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Obesity as an Issue Today and the Half Ton Man

Following recent reportsofa South Dakotaman weighing half a ton, and losing 500 pounds inone year (he still weighs over 450!). Obesity has becomepart of the headlines once again.

Regularly eating the wrong type of foods increase the risk

A new health issue?

Obesity is nothing new,the health impact of being overweight has long been known. Only recently has the problem been described as an epidemic.

Obesity itselftakes a very long time to develop. In thatperiod there needs to be a constant excess of energy and lack of activity.

So who's to blame?

No one will accept responsibility, where children are concerned, schools and parents seem topoint the finger ateach other. Food producers and retailers say they onlysell what the customer wants. It isthe individual who has the personal choice toeator not.It's generally consideredthat the responsibility goeswider than that.

Today's lifestyle isdominated by technology. The TV movie with popcorn and pizza. The latest console, surf the web, send an email. The screen and its chair take up alot of leisure time.Work is nowa service industry full of desks and call centers. There just isn't any physical activity.

Action is taking place

Education has encouraged healthier eating

Education has brought awareness ofgood eating and exercisehabits dueto schools, the government and media trying to push the benefits. Even fast food restaurants have made changes, althoughnot entirely voluntarily.

The funding of these projects from governments and organizations is impressive but the results aren't. Levels of obesity are still rising.

The future

Current campaigns and advice are not working and some people don't seem to want to lose weight. There needs to besomething that causes a cultural shiftor change in attitude. Only then will we see an impactin today's obesity.

So what aboutour half ton man? Well, he's still alive,butat 480 or so pounds, hestill has a long way to go. And, as people,regarding obesity,so have we.

Amount of population considered obese

USA30.6 %
Slovakia22.4 %
United Kingdom22.0 %
Luxembourg17.3 %
Czech Republic14.8 %
Iceland12.4 %
Finland11.8 %
Sweden10.4 %
OECD Health Data 2005

Obesity Groups

American Obesity Organization

International Obesity Task Force

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