Because I find that I am usually in total agreement with his opinion and the ideas he proposes, once a month I post a link to one of Dr. David Katz’ articles. The last one (in June) was entitled : “A “Food Category” That is Making our Children Sick: The Case for Eradicating ‘Kid’ Food”.
Today I decided to address a health issue that is one of the biggest culprits that generates a variety of diseases, a health issue that does not discriminate between young and old, that culprit is Obesity.According to data from Cancer.org, it is estimated that 1 out of every 3 cancer deaths in the United States is linked to excess body weight, poor nutrition, and/or physical inactivity. These factors are all related and may all contribute to cancer risk, but body weight seems to have the strongest evidence linking it to cancer. Excess body weight contributes to as many as 1 out of 5 of all cancer-related deaths.
Being overweight or obese is clearly linked with an increased risk of many cancers, including cancers of the:
- Breast (in women past menopause)
- Colon and rectum
- Endometrium (lining of the uterus)
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Aggressive forms of prostate cancer
Four years before I was diagnosed, I had gained 25 lbs. that I could not shake off, not excessive … but enough to add to my risk factor. Parents who do not address their own or their children’s tendency to carry extra weight may be putting themselves and their loved ones on that waiting list above. Not something you would intentionally do.
Rewarding children with sugary or high fat treats is easy, convenient and I’m sorry to say, irresponsible. With all that we know today, it is a sad statement that we can’t make the effort to find, or make ‘treats’ and meals that are actually good for us.
6 out 10 people who are enjoying a burger and fries should not even be at the burger joint. I’ve watched couples who are 60 lbs+ over weight order Sodas, Fried Onion Rings and Bacon n Cheese Burgers. What is that all about? We can’t control what our hands put into our mouths.
We don’t stop to think that there are only TWO CHOICES when it comes to food: 1) It is going to make you healthy or 2) It is going to make you sick.
Below is an excerpt from the middle of Dr. Katz’ article with a link to the full article at the bottom.
As a culture, we are drowning in calories of mostly very dubious quality, and drowning in an excess of labor-saving technology. I have compared obesity to drowning before, but want to dive more deeply today into the implications for fixing what ails us.
Let’s imagine, first, if we treated drowning the way we treat obesity. Imagine if we had company executives on panels telling us why we can’t really do anything about it today, because it is so enormously complicated. Imagine if we felt we needed panels and committees to do anything about epidemic drowning. Such arguments could be made, of course.
For, you see, drowning is complicated. There is individual variability — some people can hold their breath longer than others. Not all water is the same — there are variations in density, salinity, and temperature. There are factors other than the water — such as why you fell in in the first place, use or neglect of personal flotation devices, and social context. There are factors in the water other than water, from rocks, to nets, to sharks.
The argument could be made that anything like a lifeguard is an abuse of authority and an imposition on personal autonomy, because the prevention of drowning should derive from personal and parental responsibility.
The argument could be made that fences around pools hint at the heavy hand of tyranny, barring our free ambulation and trampling our civil liberties.
We would, if drowning were treated like obesity, call for more personal responsibility, but make no societal effort to impart the power required to take responsibility. In other words, we wouldn’t actually teach anyone how to swim (just as we make almost no systematic effort to teach people to “swim” in a sea of calories and technology).
Were we to treat drowning more like obesity, we would have whole industries devoted to talking people into the choices most likely to harm them — and profiting from those choices. One imagines a sign, courtesy of some highly-paid Madison Avenue consultants: “Awesome rip current: Swim here, and we’ll throw in a free beach towel! (If you ever make it out of the water…)”
If we treated swimming and eating more alike, we would very willfully goad even the youngest children into acts of peril. An announcer near that unfenced pool would call out: “Jump right in, there’s a toy at the bottom of the deep end! And don’t worry, the pool water is fortified with chlorine — part of a healthy lifestyle!”
I could go on, but you get the idea. But you also, I trust, have reservations. As you recognize that treating drowning like obesity would be ludicrous, you must be reflecting on why drowning isn’t like obesity. I’ve done plenty of just such reflecting myself, and here’s my conclusion: time.
The distinction between drowning in water, and how we contend with it, and drowning in calories and sedentariness, is the cause-and-effect timeline. In the case of water, drowning happens more or less immediately, and there is no opportunity to dispute the trajectory from cause to effect. In the case of obesity, there is no immediacy; the drowning takes place over months to years to decades. It’s a bit blurry.
Really, that’s it. If you disagree, tell me the flaw — I promise to listen.
Please read the full version here.
~ Be Well! ♥