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.
Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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