Look at Americans today and the differing lifestyles and I think you'll see what I mean. We probably have more choices in what we eat than anyone in the world. From salads and wonderful vegetables all the way to the gourmet and not so gourmet burger and fries, Americans have many options to choose from regarding what they eat. And while budgetary considerations of late make it somewhat difficult for some, if compared to what our parents and grandparents faced the options are still quite broad.
Look around you when you go out to eat or visit the grocery store. I think you'll have to agree with me that there seems to be two Americas when it comes to food: the health conscious and the, well for lack of a better term, health unconscious. While some of the difference is due to financial limitations caused by a shrinking employed workforce, much of that argument is destroyed by the broad expansion of food stamps which I think is part of the financial destruction of America. Why are one in seven eligible for food stamps? Why has the "zero in on jobs" President added so many to the food stamp rolls but not good jobs? But those two questions are really a separate issue for a separate post.
Here is a personal observation as a case in point about diet. Standing in line at the supermarket recently, I was behind a woman with her two little children who was preparing to pay for the contents of their large and loaded grocery cart with her government EBT card. Looking at her cart I see three large bags of cookies, two twelve packs of soda, ice cream, Hungry Man TV dinners (salt content through the roof), white bread, high sugar cereals,frozen french fries and onion rings, Bubba Burgers, and a large bag of shrimp. Conspicuously absent was anything leafy and green. Come to think of it, I didn't see milk to go with the cereal. That's strange.
The children were young and small in stature, but the mother had to be at least fifty pounds overweight. Interestingly enough, as they pulled out of the parking lot ahead of me they turned into the adjacent McDonald's drive thru.
I cite this example because I think our obesity epidemic largely has nothing to do with being a disease but everything to do with lifestyle and choices. And when you couple the content of that shopping cart with a complete lack of physical exercise, I think you'll easily see what the problem is.
We are what we eat and how we live; it's just that simple and the ramifications of it are staggering. In the case of those little children, the example their mother sets will determine their fate as they grow older. The fast metabolism of youth will slow and the pounds will mount up over time.
I'm lucky. Living on a farm with animals. I have to get up early and take care of chores in the rain and wind as well as heat and cold. I can't be sedentary and as a result is I burn many more calories. And, yes, I do splurge once in a while with a good old greasy burger and fries, but never more than once a week and then the next day it's usually salad. It's just not that hard to watch your eating habits; it just takes willpower.
Why have I rambled about this today? I guess it all boils down to the concept of common sense. When are we Americans going to face up to the fact that we are responsible for who we are, how we gotthere, and what we make of ourselves. There is no miracle government or medical cure for what we do wrong; we have to face the problem ourselves and decide we want to do better. Each of us just needs to apply a little willpower and we can accomplish what we need to do, and nowhere does it apply any more clearly than our waistline.
Hope I haven't bored you this morning but I had to get that off my chest. Have a wonderful day and God bless you and God bless America.