There is an epidemic of obesity in the United States today. The clinical definition of obesity is having an over abundance of body fat, not just being overweight. The problems associated with obesity are disabling and can be life threatening.
There are so many people in the US experiencing such diseases as heart disease, sleep apnea and type-2 diabetes, that the sheer numbers are crushing our current healthcare system. Costs keep rising as more and more people succumb to the disease of obesity.
Unless there are major cultural changes in our society, we may soon see thousands of people dying from this disease because they are unable to afford the treatments and medicines necessary to reverse the effects of this silent killer.
Our children have begun to exhibit the signs of obesity at earlier stages of their lives and our standard practices of a significant amount of exercise at PE in schools has fallen by the wayside as school districts around the country, strapped for funding, have increasingly cut PE and physical fitness programs from their core requirements.
The food that children and adults ingest on a daily basis is over processed, high in saturated fats and high in calories. We have made fast food such a staple in everyday lives that it is no wonder we are slowly destroying our ability to function normally in our daily lives.
There is a belief that the origins of this epidemic can be traced back to advent of the two wage earning family. When both parents began working long hours and came home to their children, there was often little time to cook healthy nutritious meals, by physically and emotionally exhausted parents.
The solution that became the staple was to run to the local fast food outlet for an instant and tasty meal for the family. If anything was cooked, it usually was a pre-packaged and pre-cooked TV dinner type meal that was loaded with salt and chemical preservatives.
Gone as well are the days of the Jack La Lane, and Jane Fonda workouts for people to work out in the convenience of their homes. With both adults logging long and stressful hours on the job, the thought of coming home to devote any time to a physical regimen, is not at the top of most peoples routine. Instead they yearn for a period of time spent relaxing and dining on food they don't have to prepare.
The answer to this catastrophic epidemic, may well be a cultural upheaval in how we live as a society. If we make everything about our lives a consumption of goods and services, we will encourage the trap of wealth building.
If people feel compelled to buy and consume everything in order to "keep up with the joneses" or engender a feeling of happiness based on the assets they are able to accumulate, then we will continue to see the overweight, obese and stressed out society that can no longer function without a plethora of pills to make it through each day.
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