Leading The Way – To Obesity?

http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/life/health/article/116703–study-finds-1-in-4-canadians-obese-in-u-s-it-s-1-in-3

There’s a sentence in this article that makes me wince:  “Although the U.S. is leading the way, many other countries, including Canada, are experiencing rises in obesity levels”.  The U.S. is leading the way . . . to more obesity in the world.  What a shame.  How can we reverse this trend and start leading the way to a healthier lifestyle instead?

The article calls for “public policy” to help fix the trouble.  I wonder what that would look like?  More laws proposed that are similar to Mayor Bloomberg’s, limiting the size of a soft drink to 16 ounces?  Maybe the number of fries could be reduced as well.  What prevents a customer from ordering 2 drinks, or 2 bags of fries?  At what point is it the responsibility of each one of us to respect our own bodies enough to nourish ourselves appropriately?

It seems to me that new laws telling vendors what they are allowed to sell will not work.  When was the last time you saw someone speeding in their car, or running a red light, or failing to actually stop at a stop sign?  All of these are illegal, yet we see everyday people ignoring the laws daily.

Public policies governing how food is produced in this country have already created massive issues, including cheap (and unhealthy) feedlot beef, genetically-modified crops such as wheat that increasing numbers of us cannot digest, and the use of huge amounts of pesticides and chemical fertilizers that run off into local water supplies.

Public policy helped lead to the development of dozens of corn-based chemicals that are now in everything – and are they good for us?  Maltodextrin, high-fructose corn syrup, corn oil, ascorbic acid, and MSG are just a few of the food additives made with corn. More public policy does not seem to be the way to fix this.

If public policy is not likely to help us all slim down, what is?  You already guessed the answer.  Yes, it really is that simple.  Each of us has to decide for ourselves to eat what we know is good for us.  Lean meats, especially chicken, turkey and fish.  Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Less bread, less fried food, less dairy.  We all know that bacon is not a lean meat.  I like bacon too – but indulge in it only occasionally.

And exercise, let’s not forget about that.  Working out helps me avoid making bad food choices.  I simply do not feel like eating something greasy or overly sweet after a run, for example.  A banana with a little peanut butter tastes pretty good, and lots of water.

The grass-roots movement has already begun, with companies like Beachbody leading the way.  If you haven’t already, I hope you will join the effort.  Spread the word, do your pushups, and pass the veggie tray.  You can create the healthy body you want without waiting around for big government to establish a useful public policy.  Best of health to you!

Here’s some additional info about corn-based food additives:  http://www.livecornfree.com/2010/04/ingredients-derived-from-corn-what-to.html

http://www.againstthegrainnutrition.com/newsandnotes/2008/07/31/corn-fed-fat-the-american-problem/

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