Understanding Obesity and How to Avoid It: Part 3 of 3

Understanding Obesity and How to Avoid It
Part 3 of 3
by Dan Amzallag

...continued article from the 05-15-05 issue of the Picket News.
Nowadays anyone who desires to lose weight to protect his or her health is virtually alone in the process. Doctors, insurance companies and the government don't offer any help. Here are some statistics that might shock you. Between 1989 and 1996, Americans ate an average of 163 more calories a day and has gained 15 pounds since 1980. Only 1 in 5 adults eats the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables. A total of 22% of Americans get the recommended weekly amount of physical activity. Now the big shocker: 120 million Americans are overweight or obese. With commuting (with cars or public transportation) from home to school or work, more Americans have reduced the trips they take on foot by 42 percent. No wonder their activity levels have dropped drastically. Many people don't feel the need to lose weight since their doctors have repeatedly mentioned to them that they are in perfect health. If their blood pressure and cholesterol levels are stable, the majority of doctors will not urge patients to lose weight until the patients already have an obesity-related disease. Why are these doctors opting for a reactive instead of a proactive attitude? Why wait for these patients to develop diabetes or worse, medical problems, before reacting to the present situation? The medical profession has ignored obesity since forever, says Arthur Frank, M.D., who runs the George Washington University Weight Management Program in Washington, D.C. Most doctors, just like the rest of society, have viewed being overweight as a failure of character, not a medical condition. To them obesity means that people eat too much and have no self-control.
Many doctors nowadays, lack knowledge in the field of nutrition. It seems they never took the time to study this section of their medical textbooks. Where did they go wrong? Are we educating our doctors properly in that field, or is it left to nutritionists and dietitians to take care of obesity in our country? Medical schools should add nutrition classes to their curriculum. Currently only about a third of U.S. medical schools require aspiring physicians to take nutrition classes, even fewer teach students how to help patients lose weight. That's not to say that there aren't doctors out there trying to tackle America's epidemic. However, most of them think the same: Helping patients lose weight doesn't pay. Insurance companies will cover the cost of insulin once your obesity has led to diabetes and they'll pay the medication for treating your high cholesterol. They'll even cover the cost of your triple bypass once your arteries are clogged due to the poor diet you've maintained for years. Again, reactive instead of proactive behavior.
How can we fight this disastrous disease and some of the problems we discussed earlier?
Probable solutions: *We need to educate our children in schools around the country and limit or eliminate unhealthy snacks (in vending machines) from their schools. *We must encourage restaurant owners to implement healthy menus for their customers and demand healthy menus from fast food restaurants all over the United States by eliminating processed meat and cheese from their establishments. *We must demand that health insurance companies cover more of the medical expenses for diets and health foods prescribed by doctors. *We must convince Congress to pass a bill that allows us to deduct fees for personal training in gyms around the country.
These are mere examples on how we could make our country a healthier place to live.
You have chosen a path, ladies and gentlemen, a path to a healthy lifestyle. You will master the principle in which good health and nutrition needn't require eating like a bird. You only need to eat right: at the right time of the day with a healthy combination of foods.
This book will show you: *That you don't get fat because you eat a lot, but because you make poor food choices. *How to manage your food intake while making sure that you burn fat with the help of a well-balanced exercise regimen.
You'll realize there are no miracle cures to be had from the companies who promise you success if you only use their products. You will probably lose some weight temporarily, but it will come back. Sometimes you even gain more than what you lost during the diet.
This book is not a diet, in and of itself, it is a new way of eating which will allow you to manage your weight and will not deprive you of the pleasures of life.
You'll regain the full energy levels that you had in your younger years just by slightly changing your eating habits.
Our mission, if we wish to accept it, is to prevent and eradicate every form of diseases related to obesity in our country. We must implement the program in corporate America and help employers and employees in the work force learn how to eat with health in mind. We must educate our children in schools around the country and eliminate unhealthy snacks from their schools. We must encourage restaurant owners to implement health 4nus for their customers. We must demand healthy menus from fast food restaurants across the United States which will make it possible to order a meal that does not contain processed meats and cheeses. Lets lobby Congress for a bill to invest more money in helping those who want to make a dietary change in their lives. We must force health insurance companies to cover most of the medical expenses for diets and health foods prescribed by doctors. We need to be able to get tax breaks so we can deduct expenses for personal training in gyms around the country. These are mere examples of how to make our country a healthy place to live.