06 Sep 2012
- Written by Dr. Timothy Moore
The obesity rate in America is at an all-time high, costing too many lives and threatening others on the periphery of weight gain. To put it plainly, obesity is not just unhealthy, it's life threatening. We as a people, as a nation, are digging our own grave with relative ease and less thought about survival. Who is to blame for this run-away health problem? The tens of thousands who refuse to take obesity seriously.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third (35.7 percent) of the U.S. adult population is obese, which, in nearly all cases, leads to type II diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.
The medical costs associated with being obese is estimated at $147 billion dollars. The staggering price tag is based on figures reported by the CDC in 2008. Looking forward, the dollar amount most likely will increase due to our unregulated dietary eating patterns.
Obesity affects all groups. It does not discriminate based on color, demographics and economics – unless you're in the group that can't afford to buy the kind of food that helps lower your risk of obesity. For example, it is clearly evident that neighborhood grocery stores and convenience stores tend to stock certain food items based on the economics of the shopper.
Poor shoppers, predominately African Americans, are less likely to bag the choicest meats, fruits and vegetables. You'll find their carts filled with non-essentials such as moon pies, pickled pig's feet, Roman noodles and other foods that are devoid of essential nutrients.
There is a market for unhealthy foods and there is one for healthy foods. In most cases it depends on what you can afford to buy, regardless of the health benefits or lack thereof. Case in point: an Apple costs $1.49 compared to a 99-cent bag of potato chips. The apple costs more and is healthier for you, whereas the chips are cheaper but loaded with saturated fats, sodium and other unhealthy ingredients.
I have said all along that obesity is preventable if one chooses to switch to a plant-based diet. In doing so, it will help the body rid itself of toxins, saturated fats and plaque, which attaches itself to arteries. The CDC backs me on this with statistics and this statement: eating a plant-based diet prevents and reverses some health-related issues.
If the answer to weight-loss is as plain as the nose on our faces, then why is it so hard to lose the weight and keep it off? It's the way our food is prepared, plain and simple. Food is prepared so quickly nowadays until basic nutrients are sacrificed. We are a microwave society. Everything is prepared in two-second intervals. If it's longer, we tend to squirm.
There is no simple solution or quick fix to losing weight. Diet fads don't work. Like a yoyo, you're up and down. If you're serious about losing weight and keeping it off, you must make the necessary changes in your life to avoid the onset of diabetes, cancer, fibromyalgia, lupus, high blood pressure and other debilitating diseases.
Don't be a glutton. Gluttony is a dangerous thing. Eating the wrong food, particularly the ones with little or no nutritional value, can wreak havoc in the body. Change won't come overnight, however. But if you are serious, make the first step toward health and wellness.
There will be some struggles, frustration and disappointments if you're trying to shed the weight. I'm sure you didn't just get there overnight. It takes time to undo years of overeating, learn to select the right nutritious food to eat and relearn good eating habits. But remember, obesity can be prevented if you eat the right food, exercise, drink plenty of water and change your lifestyle.
Dietary changes are not as complicated as they seem. You can survive on a plant-based diet without eating any animal products, including sweets, which are known to cause any number of health problems. It's not as complicated as you may think. The only person you have to convince is yourself. If you're able to do that, you're on your way to becoming the person you want to be.
Don't be alarmed if your weight doesn't change as fast as you want it to. Just remember, you're doing what's required to stay healthy and happy in life.