More Attention on the Obesity Epidemic is a Good Thing – Government Involvement – Not So MuchPersonally, I think the obesity issue is a major health crisis. We know that being overweight contributes to a host of diseases including diabetes, cancer, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, and many many more. The growing problem of obesity has many causes and factors. I get frustrated with parents who bring sugary snacks and drinks for halftime and post game snacks. I get frustrated with the schools for allowing the poisoning of our children through subsidized lunch programs that continue to promote poor health in the guise of social welfare aid. I get frustrated with the nutritional education taught in the classroom by people who are not qualified to teach it. I get frustrated with people who “live to eat” vs. eating to live. All that being said, I believe in self responsibility. Obesity is not an issue for any government to resolve. Look where the food guide pyramid has taken us. Look at where government nutritional policies have lead. The U.S. has growing numbers of chronic degenerative diseases and a medical system that is ineffective at treating them yet we spend more money on health care per person than any other country in the world. Health responsibility falls on the shoulders of the individual making the decisions. The conundrum here is that many misinformed and under educated people are setting bad examples for children and perpetuating the cycle. What can we do about?
- Make advanced nutrition courses mandatory in all medical schools. Doctors are blind on this topic. The blind leading the blind never leads to anything good.
- Institute a real food only policy in our schools. Remove corporate influence and funding of vending machines from the schools.
- Prioritize nutritional education in schools. Put these classes on equal footing with reading, writing, and math. Hire a teacher with real experience who leads by example.
- Prioritize physical fitness education in schools in the same fashion as above.
Does Excessive Gluten Drive Obesity?Many people with celiac disease get offended when the gluten free diet is promoted as a weight loss tool. Why? Because celiac disease typically leads to severe weight loss and wasting. However; non-celiac gluten sensitivity is much more common than celiac disease. An estimated 1 in 133 have celiac where an estimated 30 million have non-celiac gluten issues. These individuals typically gain excessive weight when ingesting gluten. I have personally seen thousands upon thousands of pounds being shed in patients who go gluten free. So the answer is yes the gluten free diet can help many with weight loss, but those with celiac disease will typically gain weight when on the diet. That being said, gluten is not the only factor driving the obesity epidemic.
- Excessive caloric intake
- Excessive sugar
- Genetic manipulation of the food supply
- Excessive processed food consumption
- Lack of exercise
- Sedentary work force
- False advertising and product promotion
- Excessive exposure to environmental estrogen through massive use of plastics, pesticides, and other chemicals.