My friend Julie is crazy. Like in all the very BEST ways, crazy. I’m so proud of her latest post to Facebook it nearly brought me to tears, I was forced to drop everything and brag about her in this post. But first, a little health education, as if you actually thought I could write about this topic and not go all geek on you!!
In case you have been living in a cave for oh, say 50 years. We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic. In ancient historic times a person’s weight was the gauge of their social standing. A thin person often meant poverty and a plum family equated to the fact that they were doing well enough to have plenty to eat. This is not the case now. Our culture is producing the first generation of obese children with the highest risk factor of developing diabetes. The National Institutes of Health estimate that over sixty five percent of Americans are either overweight or obese and the number is climbing. With the rise of obesity, the diagnosis of type-2 diabetes has also been increasing.
We are a nation obsessed with all the wrong types of foods and are constantly being marketed to buy and consume copious amounts of junk and fast food. The American Diabetes Association has been expressing alarm at the fact that approximately twenty one million people have diabetes with a potential of around another fifty four million diagnosed with pre-diabetes (an increased elevation of the blood glucose levels but not at a level to be officially diagnosed as type-2 diabetes). The obesity and diabetes statistics are alarming.
Diabetes is a dangerous disease, however, type-2 diabetes has been related as a lifestyle disorder. This means it can start at an early age with a high fat and high sugar diet that lends to the disease progress. By the time of later adult hood, the body functions are set in place to have type-2 diabetes.
Here’s what all the fuss is about:
Over two thirds of the adults in the United States twenty or older are considered to be overweight or obese-
All adults total: 68 percent; Women: 64.1 percent. Men: 72.3 percent
About one third of the adults in the United States twenty or older are considered to be obese-
All adults total: 33.8 percent; Women: 35.5 percent. Men: 32.2 percent
5.7 percent of adults in the United States twenty or older are considered to be extremely obese.
There has been a steady increase in obesity in all ethnicities, genders, ages and education levels. The prevalence of obesity in the United States has increase from 13.4 to 35.1 percent in adults age 20 to 74. Since 2004, while the prevalence of overweight is still high among men and women. There aren’t any significant differences in documented rates from 2003, to 2004; 2005 to 2006 and 2007 to 2008. There hasn’t been any change in obesity prevalence in women from 1999 to 2008; 2009-2010 official statistics have not yet been released, but I’m predicting an increase.
The increase in obesity in children in a 2003-2006 study showed 12.4 percent of children ages 2-5 and a 17 percent of children aged 6-11 were overweight. Most studies show that there is an increased mortality rate associated with obesity due to all sorts of preventable diseases and recently, even the National Cancer Institute links obesity to CANCER!!!!
If we as a community and a culture are going to encourage a healthy life for future generations, and change these alarming statistics, we have to stop buying prepackaged and premade products from manufacturers that really don’t care about us. Their job is to sell us product people! We need to pull the junk food from the schools and replace it with healthier choices (this I could talk about for hours-vending machines in schools still selling regular soda!!? It’s an outrage and a totally separate blog rant later). We also need to begin learning to eat right and less in volume, no matter where we are. Lastly, we need to cook at home with our kids!!!!! I applaud you Julie ( you too Molly! ) for taking steps in the positive direction for change. I love that you begin with a very humble and also misunderstood veggie, Brussels Sprouts. Listed below is Julie’s note from FB, keep up the good fight gals!
(Statistics not immediately sited in text were taken from the Centers for Disease Control website: cdc.gov).
Julie: So, I’ve been inspired by Cooking Light Magazine and their “12 Healthy Habits of 2011” program (check out their website…it’s a pretty cool thing they’re doing!) January is the month of adding more vegetables into your diet. Clearly this will only benefit my effort of weight loss (and my SparkPeople program) so I went to the store today with a mission to get some veggies, try a NEW veggie, and prepare some stuff that will get me through the week.
My new veggie: Brussels Sprouts. Yes, Erin, I’m trying Brussel Sprouts. (I know…you’re tearing up :-) I’m linking the recipe that I’m going to use. (I’m hoping that the link works.)
And, Molly and I created a Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili. It has butternut squash in it. Which just happens to be one of my FAV veggies :-) Here’s that recipe.
It’s going to be a veggie filled month, I just know it :-)
(If I tag you, it’s because you’re either a foodie or a diet buddy, or just b/c I adore you.)