Kind of scary news from a health survey yesterday. Turns out that more than 30 percent of us in Michigan are now considered obese.
Yikes. Just 15 years ago, fewer than 20 percent of us were obese
I used to be a skinny kid–6’2″, 140 pounds as a sophomore in high school, 6’3″, 175 in college–but then I seemed to gain a couple of pounds every year thereafter, to a point where I’m now not too far from being considered marginally obese.
And yet, like most of us, I still see myself through the eyes of the 20 year old “me”. Basically the same guy, right? Except I’ve got a bit of a paunch and I’m a little fleshier here and there.
The problem is, I’ve had the paunch for several years now and slowly but surely, it’s becoming a part of me, and it’s growing every year, flowing almost imperceptibly over my belt.
The discouraging thing is, the quick little one- or two-week diets I used to go on in my younger days don’t seem to work anymore–I lose only a pound or two over a week, then go out to a nice dinner or a barbeque, and I’m back where I started.
I love to eat. We, as a society love to eat. Food gives us comfort. Meals serve as entertainment, and God knows, we don’t want to deprive ourselves of fun in our lives.
And yet, of course, it’s killing us. Heavy people die earlier than fit people. Heavy people suffer from more illnesses than fit people. Heavy people spend a lot more money on health care than fit people.
We can worry all we want about the national debt, about cuts in Medicare and Social Security, about rising gas prices and turmoil in the Mideast, but if we continue to pack on the pounds and fat at the same rate–How about 50% of us being obese in 2025?–then some of that stuff won’t matter much. We’ll eat ourselves into oblivion.
This is no longer just a light, fluffy story about health and lifestyle, something for the First Lady to focus on. Unfortunately, most of us don’t realize that yet. We’re too busy ordering out pizza or waiting in line at McDonalds.