Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Obese Nation

According to an online article I read at the AtlanticWire titled U.S. Still Tops in Increasingly Obese Developed World, by Max Fisher, "The U.S. now has the highest adult obesity rate in the developed world, 34 %, according to a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development." As health care costs skyrocket, this is becoming more and more of a concern. 
With all the data and research showing how bad being overweight is for your overall health, Americans still can't seem to resist unhealthy, high calorie foods and treats. I understand the problem, believe me. Being of Italian descent and loving food myself, especially foods such as pasta, bread and bagels (everyone knows NY has the best bagels), I can sympathize with overeaters. 
We all know what we have to do to lose weight and improve health, but eating mindfully is not so easy. But if you try to watch what you eat and exercise as well, you can see results and feel good about making progress. Walking is a great form of exercise, so you don't have to do workouts to benefit, even alittle exercise is better than nothing. 
The studies I've read about the perils of being overweight are scary. Besides causing high blood pressure and increasing your chances of gettting a stroke or heart attack, being overweight can increase incidences of diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, and increase your chances of an early death. It makes good sense to watch your calorie intake everyday and make good choices when it comes to food. 
According to Dr. Steven Garner, MD, who writes a column for Brooklyn's diocesan newspaper, The Tablet, exercise is crucial to maintaining a good weight as we age. He recommends, "Exercise into old age-regular exercise is one of the best predictors of a long life..."
As I've mentioned before, in other blog entries, as Catholic Christians we believe that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and we should nurture, care for and honor our bodies. And that means trying to resist too much food intake. It takes discipline to pass up fattening treats which taste good and satisfy but practicing discipline (including fasting), when it comes to eating, can carry over into other aspects of your life and improve your health. Discipline is good for the mind, body and soul. All the major world religions have been preaching that for thousands of years. There is obviously something to it.