Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mississippi tops U.S. obesity rankings - 5 years in a row

Okay, I had another post in mind but I have to jump on the soap box for just a moment. I do apologize.

No, I am not defending Mississippi and saying that other states are almost as bad. And I am not going to blame the Southern foods that everyone eats.  From the CNN article:
Mississippi has kept its U.S. heavyweight title for a fifth straight year, among both adults and children.  The percentage of adults classified as obese went up in 23 states, but Mississippi, with 32.5 percent, stayed atop the latest annual rankings ...

While deep-fried Southern cooking is legendary, Mississippi also ranks high in poverty statistics and low in education -- two factors commonly related to obesity. But Thompson said education appears to be more closely related to obesity than poverty.

"We do see obesity among people who are in lower socioeconomic levels, but we see it in higher socioeconomic levels as well," he said. "Being poor does not not make you obese, and being rich does not make you thin."
I am simply amazed at the complete lack of responsibility that people take for their lives. I do not work with poverty stricken people. I do not work with uneducated people. But I do work with people that continue to eat crap for food each and every day. I do work with people who decide to indulge themselves more often than they restrain themselves.

When I ask them why they continue to go out to eat to the all-you-can-stand buffet and various other near fast food restaurants they simply say because it is that good. Very few people in my work environment are at a healthy weight. Even fewer of them have any semblance of fitness. As I said, these people are not making these decisions because they are uneducated and they are not making their purchasing decisions because they are poverty stricken. They are making these decisions because they want instant gratification. They are not willing to make changes today so that they can live a healthier lifestyle.

As in the famous “Marshmallow Experiment” which was conducted in the 1960’s. Children were given a marshmallow and promised another, but only if they could wait 20 minutes before eating the first one. Some of the children could wait the 20 minutes and some could not. I believe that we are now living in an era with an endless supply of marshmallows. There is no need to wait the 20 minutes.
We know that if we eat the marshmallow another one will instantly appear regardless if we waited or not.

Unfortunately this has the cost of long term health implications.

I hate to sound so harsh but this issue hits very close to me.  I was always heavy growing up and continued to make poor choices throughout my twenties.  Temptations are everywhere but you really must look at the big picture. 


KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

I completely agree. Having been in the personal training industry for about 15 years, I've seen and heard everything. And as you mentioned about the work place, mine is ridiculous. They bring catered food in for no reason on a regular basis. Almost every Friday, they put out gallons of ice cream, gourmet cookies, pies, cupcakes, etc...and when the email goes out, the herd goes running to the table where it's all spread out. I'm the freak of the office. The only one who does anything physical, who isn't overweight or unfit. It's sad. I'm sure Florida is not too far behind Miss.

Matty O said...

Man I thought up here in Cleveland we took that title the last few years!?!?

I grew up athletic, but overweight. Got made fun of a lot because of that too. It wasn't until this January that my wife and I took things serious, sure we ate "well" before, but now we eat "great". We actually feel good, not from working out, our bodies feel great since we have purged the crap out of our diets.

Great post. I think you are doing a good job at calling people out on this. Unfortunately, I would eat the marshmallow before that lady left the room :( haha.

Karen said...

You would think that with all of the federal government funded interventions out in Mississippi now we could have gotten off that list by now. People are just not listening. And don't want to make the sacrifices it takes to be healthy. All they want is the free stuff offered when they take a survey.

Francine said...

I agree that many people can and in our shared opinion should make better decisions about their food intake. However, it's much more complicated than individual responsibility. The US government and parents allow children to be marketed to from birth (read Born to Buy) and children are literally trained to overeat junk food starting in kindergarten at the "parties." They don't even enjoy the food, but they are trained to pair "fun party" with "tons 'o junk food." Ditto with MacDonald's playgrounds and "Happy" meals and junk food. Have you noticed what schools serve for "healthy" foods? It's not. And just as the big tobacco companies tinkered with the nicotine dose in cigarettes to enhance the addictive nature of their products, so does the food industry with the amounts of sugar, fat, and salt content in their "food" products. Kids today barely stand a fighting chance. Shame on the educated, well-off adults you work with--but they are training the next generation.... Still, people are tired, busy, and in search of convenience. Crap food is more convenient and often cheaper than healthy food.

What if the goverment stopped subsidizing crappy food? What if only healthy foods were served in our schools? What if people had to pay the true (including health care) costs of consuming low nutritive food (cigarettes, etc.)?