Fat World

CBC has a news story today about how Canadians’ Fitness Levels Plummet. Some findings:

  • the percentage classified as overweight or obese [since 1981] rose from 14 per cent to 31 per cent among boys, and from 14 per cent to 25 per cent among girls aged 15 to 19
  • based on BMI, 19 per cent of males and 21 per cent of females aged 20 to 39 years were classified as obese. By age 60 to 69 years, the percentage was about one-third.

A BusinessWeek story painted a similar picture for the U.S. with the “good news” being “obesity in the United States may finally be stabilizing instead of increasing”. One of the findings from the studies south of the border:

  • the adult study found the prevalence of overall obesity was 33.8 percent — 32.2 percent in men and 35.5 percent in women

I have written about weight loss and exercise before and I am utterly dismayed at these figures, especially after I found out something myself: unless you have some kind of medical condition that prevents or complicates it, achieving a healthy weight is simple. Here is all that’s required:

  1. Don’t eat junk food.
  2. Don’t eat fast food.
  3. Eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and lean meat.
  4. Avoid processed food that is loaded with sugar and/or fat.

That’s it. Eat properly and your body will maintain its own natural weight. You may still be a bit thin or thick depending on your actual body type, but you’ll be the right weight for that body type.

Add in a modest exercise routine three times a week for 20-30 minutes to help out. More if you’re into it.

In June 2008 I weighed 187.5 pounds and was probably on my way to 200. I am a thin person so a lot of this weight was packed around my middle. I changed my diet to something sensible. This morning I stood on the scale and came in at 144 pounds. No magic pills, no special powders or drinks needed. Just a bit of willpower and the desire to stop feeling uncomfortable about my own body.

I wish more people would have the same sort of epiphany I did a year and a half ago (okay, so a doctor also told me I was pre-diabetic. That was the “epiphany-assist”).

And what’s the deal with McDonald’s being an Olympic Sponsor, anyway? Somehow I don’t see the medal winners chowing down on Big Macs and fries before they go for the gold. Or maybe they do and their freakishly perfected bodies somehow transform that junk into something with real nutritional value. Or they’re all fembots. Well, except the guys. They’d be malebots.

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