It is no secret that we have a massive public health crisis in this country. I’m sure many of you have heard that obesity alone costs the U.S. over $190-billion each year in healthcare and medical expenses, and $0.5-trillion in diet-induced health complications, but allow me to throw some other facts at you. Over 50% of this financial burden is a result of people who are of seemingly healthy weight – a phenomenon called T.O.F.I (thin on the outside, fat on the inside).
Sugar has been proven to be more addictive than cocaine, and health insurance companies are now buying stock in fast food companies.
McDonalds is the largest purchaser of ground beef, potatoes, pork, chicken, lettuce, and apples – giving the fast-food powerhouse control over how these foods are produced. Therefore, even if you don’t eat fast food, you are often eating the food that is produced for the fast food system. Dollar menus may be cheap at the counter, but are the most expensive items on the market when you consider the healthcare and medical expenses on the back end.
Obesity and diet-related diseases are one of the biggest threats to our national security, and are proven to be the biggest hindrances to our national and international economies. It is estimated that over $275-million is spent on extra airline fuel in the United States alone as a result of obese passengers.
The good news: all of this is preventable.
My goal is to facilitate a call to action. Every time an altruistic government tries to regulate the issues within the food industry, the corporate giants fire back – sparking a heated discussion about how government is too controlling and should stay out of people’s lives. The food industry accomplishes this through the self-policing environment it has created, paying off various politicians and judges, and even employing various individuals of power within their companies.
This is why I have made it my mission to improve the health of our nation and world through a family commitment to fitness. Let’s Move! Campaign, working at governmental levels to make health a national priority – was a solid step in the right direction, but is not step number one. Revamping school lunches, making health an academic and professional necessity – is a crucial step as well, but is also not the first step.
The first step starts with you… making health a family commitment. You must take a holistic approach to health and fitness, focusing on not just the physical, but on the nutritional and psychological needs of families and individuals as well. Reach out to local health and fitness professionals in your area. Utilize nutrition experts within supermarkets when food shopping. Educate yourselves, and your children. Make exercise fun, each and every day of your life, and reach out to me personally if you have questions or need assistance. I’ll always do what I can to be helpful.
I’ll leave you with these words, credited to the Dalai Lama:
“When asked what surprised him most about humanity, the Dalai Lama answered:
‘Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.’”
The message is clear and true – we live in an age of melancholy. Society is plagued by metabolic disease, all of which is completely preventable. Want my advice? Get busy living. Make health a family commitment.