Earlier in the day, I was waiting for someone shopping in a large box store. While doing so, hundreds of people, men, women, children, walked in an out of the store. Up to now, I had never paid particular attention to the appearance of people.
This time I became consciously cognizant of an overt phenomenon. A significant number of people, to put it mildly, were fat, indeed obese. Mothers and fathers, way overweight, with one or more little ones in tow, carrying packs of crunchies, boxes of sugary soft drinks and other foods.
The picture was sad, indeed very discouraging regarding our future as functioning human beings.
As individuals most of us is aware obesity results from the accumulation of excess fat on the body. Obesity is considered a chronic (long-term) disease, like high blood pressure or diabetes. It has many serious long-term consequences for our health, and it is a leading cause of preventable deaths. Yet, we somehow block these facts out of our thoughts and doing very little to change our quandary.
Obesity is an epidemic in the United States and in other developed countries. Small wonder: Corpulance is on the rise in our society because food is abundant and most of us are employed in positions that require little to no physical activity. This is the inconvenient truth. You can argue it, deny it, or accept it.
"Fighting obesity" is a big and financially rewarding business. Each year, North Americans spend billions of dollars on dieting, diet foods, diet books, diet pills, and the like. Another $75 billion is spent on treating the diseases associated with obesity. Unfortunately, businesses suffer an estimated $20 billion loss in productivity each year from absence due to illness caused by obesity.
We must face it, our social environment promotes obesity. Although we complain left and right about it, we are doing very little to change this creeping disease which endanger and may kill many of us.
As a matter of fact, obesity is becoming global epidemic according to World Health organization reports. Add this menace to the predicted woes of climate change, ongoing and potential conflicts and the problems we will be facing will be monumental.
However, there is always hope, human will and resolve. Utilizing our instinct for survival, we may conquer the disease of obesity so we can work on the other problems in a state of reasonably good health.