Why Are We So Over Weight?


Back to the Basics: Why Are We So Over Weight?

I suppose the easiest answer is fast food, but the problem of being over weight extends to so much more. Yes, the prevalence of fast food restaurants certainly doesn’t help.  As Morgan Spurlock showed us with painful reality in his movie, “Super Size Me“, fast food menus offer us a heaping helping of fat, cholesterol, and calories.

Too much Fast Food Can Make us Over WeightAt any rate, many of these restaurants are now offering health-conscious choices including salads and potatoes instead of French fries, grilled meats instead of fried meats, etc.  So with these items now on their menu, why aren’t we still over weight?  The answer lies within our choices. Those choices extend to home life as well. But it isn’t pleasant to think you are choosing to be over weight!

Many people live such busy lifestyles they are more often than not likely to opt for packaged foods. Many contain high amounts of salt, fat, and other unhealthy components that contribute toward weight gain.  We tend to maintain a mostly sedentary lifestyle choosing to watch TV after dinner rather than going out for a walk like they used to do decades ago. This all leads to becoming over weight.

This type of life style is being learned by our children. When I was young, we couldn’t wait to get through dinner so we could go outside and play a game of kick the can as the sun went down. We rode our bikes everywhere and only watched television on a rainy day. Even “snow days” meant getting outside and playing, building snow fortresses, sledding, or just tossing snow balls! The cold didn’t keep us inside. Not only did most kids not have to deal with being over weight, they often lost weight as they grew up.

Be active to avoid weight gainToday, you’re more likely to find kids on the computer or in front of the TV with a video game controller in their hands. Kids can tell you about all of the new products being offered through commercials they see in between their programs. In fact, the average child these days will watch more than 15 hours of television each and every week. This is another factor that leads to weigh gain. Many parents sadly use TV as a baby-sitter. Perhaps they mean no harm, but if you realize you may be guilty of doing that yourself, consider other options. There is so much a child can do outside!

Now, we’re not saying television is all BAD. It can’t force weight gain on you. What we’re saying is that kids need to get outside more instead of sitting in front of the TV eating Cheetos and drinking soda. Statistics show this to be true. Fifteen percent of all children and teens are overweight – a number that has tripled in recent years.

Some people blame their excessive weight gain on slow metabolisms.  In some cases, this might actually be true. However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed what no one really wants to face: We’re overweight because we simply eat too much of the wrong foods.

The basic formula for losing weight actually sounds quite simple “eat less, exercise more”.  But we’re resistant to that message. Mainly, it’s because we’re looking for a quick fix to avoid being over weight. An easy, painless way to drop pounds without sacrifice – but deep down we know it’s just not that simple. After all, losing weight just CAN’T be that easy, now can it? And why can’t it be as easy as weight gain!? (Hypothetical – no one knows that answer!)

Huh How Do I?No, it isn’t. You have to consider portion control, food choice, exercise, how much exercise, what kind of exercise, etc. But worrying about all of the specifics will do you little good. You need to get the big picture in mind first before worrying about the specifics. Being over weight is something that should be dealt with.

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing