. Obesity gone wild is a video we need to black out!!