Monday, March 15, 2010

OBESE OR NOT OBESE – THAT IS THE QUESTION?

The biggest health care problem in our country is not a lack of affordable health insurance, it is that too many Americans are obese (in other words, too damn fat) and no amount of affordable health insurance will make the situation better. To be totally upfront, I must admit that I am about 20 lbs. overweight, so in some ways, I am also part of the problem.

If you have a chance and want to relax, sit down on one of the chairs or benches in a shopping mall or flea market, and watch the people walk by. I’ll bet you that over 60% of the people walking by have a weight problem and that more than half of them could be considered obese. Those people come in all ages, all colors and both genders. It is quite a sight. The way some of these weight-challenged (obese) people dress it looks like they are trying to put 10 lbs. of potatoes into a 5 lb. bag. It defies the law of physics.

How did we get into this mess? Well, it seems that our entrepreneurial American spirit for innovation in making life easier for us to conduct and live our lives, have added significantly to our tendency to put on the blubber. We don’t walk, we drive even around the block; we don’t eat home-cooked meals at home, like in the past, instead we order take-out or eat in fast food restaurants; we don’t play vigorous games or participate in sports as much as we did in earlier times; and the kind of food we eat regularly is chock full of weight producing calories that could and should be avoided. In other words we are becoming too soft as well as too fat.

Obesity is quite evident in our young people and especially in the minority community. It seems that the lower the income of people the bigger the girth around the middle as compared to higher income people – you’d think the opposite would be true, but look for yourself at the “Mall observation testing lab” – it’ll confirm what I’ve just said.

Physical education in today’s schools is not what it used to be either. Due to the fear of lawsuits and the “politically correct” police, schools are afraid to have students exert themselves by doing meaningful physical exercise or playing physical games (ex. Dodge Ball). Youngsters today spend too much sedentary time playing computer games and by sitting in front of their computers and TV’s for hours on end. That routine is not a healthy regimen to follow.

One result of pursuing this unhealthy lifestyle is the burgeoning incidence of Type I and Type II diabetes, especially in young people. All the talk about reforming health care will be meaningless if we can’t control the out-of-control obesity problem that is causing the cost of health care to mushroom. A government-run health care option, which the President and Congress are proposing, will only exacerbate the problem and not alleviate it. Since health care rationing always comes about when the government gets involved, a person’s access to quality health care will be dramatically reduced as more and more sick people will be using our medical facilities as the pool of doctor’s, to treat these sick people, decrease in number.

So, in Shakespeare’s time the question was, “To be or not to be”, but in today’s frenetic times, the question is, “Obese or not Obese” and it will not be cured by government decree, or by government-run health care. We’ll need a significant dose of private enterprise and self-sufficiency as we wean ourselves from the “nanny state” mentality and by taking control of our own lives without the inhibiting aura of “big brother” hanging over our heads. Remember what former President Ronald Reagan once said, “Government is part of the problem, not the solution”. Now, you go do the right thing!

Written by Chuck Lehmann


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1 comment:

Joseph said...

Well said in a very timely article. It is about personal responsibility. Millions are waiting for the government to do everything for them. Who will forget the interview of two women in Detroit, Michigan who were on line waiting for "Obama dollars". And before the Messiah was inaugurated, another lady spoke up on TV about how Obama was going to fill her tank with gas and help pay her mortgage. Well, how's that hope and change working for you? What's happened to personal responsibility? Personal accountability? Self-reliance? When I was growing up in Brooklyn, NY it was my responsibility to get my homework done. And if I disobeyed my parents and it was way past 11pm, I still had to stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning to get the job done. My parents didn't tolerate any whining or pleas for help with my homework. I did it or I faced the consequences. Today millions live with the erroneous notion that there are no consequences to their actions and the government is going to throw them a life preserver. But this "life preserver" does nothing to preserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This so-called life preserver creates dependence on big government, poverty, fear, chaos and more dependence on big government run by Neo-Marxists who are slowly but surely destroying any sense of personal accountability which is the true defender of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I've said my piece so I think I'll go for a walk around my neighborhood and enjoy that bit of liberty we still have.
Joseph Maldonado