Time to Crank up the Fight Against Junk

Photo: pixaio.blogspot.com

“It is not anyone’s fault where they are born. Like me, you were born into a world where it’s acceptable to live a sedentary lifestyle, watching television shows like Extreme Couponing, playing mindless games like Angry Birds, “surfing” the web (at least it sounds atheletic), and spending all day crammed into classrooms and offices, breathing in other people’s fart air. The things that we are evolutionarily inclined to crave- fats, sugars, salts- are concentrated and boosted and mixed until they taste so fantastic that it is easy to eat ourselves to death, even though we know better.”

The other day I stumbled across an article in the Nanaimo Daily News called “Let’s Stop Our Kids from Becoming Obese” and it mentioned some interesting things. I would have used a more urgent title, like “Help Our Already Obese Kids” but that’s not really the point.

The thing is, I’ve read so many articles about obesity, and they’re all saying “nearly one third of kids are obese or overweight, and parents need to take them for a walk and feed them vegetables and please dear god, no energy drinks.” These articles are true, and I’m delighted that they’re a popular topic, but they haven’t changed much in the past few years. Have we really been moving forward?

For quite a while now people have been “rather concerned” about obesity. I’m thinking we need to upgrade to “tremendously worried” if we want to actually change things.

I really don’t see why there isn’t more tremendous worry going around; North America may be an excessively privileged place to live, but perhaps too much so. We’ve got a lot of time to not exercise, to not think, to sleep while we are conscious, drinking Coca-Cola while the television heaves a wet blanket over intellectualism.

Not that parents who stick religiously to “go for a walk, eat your vegetables and please dear god, no energy drinks” aren’t common; a lot of people have reasonably good eating habits. But do they do it because they know they should or because they WANT to?

According to the World Health Organization standards (which seems to be the most reliable health organization, even though they haven’t really done much) 19.5 percent of boys but only 6.3 percent of girls from ages 5-11 are overweight. Unfortunately, I don’t think that females have a lower obesity rate because they’re healthier. The eating habits of women can be far more damaging, but the damage isn’t visible on the outside.
Look down at your hand. Look at the veins in there, pumping blood through your body, keeping you alive. Isn’t life important to you? Isn’t keeping those lovely delicate veins healthy so you can have as happy, long and functional of an existence as possible important? How important is that to you? Think about whether you value the quality and length of your existence more than the cheap “joy” of Tim Bits. If there are people who consider junk food a significant source of enjoyment in their life- would McDonalds and Monster Energy Drinks still be selling millions otherwise?- then perhaps the root of the problem is that we live in a society where people don’t lead lives that are as meaningful and enjoyable as they could be, so they fill that void with the immediate gratification delivered by junk foods.

It is not anyone’s fault where they are born. Like me, you were born into a world where it’s acceptable to live a sedentary lifestyle, watching television shows like Extreme Couponing, playing mindless games like Angry Birds, “surfing” the web (at least it sounds atheletic), and spending all day crammed into classrooms and offices, breathing in other people’s fart air. The things that we are evolutionarily inclined to crave- fats, sugars, salts- are concentrated and boosted and mixed until they taste so fantastic that it is easy to eat ourselves to death, even though we know better.

Canadian health authorities have agreed that having an exercise routine at a young age is one of the most effective ways to raise healthy, active people. The provincial government has made 30 minutes of Daily Physical Activity mandatory in elementary schools… but not high schools. Exercise shouldn’t just be something that elementary school students “have” to do. For the same reason that young kids are made to exercise, we all should. Because it’s good for us. The big, popularly discussed problem of obesity would be gone if we simply exercised more and ate healthy. Everybody knows that already; IT’S SO SIMPLE.

– By Ally 

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