1 out of 3 overweight?

rwja2004January 8, 2007

Is this really true? How sad! Diabetes and heart disease are on the rise more than ever. How can we all try to make a difference? I am glad to see shows like biggest loser on TV vs. other shows that don't make any difference in lives.

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Where did you get this statistic? Out of my husband,myself and my daughter,none of us are overweight.

I dont think we really can make a difference.It is fast food places and grocery stores who can make the most impact. Even some foods we think are healthy really arent. So until someone steps in and says enough is enough,then all we can do is try to eat healthy.

I for one think that as much as they complain about smoking,and ban that,that they need to start with the overweight issue.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 4:25AM
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I disagree. I think we can each make a difference by setting an example, by educating our friends about healthy eating, the Mediterranean diet. IMO, a lot of this is sheer laziness, an unwillingness to get out and walk daily, or to climb more stairs, or to park your car and walk to do your errands. If you have time, prepare your meals from scratch, with everything fresh. Most processed foods are fattening and have unhealthy additives.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 10:48AM
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The weight explosion is a very serious matter in most of the world now. The rate of diabetes in China is just moving off the charts. Obviously key strokes don't carry the same weight protection as breast strokes, but I think it must be more then just exercise or the lack there of.

What I am concerned about is that people who are overweight will be even more marginalized in society than they are now. They already make less money than normal or underweight persons and diabetes is more and more being called a life style disease. I won't say that life style isn't a factor. It frequently is, but the metabolic syndrome is clearly more complicated than anyone ever imagined. We all know thin people who are diabetic (yes, even type 2) and very heavy people who are not. I worry particularly for the children because both high and low blood sugar lead to poor performance in school. That isn't being recognized enough. We write people off as lazy or stupid and that isn't going to get us anywhere. There is some very interesting research in the pipeline and it seems to suggest that we have been attacking the problem all wrong. I hope the research continues and education becomes more prevalent so that we can halt this disturbing trend.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 2:04PM
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Woodnymph 2 ~I personally do not have time to make food by scratch. I dont know many people who do,and that is the problem. We go for what is fast because we are constantly on the go.

I myself eat whatever I want in MODERATION.Meaning,I try to eat turkey and veggies everyday,but now and then when I want a couple of cookies,I have them!

Exersice is also very important.But then again,alot of people say they dont have time for that either.

Maybe if we werent contiunally stressed and worked to death we would have more time to exersice and eat right.Who is with me on a longer weekend???

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 6:10PM
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The AR Governor has made it his issue (he went out of office this past week). They have taken the soda machines and candy and snack machines out of the schools. My health insurance started it's fiscal year on 1/1/07 and I got paperwork stating that our insurance is going to pay for a 3 step plan for weight loss. We have to complete the 1st step before going on to the 3rd step but the 2nd isn't required but recommended. 1 is to work with a dietitian on a personal level and try dieting. We have to lose weight on our own for step 3. Step 2 is to put the new way of eating into action and then if we still need it they will pay for surgery for those who need it. I work for the state and our insurance is self-funded.

Scientists have proven that all overweight people are not just people who can't stop eating. I've eaten the same things as friends and family and less than some of them, gotten the same exercise but I gained weight and they didn't. Now I'm disabled, hopefully temporarily with severe back problems which are not due to weight but genetics. Sure there are people who overeat and gain weight but that's their business and I don't understand why people judge those who are overweight. I'll bet there isn't a person on earth who doesn't have an overweight person that they love dearly and that they would be very angry if someone made fun of that person or talked down to them.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 2:51AM
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I was doing relatively okay with my weight the last time I posted, but since then my doctor has decided that my thyroid medicine is harming my heart. Since being taken off the meds, I have gained a pound a week. I take in 1400 calories a day and exercise 1 - 1 1/2 hours a day, but that isn't enough to stop the gain. I eat very carefully. I keep myself to 90 carbs or under. I eat no fast food. I have had no sugar, flour, rice, potatoes etc. in over 2 years. I don't eat my own birthday cake. I clean the sanctuary at church rather than expose myself to the doughnuts. I don't accept dinner invitations unless I am comfortable telling my host that I eat no carbs in the evening. I drink only plain water. Does that sound like a person out of control?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 12:49PM
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I never said anyone was out of control.

I myself,am a smoker.I know that when non-smokers say how I should quit and how easy it is,that is an ADDICTION that recently stated on GOOD MORNING AMERICA is as hard an addiction to break as HEROIN.
Instead of finding better ways to help smokers quit,what do they do? They just ban it from everywhere,and are trying to stop the sale of it.Doesnt really help the problem though does it??? People still WANT to smoke cuz they are addicted,and will find a way to do so. What people need,is a better way to help them quit (without wanting to kill someone or themselves)

However,alot of people will say that smokers are the cause of health insurance costs rising.They also blame obese/overweight people.Yet I realize,that obese people also have reasons why they maybe cant lose weight.Health problems and what not.

I dont even have insurance,so ask me how I can make the costs rise.If I was a non-smoker I couldnt afford it,so argung that smokers and overweight people drive up health care costs is BULL.America and their greed is what drives up health care costs.Isnt that what health insurance is supposed to be for anyways???To help people who need it???Obviously smokers and overweight people need help.Yet only rich people can afford health insurance.

So I'am right there with you in a way.Instead of really fixing problems and helping people,they want to point fingers and make accusations.

Of course you,devorah,do not sound out of control to me.You sound like a person with a problem who does what they can.My
mom is also overweight,and I have no idea why cuz I never see her eat anything! She certainly doesnt eat fast food and processed foods.
But I do think fast food joints should hold some responsibility for the overweight factor. Obviously,they know they do or else so many wouldnt be "changing their menus" to healthier foods now.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 12:19AM
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thank you coolmama

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 12:27PM
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"Where did you get this statistic? Out of my husband,myself and my daughter,none of us are overweight."

Are you serious? Rhetorical question.

"I dont even have insurance,so ask me how I can make the costs rise."

And just whom do you think pays for your medical costs since you don't have insurance? If you can't afford the cost of insurance, you certainly can't afford the costs of surgery and hospitalization. What the hospitals, doctors, and laboratories do to compensate for uninsured patients is this -- they charge more to the insurance carriers (when insured patients have the same procedures) than the normal cost would be. That means the insurance company is paying for some of your costs and it leaves the insured patient with a bill that includes some of your costs.

For example, if a procedure would normally cost $1,000, and the insurance covers 90% ($900), the insured patient has to pay the remaining 10% ($100). But, because there are so many people without insurance needing health care, the hospitals aren't going to be doing all of those procedures for free, so the insurance company (for the person with insurance) is going to be billed $2,500. The insurance company will then say that $1,200 is over the allowed amount, leaving a balance of $1,300. The insurance company will pay 90% of the allowed amount ($1,170), leaving a 10% balance of $130 for the insured patient to pay.

Then, insurance companies are going to not want to be putting out so much money without getting something in return, so they will raise the cost of the monthly premium that the insured patient has to pay.

My husband and I both work for the state, and we have health insurance as a "benefit." The policyholder is my husband, and I am on the policy as his spouse. We have no children. Our monthly premium is $1,523.76. The state pays a little over $500 of it, the rest is on us.

Several years ago, I had to have a lump removed from my right breast. The surgery was done on an outpatient basis in an operating room at the hospital, and it was done under a "local with sedation." That means that I had an IV running and was given some IV valium to keep me relaxed, and I was given a local anesthetic in the breast. My insurance policy was hit with a huge bill that included several thousand dollars for use of the (general) anesthesia equipment. I called the hospital to ask why that was on my bill, since I didn't undergo general anesthesia and didn't use the equipment. The response was, "oh, we know. But that equipment is very expensive and someday it will have to be replaced. We often do surgery on uninsured patients [this hospital's ER is a trauma center] so whenever anyone with insurance uses an OR, we bill for the use of the equipment."

THAT is how an uninsured person drives up the cost of health care.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 1:04AM
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Whatever,I have never had a surgery or any other kind of medical procedure,Lindsey ca! So NOBODY has paid for my costs.

When I go to the doctor,I pay cash.So explain to me how that makes insurance rates go up?
Yes,I have been lucky not to have a medical procedure done.But frankly,I refuse to pay 300 dollars a month on health insurance.In the state I live in,they dont offer any plans for people unless you are under 18 or pregnant.
My husband works for a small company,and we used to get insurance through them,but because there are so few people they stopped offering it.

We only go to the doctor when we have to,and always pay cash.Same with prescriptions.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 7:29PM
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The world does not revolve around you, coolmama. Just because YOU pay cash when you go to the doctor or pharmacy doesn't mean that other uninsured patients aren't causing the cost of medical care to rise. You need to look at the bigger picture. Same thing with the statistic that one in three folks are overweight. It doesn't mean "take a three-person family and one of them will be overweight." It means that if you take the total population, one-third of that number will be roughly equal to the number of overweight people.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 10:01PM
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I was just making a point that in these so-called statistics,I certainly dont see what they are talking about,and I know alot of others who dont either! The world may not revolve around me,but one person can make a difference! So I'am not the typical person that you talk about.
Dont you think health insurance companies should make health care more affordable to those who need it??? Why should you,the state pays for some of yours.Not all of us are so lucky.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 4:08AM
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But I'am very frustrated over this issue.My husband and I have TRIED to find healthcare everywhere, but simply cannot afford it...and then to be blamed for healthcare costs going up makes me mad.Like we wouldnt have it if we could afford it! But 300 dollars a month just for him and I is insane.We are hardly ever even sick.

Our stupid state doesnt offer any kind of help for us.Our daughter has medical assistance though.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 4:27AM
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"Our daughter has medical assistance though."

And since you have stated that you and your husband can't afford to pay for insurance, it appears we are to conclude that the taxpayers in your state are paying for your daughter's?

And you still don't understand why health care costs are rising???

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 4:44PM
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I am afraid that we are playing into a game that has worked very well for the multi-national pharmaceuticals and the scarcity based economy of our medical establishment. Let me be very clear that I am including myself in this.

I think it is well known in higher circles that when we blame each other for the high cost of medicine, it shifts our gaze and our ire from the providers of medicine onto each other. I am reading a fascinating book called "The Undercover Economist" The writer explains that our medical associations are the gatekeepers for those who would be doctors and nurses. They strictly regulate how many graduates are coming into the field. Scarcity breeds profits. I know many intelligent, capable students who could not get into medical, dental, or nursing school while there are still shortages for all three and people who would gladly have agreed to take Medicare patients in return for a place in the schools. I also hear from physicians who would gladly work fewer hours if there were less demand for their services.

The insurance problem is also something we need to tackle. I think tort reform is absolutely called for and I think it can be coupled with strict liability. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. The hospital care I have received in the last couple of years has been shockingly shoddy even while I was charged $100 for a vitamin tablet.

My husband believes that we are going to have to make some hard choices, that we are going to unnatural lengths and costs to keep ourselves alive long after we even want to be. This will get worse as we boomers age into more and more expensive care. Right now though (if the statistics I read were correct) It is still babies that really eat up costs. Friends of mine have had preemies who were kept alive at a cost of over 10k a day, only to fail and die after a month just as the doctors knew they would. What do we do about that? I have no answer only questions. It is something we will all need to think about.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 7:01PM
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To get back to the weight issue, here's the thing I don't get. People keep saying things like:

We write people off as lazy or stupid and that isn't going to get us anywhere. There is some very interesting research in the pipeline and it seems to suggest that we have been attacking the problem all wrong.

Are you suggesting that there is some overarching cause for obesity beyond people just eating more than they should, and not exercising? If so, why the sudden explosion in the last 30 years? That's the thing I don't get. We didn't all suddenly get shot with gamma rays to make us fat. If there was some genetic predisposition in some humans to be fat, we would have been seeing the same amount of obesity for the past several centuries, not a sudden growth of it in the last few decades.

Don't get me wrong -- I think that for some people, a very small majority, they have thyroid and other medical issues that makes it impossible for them to lose weight. And that's probably been true for centuries. But it seems like almost every fat person I talk to says, "But I have a medical condition! I can't lose weight!" I don't buy it.

No, for me, it's pretty obvious. People are not eating healthy, and they are not exercising. I have a friend who is at least 100 pounds overweight. I sit there and watch her shovel food into her face, and listen to her excuses about why she can't exercise, and then she whines about how fat she is and how she can't lose weight. It's pretty obvious why.

I myself gained 15 pounds over the last year. I have absolutely no one to blame but myself. I ate too much fast food, and other junk, and didn't exercise. With a lot of hard work, and eating a lot of stuff that didn't taste very good, I've been losing the weight. But the reality is, a lot of people don't want to do that. It's a lot easier -- and a lot more tasty -- to eat the bad stuff and sit around on your duff than to exercise.

I do think that for some people, it's harder to lose the weight than it is for others, because of their metabolism. That's because we're all individuals. I suck at math, and have no rhythm. I can apparantly lose weight if I eat salads every day, and ride the exercise bike for 30 minutes -- someone else may have to work harder to achieve the same results. In my opinion, though, that doesn't give them an excuse to not do it at all, anymore than my lack of math skills excuses me from doing my taxes or balancing my check book. If it takes someone 6 months to lose the 15 pounds that I lost in 3 months, they still should do it, for their own health. Does it suck for their sake that they don't get to eat whatever they want, whenever they want? Sure. I'd love to be able to eat a candy bar every day myself, along with Doritos, and regular soda, but I can't, not if I want to stay healthy. We all have to make sacrifices as we get older for the sake of our health.

Frankly, I personally am tired of hearing excuses from people that are overweight. Every person that I know who is overweight (barring one or two extreme exceptions, who do have glandular issues) are not making ANY effort towards eating healthy or exercising. They got that way because of their choices; and yes, I do internally consider them lazy because of it. Just being honest here -- doesn't make me the nicest person, I know, but it's the truth.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 9:20PM
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Lindsay ca First I just want to say,that I was never talking about how uninsured people make the costs of insurance go up in the first place.
I was referring to overweight and smokers making insurance go up.And my point was that arent people like that the ones who need it most anyways???
People have addictions of all kinds.Alcohol,they have AA.
Even sex addicts have their little support groups. Well,over weight people (some anyways,not all) are ADDICTED to food.They should have more support to stop overeating.
Instead they get these commercials of really fattening foods to entice them into over eating.

And Lindsay ca,you get help from the state too,so how are you gonna say that I make costs go up and you dont???
I think America is BULL.There are other countries where they have free health care to everyone.Maybe it shouldnt be free here,but they could at least let it go by income or something.They'd still be making millions either way!
My husband and I saw on the news the real reason health insurance costs have gone up is because of the rich people who have insurance that go to the doctor over every little thing like a stubbed toenail.
That if people only went more when they really needed to,costs wouldnt be this high.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 2:45AM
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coolmun said, "And Lindsay ca,you get help from the state too,so how are you gonna say that I make costs go up and you dont???"

Where did I say that I get help from the state? I said that my husband and I are both employed by our state, and that our employer pays a token amount towards the monthly premium for the health insurance. This is no different than working for Microsoft, Sears, McDonalds, PepsiCo, or any other company that provides benefits for its employees; one of those benefits being paying a small part of the monthly health insurance premiums. I also said that our monthly health insurance premium (two adults, no children, no major health issues) is $1,523.76. More than $1,000 of that monthly premium is deducted from my husband's paycheck each month.

"My husband and I saw on the news the real reason health insurance costs have gone up is because of the rich people who have insurance that go to the doctor over every little thing like a stubbed toenail."

Good grief - what news station do you watch?!? When someone has health insurance, no matter what their income is, the insurance company pays a portion and the insured person pays a portion. How the heck can that make medical costs go up?

The real reason medical costs are rising is because the uninsured people use the emergency room as their regular family physician. Rather than going to something like a walk-in clinic that will see anyone at any time, they wait and then go to an emergency room for things like a toothache or runny nose.

And smokers don't just cause health problems for themselves -- plenty of studies have shown how damaging second hand smoke is.

And, yes, I know your name isn't coolmun -- it's coolmama. And mine isn't Lindsay -- it's Lindsey.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 4:20AM
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I have to agree with everything Bob wrote. I know there are exceptions, as those with medical conditions. But I still maintain that for many overweight Americans it is a combination of ignorance and laziness, with a lack of will power. I have a friend exactly my age, who started out exactly my size some 25 years ago. I read labels, watch what I eat and drink, and exercise continually. Every time I would suggest to my friend that we take a walk together, she had an excuse: it's too hot, it's too cold, I don't have the right shoes, etc. etc. Then she will swim for a few minutes in summer and call that exercise. When we eat out in a restaurant, she chooses the sticky buns, the breads, the crackers, while I choose salads and lean meats. She serves dessert; I do not. You should see the difference between us, weight-wise. She is aging rapidly. I weigh within a few pounds of what I used to weigh in college. I force myself to walk even when I don't feel up to it or even when the weather is bad, winter and summer. I am not afraid to sweat; my friend is. That's only one example.

As for the insurance issue, as the richest nation on the planet, we could do better by our people. I would be in favor of some sort of national health insurance such as Canada has, although I do not know much about the details.

Another issue, I feel many Americans are being held hostage by the drug companies and that doctors we see are encouraging us to take more medicines than we often need, when lifestyle changes or natural substances or a healthy diet would be better. It's a matter of education, also.

End of rant.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 9:38AM
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bob, I think there might be something that is causing the weight explosion beyond caolories in/ calories out. I may be extrapolating too much from my own condition, but I have cut my calories to 1200 a day. I work-out in a gym for an hour and a half a day. Nothing white/refined has touched my lips in years and I am gaining a pound a week. Have a theory that covers that?

It is quite true that people I have known on welfare used the emergency room for every little thing - but there is nowhere else they could go. There were no doctors taking their medical coupons. My objection is that since it costs nothing, they also went to get splinters out of their fingers or to get cough medicine. There probably needs to be a co-pay of some sort for everyone just so that they will stop and consider whether their condition really requires medical intervention.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 12:43PM
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lind SEY ca,geez it was a simple mistake with the name.I could care less if you call me bob,cool mama is obviously not my real name.

I saw it on Fox news at 5:30...and they stated that ways to help keep insurance costs from rising was to not go to the doctor over every little thing.It DID not say it was uninsured people going to the emergency room.So why are you taking it so personally?

"Where did I say that I get help from the state? "
The state pays a little over $500 of it, the rest is on us.

As you can see,I easily misinterpreted that.

No kidding smokers cause problems for other people.That is why they should have access to help so they can once and for all quit.Nicotine patches and gum do nothing to help,really.
If you asked most smokers,they would all probably tell you that if quitting wasnt quite so hard,they would do it.

I apologized for having a tone with you,yet you continue to have one with me,so I do not feel as though I will continue this discussion with you.You obviously need to be in the menopause section.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 3:58PM
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I may be extrapolating too much from my own condition, but I have cut my calories to 1200 a day. I work-out in a gym for an hour and a half a day. Nothing white/refined has touched my lips in years and I am gaining a pound a week. Have a theory that covers that?

Well, I don't mean to offend you, but how sure are you about the 1200 calories you're ingesting every day? The reality is, the average American does not understand portioning, and can't read labels properly (and they also don't tend to count all those daily little snacks, either). I had a friend that swore up and down that she was only eating 1300 calories a day and that she simply could not lose weight. I went over her diet with her, and we discovered that she was actually eating close to 2100 calories a day. No wonder she wasn't losing any weight. She just couldn't read labels worth a darn, and wasn't fully considering the values of certain addons to foods that were adding significantly to her overall calories.

I'm assuming you're female. The other important thing to do is have your thyroid checked. If you have cut your calories signficantly, and are exercising, and are still not losing weight, then hypothyroidism could be the culprit, especially if you're in your 30's or older. A good friend of mine was in the same boat as you (and was exhibiting a few other symptoms of hypothyroidism) -- she got put on synthroid, and started dropping pounds immediately. Hypothyroidism is very common in middle-aged women, and inability to lose weight is a common symptom.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 5:22PM
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I agree with Woodnymph2 and Coolmama that there should be some kind of health insurance plan in America. Lindsey CA.,what do you care if Coolmama's daughter has medical assistance? That has no effect on the costs of health care at all.In fact,it is a whole seperate program from regular insurance. So you're saying children should suffer too with no healthcare?
Devorah,sounds like a thyroid problem.
BOB,I agree most people dont how to read labels.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 5:54PM
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Actually I know it is a thyroid problem. I have been taking replacement thyroid for years but recently developed chest pains and a rapid pulse from taking my meds. My enocrinologist cut my prescription drastically and that's when the big weight gain started. And of course I was extrapolating too much based on my condition, but I won't be surprised if in time we can isolate chemical food additives that are causing this horrible epidemic of fat. That doesn't mean that eating chips and watching TV isn't a big part of the problem, but I don't think it explains everything.

Bob, I also have diabetes. I keep a journal of every morsel that goes into my mouth. I know how to count carbs and I know how to count calories. I am an expert at reading labels. It is very important to me to be accurate.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 8:44PM
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Devorah, then you know why have trouble losing weight, so I don't exactly see what point you're trying to make. Personally, I don't think just because one person has a thyroid problem that you can draw any conclusions about weight problems in the general population.

I won't be surprised if in time we can isolate chemical food additives that are causing this horrible epidemic of fat.

All the more reason to focus on eating a healthy (i.e. non processed-food) diet. It IS possible to do, even if you're crunched for time -- I do it myself, and I work more than full time. It's all about priorities.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 9:44PM
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Good question - what's my point. I have been pretty fuzzy. I guess what I am trying to say is that you would have no way of knowing just from looking at me what my body's chemistry is like and to be judgmental without additional information would be overstepping. What is true for me is certainly true for others.

I don't know why I am diabetic. I don't know why my husband is. His body type is lean and lanky just as his parents were - but they didn't become diabetic. It may all be lifestyle and food choices, but I can't help thinking that isn't an adequate answer. Certainly we need better food and we need more information about the food we eat. We need to stop giving in to children and only offering school lunches of pizza and pop, but I still think there is a good chance that there are environmental factors we haven't even looked at yet. In the meantime, I don't think it is helpful to say "if you did what I do you would look like me" In my opinion, that is a huge over-simplification of a complex problem

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 8:25PM
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I am not sure that Bob was saying that. I think we can agree that most Americans (if able physically) need to get more exercise. It ought to be like brushing one's teeth daily -- just build it into your schedule. Find something you like to do and make it a part of your daily routine. It's not just the over-eating or the eating of wrong things. It is the sedentary life style. Our bodies are made to be active.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 10:54AM
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This is an intresting topic to me because did any of you know that dieting can actually cause a thyroid problem?

Also,heard the president is supposed to be signing a new bill called AFFORDABLE CHOICES INITATIVE.Some new plan for more affordable health care to those who cant afford it.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 10:54PM
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Australia has similar alarming weight problems.

Eating has become commercialised, thanks to the huge fast food industry that has taken over the world.

When you go to the shops, we have been educated to eat, food choices everywhere, icecream here and there, donuts, all really bad food, that we dont need to eat.

Advertising aimed at children, with cheap plastic toys, creating environmental problems.

Its simple to avoid becoming overweight. Don't eat too much, too much calories in equals fat.

Only buy fresh food, dont buy processed. Its easy to cook a few veges, make salad, and a lump of meat. You cant tell me that takes much time to whip up ! Snacks, easy, fruit, nuts, drink water. Its easy to be healthy, there is no excuse for being overweight.

Every day go for a walk, park the car and walk, it doesnt take much effort to do some exercise.

If you are making excuses then you are not trying hard enough.

In Australia we have a universal medical system. You can also have private medical insurance, which I have, that costs me about $160 a month. This gives me cover for a private hospital. If I go to the GP, I can go to a bulk billing place, of which there are many and have a consultation with a doctor, and then it is charged to the state. I can also go to a private doctor of my choice, this costs about $50 for a consultation, and then I claim half of this back from the state.

Medical charges are going up all the time.

I would also like to add, a prominant doctor, here, has proposed that smokers and obese people must lose weight and stop smoking before they are operated on. I think he said that smokers need to have stopped smoking for six weeks before the operation.

I think addictions can be controlled, to say that the addict has no power to overcome it is a cop out.

A western diet is full of saturated fats and sugars, find a diet that reduces these two things and you will be well on your way to being healthy.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 2:12AM
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Another thing: why do we assume that we need 3 full meals per day, unless we are ditch-diggers? Why not try 2 and one half meals --- a full breakfast, snack at lunch, and then a full dinner.

Some say that eating multiple small meals daily works better for them than 3 full meals. I think each adult has to find his/her own system that works.

I've noticed in recent months that in local grocery stores here in Virginia, more healthy take away foods are available: different sorts of salads, all made up ready to go, and not that costly. Why not choose greens for lunch, along with fruit, and a tiny bit of lean meat? Just bypass the fast food places.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 12:43PM
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a tiny bit of lean meat

Or bypass the meat completely :) Vegetarianism is often a healthy lifestyle choice that can make a huge difference in a person's eating habits, and overall health. We're so programmed, though, to think that we must have meat to be healthy, and that other sources of protein are somehow lacking that people sometimes forget that vegetarianism is a viable option.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 3:44PM
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I do not care for alcohol. I don't know what it is like to crave it, but I believe it is an addiction and I respect the efforts people take to subdue the cravings. I have no desire for drugs, but I have read enough about drug addiction to have no doubt that it is extremely difficult to control. I don't smoke and never wanted to, but I believe people when they say it is terribly hard to quit. We have all seen pictures of people smoking in spite of having lung cancer. Behavior that is so obviously self destructive can't be explained except as an addiction.

I crave carbohydrates. I can't have them because I am diabetic, but when I am stressed as I was today it was a terrific battle to stay in control. I have no sugar or flour or refined products in my home because it is as difficult for me to ignore them as it would be for an alcoholic to ignore beer in the refrigerator.

If we are going to refuse medical support for people with "self-inflicted" maladies then let's not treat skin cancer for any person who purposely got a tan. Let's not treat breast cancer for any woman who didn't breast feed her children and increased her odds for cancer. Let's not treat women for uterine cancer who chose not to have children. Let's not pay for AIDS treatment because sex is a choice. While we are at it, let's not treat left-handed people because they are a statistical risk for accidents. Let's stop Jews from procreating because of the risk of Tay Sachs disease. We can bring those insurance costs way down

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 2:41AM
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Popi,I think I'm moving to Australia then!!!!

Sherilyn08, I think that's great the president is going to try to create that new plan~let's just hope he follows through!

Devorah,you make alot of valid points!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2007 at 12:30AM
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I see it all around me.
- Children being driven to school when we used to walk.
- Teenage girls, already busting out of their jeans, lined up at the local Starbucks every morning to buy whipped-cream-topped 20-ounce frappucinos - otherwise known as candy-bar-in-a-cup.
- Restaurants serving gut-busting portions.
- People still in the 3-meals a day plus snacks mindset.
- People thinking walking around the neighborhood is a strange thing to do.
- People coming home from work just to sit on their butts and watch TV while snacking until bedtime.
- Going to any shopping mall and seeing children and adults walking around clutching Big Gulps and snacks.

We are having a huge and ongoing food orgy, and until that stops, this obesity problem is going to continue. You eat too much - you gain weight. That simple.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 7:57PM
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OMG LOL at the food Orgy comment! That is the funniest thing I have heard all day.
I totally agree with everything you say gina w. Except about the riding to school thing. It just isnt safe to walk anymore.Down the street from where I live some guy tried to pull a child into the car with him. It's so sad when you cant even let a child walk anywhere anymore without worrying about this.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 11:16PM
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Then the moms or dads should take turns walking with a group of kids. They can organize car-pool, they can organize that. Walk people! Walk! Use those legs!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 11:46AM
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That's a good idea,but most parents dont have time to do that when they have jobs to go to. My daughter's school is kinda far and would take at least a half hour-45 minutes to walk to.
In the mornings we always feel really rushed as it is.

But my daughter is also UNDERWEIGHT,so exersice isnt really her problem. She keeps getting taller,but isnt gaining enough weight to keep up so she's a rail. I let her eat whatever she wants in hopes she'll put on a few pounds.

She's the tallest kid in her class,and I think she may end up being like her daddy and being quite tall and lanky.

My 15 year old step daughter is at 15,already very overweight though. SHE hides food in her room,and refuses to do anything that is like exersice,even swimming.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 4:33AM
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Coolmama, I'm addressing the population in general. Parents are likely to be couch potatoes themselves, and so they aren't good role models for their kids. Everyone's sitting, sitting, sitting - in front of the TV or the computer.

Speaking of the computer - have you heard of "Dance Dance Revolution"? It's an interactive video game that is usually seen at arcades. But it's also available for the home - it comes with a mat that you do the steps on. This type of interactive game is what parents should be buying for their kids. Some state is using DDR for a weight-loss program.

Anyway, we are raising a generation of kids that may not live as long as we will - is that not frightening and sad?

Forget "Just say no to drugs"... the new mantra should be "Just say no to food".

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 12:11PM
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Things that would help

1. Safe places to walk, play, ride bikes, etc in all neighborhoods. My neighborhood has no play area, no sidewalks. So kids have to play/ride bikes/ skate/ whatever in the street. Most streets do not have lights, so if you work or go to school during daylight hours like most people, doing your outdoor exercise at night can be dangerous. The drivers speed and can't see you. I know I can't afford to join a gym, and I doubt my neighbors can either, especially those with children. So the kids stay inside because it isn't safe.

2. Nutrition information on everything on every restaraunt menu. Not just some restaraunts, not just some "healthy selection" items- everything. That way you can adjust what and how much you're going to eat accurately not matter where you go.

3. Bike/walking lanes/sidewalks on roads that actually go somewhere you'd need to go. Durham has a few bike lanes, but they generally start and stop in places where nobody would need to go. Having a bike lane from home to work might encourage more people to ride. Right now, I'm afraid for bikers because the car drivers are so horrible, sometimes on purpose! And there's no place for a biker to get out of the way.

4. I wish healthy food didn't cost so much. I spend about $50/week just on fresh fruits and veggies, and I'm the only one in the house who eats the fruit! And there's only 1 other person here. It's no wonder that people with less money don't eat as healthy- it's too darn expensive. Yeah, I know I'm saving money and my health in the long run, but I can afford that. Some families can't.

5. Know what I'd really love? An indoor dog-walking track. I don't live anywhere with brutal summers or winters (although you hear people complain about the heat during the summer, it isn't that bad). I'd love to be able to walk the dogs when it's raining, but can't because I have nowhere for them to go while drying off. Plus honestly, I hate the rain. So I'd love that.

6. It would be nice if there were more fitness options for low cost or free everywhere. Not just safe places to exercise outside, but lower cost gyms and such. And I wish they were open when normal people who work all day could actually use them! My mom joined one of those women's fitness centers, but has to rush home from work to get there before they close. Many nights she doesn't make it.

Those would be a good start.

We could then get into a healthcare system that is more geared towards preventative medicine that people could afford. Better health education in schools. Recess! Gym class with actual activity! But now I'm dreaming....

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 7:39PM
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Gina w~ you are so right! The kids today are pretty lazy and eat way more calories a day then they should.

I think that the new video games that are inneractive are great! Hopefully all these little changes will help.
I remember being a kid and always running around outside and being active.
What is really bad is all the high calorie/high fattening foods.One Cinnabon is like over 900 calories! Fast food,even the ones they claim are healthier usually arent.
After watching supersize me I have a whole new view about fast food.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 7:41PM
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That is a very good list with many great ideas!!! It's just as you say~ they make being healthy a hard thing for people to do.
And you couldnt be more right about how healthy food costs more then processed or unhealthy ones.I spend twice as much the weeks I want to prepare healthy meals.
And you have to be rich to have a Gym membership.
Where I live there isnt many places for kids to play outside either.

I personally would love to have a membership to this indoor pool by where I live,but for a family of three it is like 700 dollars a year! I dont think so!!!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 9:41PM
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Many cities have public pools open in the summer. Most people live in suburbs where there are plenty of parks and open areas. I'm in Los Angeles county and there are parks everywhere, and of course the beach. I have a dog and I walk him at parks or the beach or my neighborhood 4 times a day.

Know what? The parks are empty. The playgrounds sometimes have some stay-at-home moms with their small children, and some retirees walk at the parks, and some dog-owners like me. But folks these free public parks are deserted most of the time.

I've started keeping frozen fruits and veggies in my house because I don't have time to shop for fresh all the time, and I've found that the quality of the frozen is pretty dang good now. And they're a lot cheaper than fresh fruits and veggies in season.

I never read nutrition labels. I know what's nutritious. I don't buy processed foods and I'm over at the Cooking forum all the time because that's one of my hobbies. Again, I understand we're a nation of busy people, but let's get real - you can make time for what you want. Ever watch 30-minute meals? That show is off the hook - 30 minutes and that woman whips up at least 2 courses and a dessert. At the same time there is a portion of the puiblic that's more enamored with cooking than ever, there's even more folks who don't know how to cook and never do it - just living off processed, prepared foods and fast foods - and too much of it.

You don't have to be rich to join a gym either. They have all kinds of special offers all the time. Where there's a will, there's a way.

I don't know what the answer is - and I am NOT a believer in government intervention and the nanny state. But folks if you have children - please feed them good foods. Attempt to cook healthy meals - there are cookbooks and cooking shows coming out your ears. Don't buy snack foods and sugary sodas. Put water and low-fat milk on the table. Don't encourage sitting in front of the TV eating (that's tough if you're doing it yourself, LOL!), don't encourage eating after dinner.

I was reading a memoir of Milton Friedman where he said that when he and his family lived in France for a while, the children in public school there would bring their lunches and do you know what they brought to drink? Watered-down red wine!

In Japan, eating sweets is considered childish. Something to grow out of. Most Americans would kill you if you tried to pry the sweets out of their plump fingers.

Well, I'm on a roll! Off I go to walk the dog again - goodnight!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 11:43PM
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To heck with joining a gym -- do you know how many low-cost treadmills and exercise bikes are available on craigslist? If you can't get to the gym, why not get a used exercise bike or treadmill through the classifieds? I lost 15 pounds with an exercise bike parked in front of the TV. I plan on picking up a used treadmill tomorrow for $100 (the cost of about 3 months gym membership) to help me with the leftover fat on my thighs and abs.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 10:09PM
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The public pools where I live cost well over 300 dollars for only a few short months. Alot of people dont have that kind of money just for summer usuage.(indoor pools are even more at about 900 dollars a year)
There are some parks and lakes around,but many clearly state NO bike riding,roller blading,skate boarding.

I used to have a treadmill and made me hate time,LOL. I now prefer to walk outside in the fresh air.

I have my own system that works pretty good for me.I try to eat very healthy all week long. Whole grain cereals for breakfast,turkey sandwhiches for lunch,and some kinda low fat dinner like boneless skinless chicken and a salad.
On the weekends though i allow myself to be a bit more flexible cuz I'm often not at home.
I avoid sweets,but when I just GOTTA have them,I allow myself a few.I have stayed the same weight since I was 20 (I'm 30 now and weigh 120 pounds) even after having a baby using this method.
I could be skinnier if I really tried...but why bother? It's not like my centerfold is going to be taken anytime ;)

I personally like that cooking show with Nigella Lawson (Nigella bites,I think is what the show is called) She is very voluptious and still beautiful and loves food.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 2:37AM
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gina's right. It's about a balance between smart eating and exercise and you have to make it a priority. Most Americans do not. If you can afford one, buy a young dog that needs exercise. That will get you out moving!

If you live in a climate where the weather is bad, and have a 2 story house, challenge yourself to run up and down your house stairs several times a day.

If you don't build some form of exercise into your daily routine, you won't do it. Same with preparing nutritional meals from scratch.

2 cents.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 12:12PM
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I was overweight.....and then I found out I was pre-diabetic so I have lost 30 pounds in the past year, go to the gym fives days a week for an hour of cardio and then some weight training. I also do yoga three times a week.
I have found I can eat what I want within reason as long as I use portion control and keep up my exercise regimine.
I am surprised my blood pressure is still only controlled by medication despite the weight loss and the low sodium diet I follow.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 6:37PM
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The public pool in my town - a dollar a visit for youth.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 8:39PM
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Your lucky gina,here it is 8 dollars per person a day.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 7:32AM
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Durham public pools are $8 per lane *per hour*. I don't know if you're allowed to cram an entire family in one lane or not.

Indoor excerise equipment is a good idea, especially when you can get it cheap. I prefer to walk outside and since I have to walk my dogs 2 hours a day anyway, that's what I do. Luckily I don't have to resort to running up and down my stairs for 2 hours, not that my crappy knees could handle it anyway.

When I was referring to expensive healthy food, I forgot to mention some things. Like lean ground beef (7% fat) is $3.99/lb and regular ground beef (30% fat) is only $1.29/lb. You could drain off some of the fat I suppose but I don't think you are really going to be able to drain off most of it. Unless you make soup or something and freeze it; then all the fat solidifies on top and you can scoop it off. I find it easier to just buy the lower fat beef to begin with. But again, I can afford to do that. Also white bread is $0.99/loaf and the cheapest whole wheat bread is twice that. Meatless breakfast sausages (high fiber and protein, low fat) are $3.29 for 6 patties; pork sausages are $1.99 for 12 patties. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

If more cities were like Los Angles we wouldn't be having this discussion. We have a couple of parks in Durham, but they are closed after dark and before dusk- the only times I am available to use them. Plus I'd have to drive 10+ miles to the closest one. Except one that has a swimming beach which is nice in the summer, but again same problem with hours of operation. Good for weekends though.

I don't think that govt intervention is the right thing either. The darn govt is involved with peoples' private business too much already. I'd just like the information to be more available so that I can make good choices. And it's fun to whine and complain about the price of food. But I do pay for the more healthy stuff anyway.

Gina, what do you use frozen fruit for? I find it disgusting just thawed except blueberries. Everything gets all mushy and the texture makes me gag. Do you make something out of the frozen fruit? I do keep frozen veggies; they are mostly good except certain ones (frozen asparagus is pretty awful) and it is very convenient just to pop a couple of cups of veggies in the microwave for several minutes without having to scrub, peel, slice, and cook every time. Saves a lot of time and effort, plus the frozen veggies are usually pretty inexpensive.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 5:52PM
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Wow that's expensive.

I buy frozen berries - blueberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries and use them on ice cream or homemade whipped cream, or in smoothies. I've also just learned how to can, so I have batches of cranberry citrus marmelade, mango/apple preserves, apple pie jam, blackberry jam and such. It's much easier than I ever imagined.

That way, when fruit is in season and on sale, I can can some of it. I'm experimenting using Splenda so they are not so sweet. Next is pickled vegetables and relishes. I just need to go buy the pickling salt.

I no longer go to supermarkets - they're too expensive. I buy in bulk at Costco, and go to ethnic markets to find cheaper and better produce. Another benefit of living in crowded metro areas. More choices. I would like to retire to a more rural area and grow vegetables. (And have more dogs). We'll see!

By the way, one reason I got a dog was to get my butt outside and away from the computer and TV. It worked.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 7:39PM
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Not a big fan of frozen fruit either, though I do buy it for smoothies. With a little frozen low-fat yogurt and some ice, it's pretty tasty (I toss in some extra protein, too, since I'm vegetarian). I use frozen vegetables (especially broccoli and spinach) like a crazy person.

Got my treadmill over the weekend, and I love it. Running in front of the TV while watching a movie is what really works for me. I really think that's people need to do -- find what works for them -- it's getting them to actually do that, that is the hard part. I HATE exercise with an absolute passion, but I can at least bear to do this 3-4 times a week...that added in with a daily brisk 15 minute walk at work, and I feel like I'm doing something (I've also lost quite a lot of weight, and I'm feeling really, really good).

My main New Years Resolution this year was to try to eat less processed food...most of my food is of the packaged kind, and I don't cook a lot. I'm going to attempt to make my own bread once a week for my sandwiches (that should be interesting!), and try to cook a "real" meal at least twice a week. I'm almost hoping to start a garden this spring, which should be fun -- I don't expect to get much that is edible out of it, since I have a black thumb, but it should still be fun.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 8:00PM
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"Is this really true? How sad!"

Why is this sad? It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect of a normal distribution - 1/3 in the middle, 1/3 at either end.

"Normal weight" is basically defined by the middle of the distribution.

It's like saying "50% of people are below average. How sad"

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 12:16PM
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Get rid of most fast food places near you would be a start.

Gosh..now all this garbage food is infecting Asia...that China study goes down the drain!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 12:56AM
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