When Ebola came to the United States, we panicked. Now the Zika virus has us running indoors in fear of mosquitoes, yet we are blasé about our worst epidemic.
According to our total BMI, the US is the 9th fattest country on Earth at 74.1%. That’s a lot of overweight people considering we outnumber the other eight fattest nations since they are mostly small islands in the eastern Pacific Ocean. We also outweigh the total number of underfed and starving people in the world. Since three out of every four Americans weigh in over their optimal weight, the CDC has declared obesity an epidemic in the United States.
And I am one of those three.
This epidemic leads to premature death in this country, but instead of fighting this epidemic and changing our ways, we force the world to accept us as we are. Wheelchairs, caskets and graves, and gurneys are now larger to accommodate heavier clients. Ambulances come equipped with winches to lift and lower patients, and grocery stores have had to double and triple the number of electric carts they keep for customer use.
I have always hated being a statistic, yet here I am.
What makes us fat?
Genetics is to blame, but even great metabolism does not ensure good nutrition.
We eat our weight in fats and simple carbs every year. An overload of fats and simple carbohydrates leads to a higher daily caloric intake than we need for nutrition and energy, and any one calorie over what the body needs becomes body fat.
A sedentary lifestyle uses fewer calories, and the fewer calories we burn, the more fat we store.
So . . . yes, I am on a weight loss diet again. My genetics demand it. I am eating less simple carbohydrates and more complex carbs – whole grains and vegetables and fruits. I am eating less fats and watching my caloric intake. I am moving more, trying for 10,000 steps a day. I eat a child’s portion of food when I dine out since that is closer to the caloric intake I should be eating.
And instead of purchasing and investing in gimmicks, I am teaching myself to do it with real foods and not with packaged meals or drinks.
Yes, it’s a struggle. If I didn’t try, I would be in a lot worse health than I am today. Abundance and convenience has made us a fat country, but as I learn the latest nutritional science, I also realize the onus is on us to learn how to control our appetite. Yes, we can eat out, just not every day. Yes, we can have a doughnut, just not the whole dozen.
So Mama is on a diet again. Her quality of life depends on it.