Did I Touch A Nerve?

I think the answer to that question is a resounding YES.  And guess what?  I am beyond ecstatic that I did.  Maybe this little blog of mine in the middle of the internet sea will help get a wave of movement going in terms of education and talking about this problem that stares us in the face everyday.

We can no longer stick our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist.  We can no longer tip-toe around this issue and act as if everything is going to be ok because it is only going to get worse if we don’t do something about it today, and I hope you will join me in this movement.

Yesterday at lunch while I chewed on my spinach salad with vegetables and no dressing the people around me ordered their meals.  Some ordered salads but did not ask for dressing on the side and the salads were covered in dressing.  Some ordered meals fit for a king and if that weren’t enough they ordered a side pizza and a side spaghetti and clams.  Good thing the spaghetti was whole wheat right?  If that wasn’t enough the straw that broke the camel’s back that lead me to believe that this epidemic is only going to get worse was this:

You get an iPad free with the car so that you can schedule maintenance and they will come pick it up from your house for you.

Are you kidding me?  We are getting so lazy that we cannot even drive our cars to the garage to get the service that is required.  Really?  Has it really gotten this bad?  And where was I as it was getting this bad?  Was I in this training haze and did not notice that the conveniences that were so clamored for have actually turned us into a country full of stay puft marshmallow men?

I for one am at my tipping point.  I am frustrated by the lack of education.  I am frustrated by the lack of care and concern.  I am frustrated by the poor choices being made all around me.  Now, I cannot yell at everybody they are making unwise choices every time I see it but I CAN and I have sent my post  along with a letter to two organizations (one being the twitter account of Texas Gov. Rick Perry.)  I plan on doing this 5 days a week until this gets the national attention it deserves.

You see this is not an individual problem but a problem across the entire country.  Here are some stats from the CDC:

Adult Obesity

Obesity is common, serious and costly.

  • About one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese. [Read articleExternal Web Site Icon]
  • No state has met the nation’s Healthy People 2010External Web Site Icon goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15%. The number of states with an obesity prevalence of 30% or more has increased to 12 states in 2010. In 2009, nine states had obesity rates of 30% or more. [See maps ] In 2000, no state had an obesity prevalence of 30% or more. [Read article]
  • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of death. [Read guidelinesExternal Web Site Icon]
  • In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs paid by third-party payors for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. [Read summaryExternal Web Site Icon]

Obesity rates among all children in the United States

(Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey)

[Read article]

  • Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.
  • Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.
  • There are significant racial and ethnic disparities in obesity prevalence among U.S. children and adolescents. In 2007—2008, Hispanic boys, aged 2 to 19 years,were significantly more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic white boys, and non-Hispanic black girls were significantly more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic white girls.
2010 State Obesity Rates
State % State % State % State %
Alabama 32.2 Illinois 28.2 Montana 23.0 Rhode Island 25.5
Alaska 24.5 Indiana 29.6 Nebraska 26.9 South Carolina 31.5
Arizona 24.3 Iowa 28.4 Nevada 22.4 South Dakota 27.3
Arkansas 30.1 Kansas 29.4 New Hampshire 25.0 Tennessee 30.8
California 24.0 Kentucky 31.3 New Jersey 23.8 Texas 31.0
Colorado 21.0 Louisiana 31.0 New Mexico 25.1 Utah 22.5
Connecticut 22.5 Maine 26.8 New York 23.9 Vermont 23.2
Delaware 28.0 Maryland 27.1 North Carolina 27.8 Virginia 26.0
District of Columbia 22.2 Massachusetts 23.0 North Dakota 27.2 Washington 25.5
Florida 26.6 Michigan 30.9 Ohio 29.2 West Virginia 32.5
Georgia 29.6 Minnesota 24.8 Oklahoma 30.4 Wisconsin 26.3
Hawaii 22.7 Mississippi 34.0 Oregon 26.8 Wyoming 25.1
Idaho 26.5 Missouri 30.5 Pennsylvania 28.6
obesity_diabetes_americaSeriously Texas has 31% of the population is obese?  That is NOT winning.  Luckily Michigan and Ohio are not far behind there.  Congratulations Colorado, but don’t get cocky because just in 1991 it was less than 10%.
The choice to Super Size that meal at McDonald’s has led to a Super Sized country and we are growing, not just in population but in sheer size.  Think of what that does to natural resources.  Need to have bigger chairs so there goes more wood to be cut down.  Need bigger pants and shirts so more cotton needs to be used.
Are my words too harsh for you?  Good, maybe it will wake you up or maybe it will help you to wake up the person next to you because chances are they are obese.
By the time you read this I will be 1 to 2 hours into my 3.5 hour bike ride after having spent nearly two hours training couch potatoes to become marathoners.
So I have a challenge for you:  What are you going to do to change this trend in Amercia? (My Canadian friends can help too)  Will you send my post to your Congressman and ask that something be done?  Send them my name and contact information as well if you don’t want to be involved but let them know that somebody out here cares and is ready to do something about it.
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  1. Bob says:

    I would send the post… but I think he is a fat ass…….

  2. jim says:

    I love this Jason! I guess adults can do what they want (although most of their eating habits are out of ignorance and self-indulgence), but it kills me when kids are so over weight! It’s not fair. I’m a BIG less government involvement guy – but sometimes I think I would help if there were a way to regulate some of the food that’s available.

  3. Michel says:

    I believe or hope something like this would help. When I was in grade school about umm 30 years ago. damn that looks old when I type it out. any way when I was in grade school we had plenty of good nutrition education. Maybe it’s because I went to private school but it was a big deal along with our physical education classes (which we barely had any because of $$$) Some movies that will scare the crap out of most Americans: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Food Matters, Food Inc and Future of Food. The first 3 are on Netflix right now and the last one I watched on Hulu. If we don’t do something about our youth we won’t have a future. And FYI my congressman sucks ass so I doubt he’ll acknowledge any letter I sent him since he already has in the past.

  4. Christina Marie says:

    These past few posts have been spot on. I’ve done two different research papers in college pertaining to obesity, and the facts are absolutely sickening. So many people think eating healthy is expensive. But when one thinks about it what would you rather spend your money on? Healthier food or health care bills. For example, I have an aunt who is overweight and miserable. She spends hundreds of dollars every month on cholesterol lowering medicine and blood pressure etc… If she would take 30 minutes of tv time and go out and walk instead, she would be amazed at the results. She would not only feel better, but also she wouldn’t have to take as many meds. l also passed a Walmart the other day with valet service. Valet!?!??! at walmart!? I mean really? Just little things like that bother me so much!! I don’t want to feel like I’m all high and mighty because I live an active life, I just want more people to stop ignoring this epidemic we have. Think about it…Kale at kroger is one dollar a batch and so were sweet potatoes. These are some of the healthiest foods out there, and if people would just take some time to cook they wouldn’t have to eat at the Mcdonalds dollar menu. Everything seems to be based on convenience in this country, but we should really take another look at what we are doing to ourselves. Thank you Jason for bringing light to this subject and keep up the good work!!!! Also, that 3.5 hour bike ride sounds amazing!!! I can’t wait to work my way up to that!!! I’m working my butt off! Thanks again for a great post!

  5. Jeff Irvin says:

    Where you wearing your Che Guevara shirt when you typed this?

  6. Great post Jason. I will be forwarding this to reps in UT. Your crusade against this epidemic is very inspiring. I really hope it makes a difference :)

    • Brenda Jo says:

      Me too!! I found it sad that over 1/5 of the population in EVERY state is obese…even the nature/hippie states! Oh dear….

  7. logan osterhout says:

    Great post, and one of my favorite topics. I’ve written numerous college essays on this subject, and the statistics are sickening. Your first paragraphy about the post reminds me of the days I worked at chipotle mexican grill. Everyday, many people (who are obese) would walk in and order the salad. They would then ask for double cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and shredded pork. So basically it was 5 pieces of iceberg lettuce covered in all that. I really enjoyed watching the show “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.”That guy is awesome.

  8. Great post. It seems that, except for Michigan, the most obese states are in the south. I am fairly certain that obesity is related to socio-economic status, is it not? I am surprised that DC is only 22% obese, it sure doesn’t seem that way judging by the people I see here. I’d be happy to send your post to my congressman, he happens to be a great guy who is very involved in current issues relating directly to people. Keep writing and letting us know what we can do.

  9. Angela says:

    Yesterday I ran a 5K with my friend’s dad who has lost 25 lbs in the past few months. He had the best time and the biggest feeling of accomplishment at the end – and marveled in the fact that he did that race! Now, he’s set his sights on a half marathon in October. Milestones like that help people understand the importance of being fit and healthy. It shows that pressure from friends and loved ones to lose weight and get healthy can make a difference. It’s just a matter of if the person on the other end of the pressure wants to do something about it!

  10. Susan says:

    Jason, you know you are singing my song! Every single day I talk to individuals about simple steps they can take to improve their life. There is no doubt that the single most important indicator for long term health is healthy weight maintenance. I agree that the push – yes, I believe it’s been pushed down our throats! – for convenience is at the root… so we need a HUGE COUNTER MOVEMENT! HEALTHY LIFESTYLE must become the NEW CONVENIENT! We can win this, or at least make a huge dent in the bulges, if we use the tactics that caused the obesity epidemic to turn it back around! 11 years ago when I started my quest, we were barely using the word obesity. We timidly talked about the overweight population… The time for timidity is long past! Let’s all SPEAK LOUDER and offer healthy alternatives… Of course I will send to my state reps and I will talk to more people every single day… If I could show you a way to eat healthy without sacrificing flavor, would you be interested?

  11. lindsay says:

    the shark cartoon – LOL!

    way to be pro-active dude. very commendable to fight for what you believe in! makes me think of wall-e and how all the humans were fatties…

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