From Your Health Journal…..”I wanted to promote an article today by James Wolf that appeared in the Faribault Daily News entitled How goes the fight against obesity?. I will include a short snip below, but please visit the FDN site to read the complete article. I enjoyed how the author discusses the obesity epidemic in the United States, even poking fun at Governor Chris Christie on the Letterman Show pulling out a doughnut from his pocket when Letterman asked him about his weight. The truth is, we do have a major problem in the United States, as so many are going down an unhealthy path, living a very sedentary lifestyle with a poor diet. Many Americans are involved in LIFE, taking care of a family, working long hours, and other important commitments. Sadly, their health suffers from it, maybe not now, but possibly in the future. There seems to be no hope in sight. What is the answer? It is hard to say, as every person has a different answer. The obvious answer is to make time for exercise and healthy eating each day, but for some, this is a challenge, and many times, just out of reach. Please take the time to visit the FDN web site to read the complete article.”
From the article…..
The issue of obesity was highlighted recently in the public arena with New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s appearance on the David Letterman show. I have to admit I thought it was hilarious when the Governor pulled the donut out of his suit pocket and took a big bite with the explanation “I didn’t know this was going to last so long.” Some commentators took issue with his action, but the poor man needed a snack.
The attempted humor of his appearance took on a very serious tone when the physician who cared for President Bush expressed her concern that the Governor could die in office. Obesity is serious business.
I happen to serve on a local committee with Dr. Robert Speckhals, who I consider to be one of the great icons of Faribault medicine. Of course, I am not alone in that perception. After a recent meeting of this committee adjourned, Dr. Speckhals posed the question to me, “So how goes the fight against obesity?” Good question. As he continues to stay current on medical literature in his retirement, I suspect Dr. Speckhals knows the “answer” to his question as well as I do.
After some reflection, here is my answer. I believe it is a “glass half empty vs. glass half full” scenario. Take your pick.
On the half empty glass side is a recent article with the title, “If you think we’re fat now, wait until 2030.” Any reader of the information in this article would have to be alarmed, even if they don’t have a background or interest in healthcare. Here is a prime example: “Over the next 20 years, more than 6 million patients will be able to blame obesity for their diabetes, 5 million will be diagnosed with heart disease and 400,000 will get cancer caused by obesity.” Or the physician who provides this quote: “Now I am seeing 25-year-olds weighing 350 pounds who present with chest pain or shortness of breath.”
Locally I observe commitments to the obesity fight, but nonetheless it is difficult to get people to attend meetings on the subject, both community-wide and at the work site. People are busy and wellness and obesity apparently do not rise to the level of top priority. I understand how that happens.