The creeping obesity? It didn't creep upon us. Our waistlines were taken from us in the name of greed. Why do I point my finger at greed? There are a few reasons that pop into my mind; the elimination of physical education within the schools systems to “reduce the budget”, fear mongering by political pundits as well as the media, addition of sugars into all processed foods, and the urban move away from having a garden plot and eating raw vegetables.
Sugars have been added to foods as long as people could obtain sugars. However, by utilizing sugars and sugar substitutes as main preservatives food processing companies have seen profits rise considerable. The commitment in 2009 by Cereal Producers World Wide, to reduce sugar in just cereals plummeted their overall sales by a mere 20% resulted in a 10% reduction in sales. People are addicted to sugar and will pay a high price to keep large quantities in their diets. When I was younger, eating a candy bar was a special treat. Not a part of my daily diet. Dessert was a Sunday special, not a nightly ritual.
The urban move away from vegetable gardens is, to me, a form of “class sect” statement. It says “look at me, I can afford to pay someone else to grow my foods”. Knowing where foods come from, is an important step in viewing what you put into your body as fuel. Eating has become a mindless intake of; processed, barely discernible from its original intent, devoid of most natural flavors, and often an incorrect texture to the food base. Eating out has become the norm rather than a celebration. Portion control is non-existent.
Some people attempt to blame the television or the computer games. Who allows their children to play inside that much? People who are fearful. Fearing their children will get snatched up by the boogie man. Rather than spending all that money on computers and gaming devices, fence in your yard then go watch them play. Know your neighbors. My parents didn't always know where I was, but they sure knew if I did something wrong either they would hear about it or it would be handled by the neighbor who saw it happen. Knowing I could be held accountable by every other adult in my neighborhood, also allowed me to know I could seek solace from every other adult in my neighborhood. The neighborhood children ran races, rode bicycles, played tag and kick the can, swam together and walked to school together. We moved and grew into our adult selves.
To me the single most important, reason we have become an ever widening waistline, the absence of Physical Education within our school systems. In the ‘70s we had the Presidential physical goals to meet. During my senior year of high school, I had to take two classes; one class of Business Management and the other Physical Education. Yes, there were people who didn’t want to participate. So. Movement begets movement. It was taught to us. We no longer demand children learn to cooperate within teams. But then, back in the ‘70s we still felt the Peace Corps was an honorable thing, even though it made no money. Making the school systems profitable is, in my humble opinion, the worst thing to come from our legislative body.
We, as a country, are appalled that the ratings of our school systems has dropped. Of the 57 countries surveyed, the United States topped out on average at number 34. We are a sedentary country, those other countries, the ones you think lesser of? Well, they still have physical education throughout school, just as we used to. Understanding that physical exercise helps build mental neuron connections, therefore helps build mental power is not a science that has been forgotten. Simply a science that isn't profitable. Better to have any student who wants to participate in sports, pay for the privilege. Better to have any student who wants to participate in a marching band, pay for the privilege. Better to have our school systems be profitable rather than invest in the community, city, township, state or county’s future.
We, the American people, create chubby people. We over feed ourselves sugars which triggers cravings for more, not unlike every addictive drug I have ever heard of. We have eliminated any goals for physical productivity within our school systems in order to cut down on the number of teachers needed. We have created a set of living standards that are far and away less healthy than our parents or grandparents knew. And then we wonder why we have become a nation of chubby zombies.