Does effective weight loss really start with our employers, the media or the government? America’s weight problem is more complex than today’s studies and statistics portray.
Every day we are bombarded with information about the importance of effective weight loss. And yet, each morning on my way to work, I watch the cars in front of me turn one after the next, like synchronized swimmers, into the McDonald’s parking lot for breakfast on-the-go.
According to The Obesity Society, two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. MSN recently found that our nation’s weight problem continues to balloon, and that “high levels of poverty and low levels of education are linked with obesity across the U.S.” Reuters reports that the number of obese Americans now outweighs the number of those who are merely overweight.
But what do we do with all of these statistics?
If the solution is as simple as recognizing that we may be overweight, then the numbers would be going down with every new report — not up, right?
Weight Management: A Nationwide Challenge
The truth is that it’s getting harder in our world to give our body the attention it needs. It’s not that we don’t care about our health or our family’s health. We want to cook fresh, eat mindfully and get exercise. But we’re constantly bombarded, with more and more expected of us at work, home, school and in the community.
To succeed in our weight loss plans, we need something more in our arsenal than threats and statistics.
We’re also fighting the increasing convenience and cheapness of unhealthy foods — not to mention the untrustworthiness of the food and diet industries. Misleading selling points, misinformation on packaging, and celebrity endorsement lead us further astray in our pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.
So why aren’t government education campaigns, workplace wellness programs, the threat of obesity taxes and a slew of best-selling health books making a dent in the number of overweight Americans?
Quite simply because while they’re all part of the solution, they aren’t the first part.
Where the Effective Weight Loss Solution Starts
When it comes to weight loss, the matter is a lot more complicated than these studies make it out to be. It’s not only about prioritizing our health — it’s also about changing the way we handle our cravings, define rewards, determine the amount of food we need, and decide what we will allow to be put in our bodies. The government can’t do this for us. Neither can our bosses, the media, or enforced calorie counts on menus. The change can only start within the individual.
You’ll find that we talk a lot about the mind around here. That’s because it’s too often ignored in the weight loss picture, and yet it is the most important component of a successful plan. We can recount the nationwide statistics until we’re blue in the face, or we can recognize where effective weight loss starts — and start there.