The Weight Loss Obsession – Maybe Not Obsessed Enough!

The title, “The Weight Loss Obsession”, was an original title for a piece I wrote in one of my books, over a decade ago. It was during a time when we, the experts, were pretty confident that the combat against fat was being fought and being won. Here we are, over a decade later, and not only have we Americans been beaten down by obesity, but it seems to be beating the entire world and it’s not about to stop its bullying anytime in the foreseeable future.

Do you know why this is? How could it be, that we, one of the most advanced, high tech and savvy countries in the world have now become known as the fattest country in the world? I believe it’s because we are also our own worst enemies! We Americans are non-stop and many of us unfortunately take little time to exercise and even less time to think about what we’re putting in our mouths.

Food is cheaper than it ever has been and unfortunately, it’s the kind of food that’s not close to healthy; highly sugared and overly processed. It’s very easy to see that we’re being preyed upon by fast food chains, which recognize that you have little time to waste, but still need to eat. 

Franco Sassi, the senior health economist of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, talks about a very grim future forecast, saying that by 2020 every three out of four Americans will be overweight or obese. That up to 75% of the American population will be overweight.  

In a statement by Sassi, he reported that even in lieu of what we know about the consequences of obesity, people still refuse to change their ways and spend even less time exercising or making the time to prepare healthy meals, and spend more time eating out at restaurants.   

Unless we all stand up and admit that we have a real problem here, and do something big about it solving it, we are headed for huge trouble and it’s more than the obvious increases in obesity related illness and death. This rise in obesity is going to have our wallets losing the weight, as health care spending and other resources catapult into the stratosphere. It will result in even more burden to our economy and the world’s economic health.

So, how do you think this will all play out? Do you think we’ll ultimately beat the obesity epidemic or will we continue on this spiral downward? We at True Alpha Training are perennially optimistic, so we say, hell yes! But we all need to be held accountable and do our fair share to help begin to turn things around.

What are your thoughts?

Keep Going!

James Villepigue CSCS


3 Responses to “The Weight Loss Obsession – Maybe Not Obsessed Enough!”

  • Elissa:

    I’m not so optimistic as you are, James. The reason for this is that people are being asked to do something they’ve never had to do before: find the time to exercise and think about what they’re putting in their mouths. In the past, most people did neither… it’s just that life required them to be more active in general, prepared food was not readily available, and commercial messages encouraging consumption were not as pervasive or seductive as they are now.

    This post: on “Sociological Images” says a lot about how norms of consumption have changed. In the 1950’s, a 12 oz. can of soda was “king size” and contained “2 full glasses.” Today… well, you already know. But the larger the “normal” size of something, the more the manufacturer sells. Funny how that works. :-(

    We have an entire culture that’s invested in inactivity and over-consumption, and resisting it en masse will not be easy to do. Personal responsibility is a big piece of the puzzle, no doubt, but it’s not enough for our society as a whole, IMHO.

  • I totally agree…..something has to be done! I think the way to really change the way Americans eat is to start educating the kids. Adults need to be educated too, but the main focus should be on the youth. Most people have no idea what “clean” foods are. I know with my clients, most think if they ditch the pop or candy they are doing great. Yes, it is great to get rid of the junk, but we need to get more lean protein, veggies, fruit, and healthy fat. We need to use fast food only as a treat (until the restuarants change and get better choices) not as our only source of consuming food. I am busier than most moms with 3 active chidren, a successful personal training business, a competitor myself, and somehow I find time to eat 7-8x a day and cook healthy meals for my family. If I can find a way……anyone can!!! You just have to make health a priority. We need to teach our children that healthy foods are not “diet foods”…..they are foods that will not only make them feel better and look better, but will make them stronger and fuel their bodies to be able to be better athletes. I teach my girls and also the kids that I have been blessed to train, that food is the most important part of training. We have to listen to our bodies and start eating the way God intended. I don’t think McDonald’s was in the plan when he created the food chain!

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