By Barbara L. Root: Guest Columnist
I find it interesting that in America today we are beginning to consider obesity a disease. Some Americans think obesity should be covered by medical insurance or Medicare.
In other countries, children have distended bellies and skinny limbs due to malnutrition; adults are predominately thin; fatness is considered a blessing and a sign of prosperity.
But in this country, we have taken the blessing of abundance and abused it. And rather than take the blame and ensuing responsibility, we blame it on a disease.
It isn’t disease that has caused the problem but rather too much ease.
Along with the blessing of abundance we have forgotten to use our brains. We have forgotten simple math.
Too much fast food plus extra-large portions plus lots of snacking plus sedentary jobs and lifestyles plus lack of exercise equals obesity.
It is a very simple equation. Most second-grade students would get the right answer when presented with the facts.
The answer to obesity doesn’t lie in treatments paid for by Medicare or Medicaid, or even insurance. The answer lies in just saying no: No to extra-large portions, no to fast food three nights a week, no to snacks that have more calories and fat content than the evening meal, and yes to movement, like taking stairs instead of elevators and walking two blocks instead of driving.
Let kids ride their bikes or walk the six blocks to school. I walked to school all my life except for a few months during my senior year of high school. Most of the time the walk was at least a mile. It didn’t hurt me. It only took 20 or 30 minutes.
I was able to get my Vitamin D for the day (sun), I breathed deeply of fresh air, and my metabolism was revved in the morning and gave my body a jump start.
I even walked in the snow! We wore things like snow boots and carried our shoes.
Lest you think I am for going back to the “good ol’ days” I am not. But I am not for blaming obesity on disease. Except in the few cases where there really is a metabolic health issue, it is a choice.
We choose to overeat or eat the wrong things. We choose to sit in front of a TV or computer screen. We choose to drive a car instead of walk or ride a bike. We choose to ignore practical nutritional information. We choose to abuse the blessing of abundance.
Barbara L. Root is a Clovis resident. She can be contacted at: