Once obese, always obese: Can we prevent it in the first place?
At the turn of the year, we love to make resolutions. Many might like to make resolutions of the health variety: I resolve to eat better, I resolve to exercise more, I resolve to lose weight. A few weeks might go by, and our resolutions might slip. In fact, over a third of resolutions are broken by the end of January.
Then, there is a twist. On January 1st, the NYT ran an article discussing new studies in the realm of obesity: once obese, are we always obese? Some studies show that we can get stuck in a fat trap, once fat. Obese individuals who successfully lose weight will only regain all that weight (and more, possibly) in due time.
What can we do about it? Well. There is much focus now on "upstream public health", tackling the root of the cause, preventing the fatness before we even enter (and get stuck) in the "fat trap". This got us thinking about programs that affect our children, making sure that programs are designed to keep them active, to make sure they have access to healthy food, to help them be safe when active.
We live in a busy, complex world. Our lives can be overwhelming. How can make living a healthy lifestyle easy for people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, etc in our modern world? Our lives are complex, and the environments that shape our health behaviors are too. Work, school, urban or rural infrastructure all of these these can attract us to or deter us from eating more fruits and vegetables and moderate exercise. How can we make this utopia of walkable/bikable cities with access to affordable fresh produce for all a reality for all? What do we, as parents, see to be barriers to that reality? What do the experts think we can do to change? What are your top priorities for change? What do you do in your day-to-day life as small steps toward keeping the family healthful?
* Keep the conversation going at a screening & panel discussion of "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead", next Monday, January 23, 6-9pm at Living Room Theaters. 100% of proceeds of the $35 ticket go towards EcoTrust's Farm to School program.