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Obesity as an Issue Today and the Half Ton Man
Following recent reports of a South Dakota man weighing half a ton, and losing 500 pounds in one year (he still weighs over 450!). Obesity has become part of the headlines once again.
A new health issue?
Obesity is nothing new, the health impact of being overweight has long been known. Only recently though has the problem been described as an epidemic.
Obesity itself doesn't affect someone in days or weeks, it takes a very long time to develop. In that period there needs to be a constant excess of energy through consumption and lack of activity. This excess is stored as fat, which causes the weight gain.
So who's to blame?
No one will take responsibility, for example, where children are concerned, schools and parents seem to point the blame at each other. Food producers and retailers say they only sell what the customer demands. It is, after all, the individual who has the personal choice to consume or not. But, it's generally considered that the responsibility goes further than that.
Today's lifestyle is dominated by technology. The TV movie with popcorn and pizza. The latest console, surf the web, send an email. The screen and its chair take up alot of leisure our time. The working life is the same: a service industry full of desks and call centers.There just isn't any physical activity.
Action is taking place
Education has brought awareness of good eating and exercise habits. This is due to schools, the government and media trying to push the benefits. Even fast food restaurants have made changes, although not entirely voluntarily.
The funding of these projects from governments and organizations is impressive but sadly the results aren't. Levels of obesity are still rising.
Current campaigns and advice are not working and people don't seem to want to loose weight. There needs to be something that causes a cultural shift or change in atitude. Only then may we see an impact in today's obesity.
So what about our half ton man? Well, he's still alive, but at 480 or so pounds, he still has a long way to go. And, as a people, regarding obesity, so have we.
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