Moving the future: Seeking cure for obesity? Get moving!

By: Milo F. Bryant Special to The Gazette
July 30, 2013
photo - Milo Bryant - Moving the Future
Milo Bryant - Moving the Future 

A few rhetorical questions for us, to which the answer is: We stopped moving too young.

What's happening to our bodies? Why are we overweight and obese? Why are we looking at children who are more overweight than ever?

We have the answer - at least, my answer - but for some inane reason, we've continued to blame the abundance of today's fatty foods. Let's stop that practice.

In the 1960s, Americans took in nearly 45 percent of their calories from fats and oils. Thirteen percent of adults were obese and less than a percent had the obesity-related Type 2 diabetes.

Today, we get about 33 percent of our calories from fats and oils. Yet, 34 percent of adults are obese (a 261 percent increase) and 11 percent have diabetes.

We're eating less of the fatty foods and are gaining more, and our children are taking note.

Back to the questions.

Why is it that we're in the middle of this epidemic when we have more access to information about healthy lifestyles?

Seems as if everybody who can make a penny off the health crusade is on the "let's eradicate obesity" bandwagon. Fast food giants sponsor youth nutrition and health fairs and events worldwide. Public schools make alliances with "sports" or "energy" drink magnates, getting financial aid from the companies while, at worst, lying to themselves about the actual nutritional value of the items and, at best, being amazingly ignorant about what they're providing the students.

These are companies that provide money for "healthy choice" information pamphlets, flyers and programs that noticeably feature the companies' products, bolstering brand association and increasing the chances of customer loyalty.

The solutions seem to be all about food and all about drink.

Folks, many of us haven't moved in so long that the viability of movement as a cure or a way out of this problem doesn't even register in our thought process.

We walked and rode our bikes to school in the '60s, '70s and '80s. We had physical education every day along with one or two recesses. Then we went home and didn't have four or five hours of math, English and science homework. Instead, we were kicked out of the house until the streetlights came on.

We did it to ourselves. The companies didn't and still do not make us eat or drink. And they certainly haven't made us stop moving.

We stopped moving.

Our kids have followed our lead.


Bryant holds several national training certifications, is an author, lectures internationally and is the founder of C.L.A.Y. - the Coalition for Launching Active Youth. His fitness tips appear biweekly in Health and Wellness.

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