Tuesday, April 19

Food Revolution

Are you IN?

The new season of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution just started; he's in LA and he is being fought hard. I can not wait to see what happens. Will he be granted access to the lunch rooms by the LA school district? Will he start to get some more community support? I certainly hope so. I actually thought (using the exact science of stereotypes) that the California people of LA would be really into Jamie's movement but so far I don't think they really are. In the first episode he wanted to have a big rally and about 50 people showed up. Ouch.

But that's okay, Jamie. I support you. And I want all of you to support him too. Jamie is trying to get healthier food into the schools and healthy habits taught at home. I love his approach because he makes it all about good whole foods -- no fad diet crazes or hip foodie ideas -- just good, old fashioned, natural food. And he wants to start with the youth so they can be set up for a lifetime of success. Of course, starting with the youth means you also need to get to the parents and show them the way to help their kids be successful. It's a win win for everyone.

It's no surprise that obesity rates are on the rise, in both children and adults, but most dramatic of all has been the rise in childhood obesity -- from around 5% in the late 70s, to nearly 20% in 2008. Most importantly, nearly all those obese children will carry that obesity over into adulthood. And those obese adults are contributing to the drastic rise in the weight of the US. Check out these maps to see the changes in our health as a nation just over my lifetime.

When I was 2 years old ...

and now I'm 10 years old

Graduating from high school

Most current data
Wow. What happened to all the blue? No wonder Jamie Oliver wants to make changes. One of the biggest problems is that obesity is a disease but in America we don't treat it like one. Obesity seems to get this strange red-headed stepchild treatment, like we can't talk about it seriously because we don't want to insult anyone by saying "you're fat" but that's the truth. America: YOU ARE FAT. I suppose this has to do with the element of CHOICE involved with obesity -- but in my opinion when the entire nation is struggling with obesity it's no longer *just* about choice. These individuals have grown up in unhealthy households and been exposed to lethal food choices. These bad habits are passed down from generation to generation and become ingrained ... like brainwashing. It's a difficult issue, too, because there's a fine line between healthy and eating disordered (and when I say eating "disordered" I mean both overeating and undereating). We have a small percentage of ridiculously skinny people -- most of them probably eating unhealthily as well -- and a large percentage of, let's be honest, fat people who are also not eating healthy. Obesity is an indicator of the messed up American psyche about food. It's also a difficult issue because people DO have to eat, unlike other abused substances, eating is an essential function. And that's why it's so unfortunate that it's become incredibly warped.

This is why I think Jamie's approach is so brilliant. It's not entirely about weight: IT'S ABOUT HEALTH. And isn't that what we want? We want a healthy, happy nation of people that can work hard, ride bikes with their kids, kids that can climb trees, outrun wild dogs, and all that. If there were an emergency where we had to RUN to live, we would all die. It's time to stop being politely silent and encourage everyone (ourselves included) to stop killing ourselves with FOOD and get healthy.

I'm challenging myself; I want to lose 30 pounds, but I'm going to get there with lots of exercise and healthy food choices. No more days of fasting, no more two day liquid cleanses, just healthy eating. Doesn't mean I won't have a day where I make the wrong food decision and that I won't want to not eat for the entire next day to punish myself -- but there it is, my proclamation of health and wellness.

Now you should make your own proclamation and sign the petition.

Check out these sites for more information:
Center for Disease Control
Obesity Data Trends
F as in Fat
Blueprint for a Healthier America

But there's some good news for Utah here.

Make the change!

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