Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Nobody Likes a Fatty?

Oh my! This is the email subject line that someone I know used to grab attention on his messages soliciting funds for our walk in September. People who opened it generally assumed it was going to be some sort of joke but upon reading the message felt compelled to donate money. Or maybe it was guilt.

Is it a good thing to catch attention in this way? Do visual aids like pictures of morbidly obese children and adults drive us to action? Or does is drive us to the delete button because it is too graphic, too awkward, too sad.

I wonder if obesity has taken the albatross off of the shoulders of causes like AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, or alcoholism. While we all agree that there is an epidemic and something MUST be done, secretly many of us think that this is a preventable, treatable condition. Cancer tugs at the heart strings and it's "nobody's fault" - but this...well, maybe that's a different story.

The truth is that in most cases obesity is treatable. And when education happens, it can be avoidable. There is no guarantee of this, of course, because other factors like heredity, genetics, environment, economics, and health all play a big role too.

Just because we are an educated society, doesn't necessarily make us smarter. Yesterday I figured out that my 'better than regular water, better for you than soda and sports drinks drink' was adding 125 calories to my day if I just drank one bottle...and I almost always drink two. So today I vowed to drink plain old water and seltzer. The information was right in front of me and I still missed it. Even when we think we are doing the right thing or the best thing we can make mistakes. Community support, collaboration, and education are all required to succeed in the battle against obesity. There's no room for blame, or guilt or shame. There is only always room for improvement...


Post a Comment

<< Home