FACING AN OBESE NATION

El-peso-de-una-naciónOver the last 10 years obesity has made the headline news in print media and TV. During this same period, multiple approaches dealing with this condition have been addressed by physicians, nutritionists and exercise specialists. Ten years later, adult obesity rates have increased from 32% to 38%. Children (between 2-19 years of age) have remained approximately the same (17.1% to 17.2%.) This means that 10 years of education and professional intervention has been ineffective treating this condition. Based on this information, what recent changes have been recommended to alter this current course?

NONE

This condition has been identified as a contributing factor leading to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. The cost to human life from an emotional, physical and financial perspective is astronomical. The cost to the healthcare system is just as harmful. With no game plan it becomes apparent that no one is willing to address this important sensitive issue. Rather than worrying about political correctness, can we create changes to our system that will create individual accountability? Any solution offered will be met with anger, disagreement and controversy. This leaves us with two choices:

  1. We continue following the same course and allow this problem to continue to escalate.

  2. We implement policy changes to address this problem with realistic (albeit uncomfortable) solutions.

Before I list my suggestions, I want all readers to know that I respect everyone equally. These suggestions will be direct and will add accountability, but will also be viewed by some as cruel and insensitive. This is truly not the intention. Sometimes people do not like solutions during the process which is certainly understandable. Our unwillingness to implement the difficult decisions is no longer an option. Those suffering from obesity will only grow in numbers without policies that encourage behavioral changes. It is important to realize these recommendations are not based on popular support, but rather the need to turn this epidemic around.

These solutions are designed strictly for those choosing to live a lifestyle that promotes weight management issues. There are many people currently suffering obesity as a result of various health conditions and treatments being utilized. The following solutions are not intended for the population of obese patients falling into this category. They are designed strictly for those intentionally following a lifestyle promoting this condition on their own volition. In this country we believe that no one has the right to tell any individual how to live their life. I agree entirely with this concept up to the point it crosses the line and infringes on the quality and safety of other people’s lives.

SOLUTIONS:

  1. Based on the fact that obesity adds significant health costs to the healthcare system those responsible for living this lifestyle shall be required to pay increased costs into the healthcare system in addition to any current premium paid. These fees can be evaluated on a quarterly basis and altered based on their success or failure at achieving weight changes. They will be offered FREE counseling (if they choose to accept it) to address their underlying issues that contribute to their condition. Every possible attempt should be made to help everyone become a healthy weight.

  2. Obese people will be required to pay for additional seating in any venue where there weight/BMI infringes upon any other patron. Examples may include (but not limited to) seating for transportation and seating for entertainment. This will provide obese people ample seating space and provide non obese people the same courtesy.

  3. Parents of obese children will be required to accept responsibility for their child’s weight by scheduling doctor visits to have their children monitored for weight loss. If the parent is unable or unwilling to assist their children to lose weight, they will be required to attend FREE classes offering professional guidance to design programs to help their children attain a safe and healthy weight. If the parent’s work schedule interferes with these classes, they can assign another adult family member to take the course on their behalf. A time interval will be established by the child’s physician to follow up and see if the child is successfully heading in the right direction. If this process fails the child in achieving weight loss, a state run agency will place the child in a temporary facility with professionals capable of teaching these children the steps necessary to becoming a healthy weight. Upon successfully completing this program, the children will be allowed to return to their families.

These solutions offered are only the beginning. They will need monitoring and adjusting as the results are measured. These solutions are painful and difficult to suggest. What other choices do we have with an epidemic that currently shows no sign of resolution.

Based on the volatility of this topic, I welcome suggestions and solutions that meaningfully address this issue. I DO NOT welcome anger and antagonistic attitudes. If this problem is going to be solved, we need ideas that offer hope for change. I certainly do not have all the answers and may even offer suggestions that fail entirely. I am, however, stepping out and honestly trying to face a problem no one else is currently discussing with any real level of success. Watching the published statistics increase for this condition is heartbreaking and demoralizing. We need a real plan of action. I ask for your help and ideas to begin a constructive dialogue to help reverse the course obesity is following.

promoting-safe-walking-and-cycling-to-improve-public-health-lessons-from-europe-8-638

 

Advertisements

24 comments

  1. I applaud you for “stepping out” with regards to this problem, Jonathan, although I think that will read by some as “becoming a target” for criticism. I agree with your suggestions here, with the exception of taking children out of otherwise loving homes, merely because of their eating patterns. I think that kind of action creates more chaos, than solutions to the problem.

    My suggestion would be that the Church in America ought to stand up in this time of health crisis, to become a champion of those parents who are feeding correctly, and to encourage kids to move more. I would like to see churches all over the country offer FREE educational and nutritional programs, that included an exercise time for children and parents. Make it fun! Make it colorful! Make it desirable, and maybe teach them how to pack a healthy lunch for themselves, or ways to eat the rainbow at dinner time.

    I also think it is about time our country started subsidizing healthy fruits and vegetable, and lean meats, giving struggling parents with little financial wiggle room a more likely avenue for success. Parents don’t want to kill their kids with food, but many can’t afford the grocery bill that comes along with feeding four kids what they ought to eat. It is expensive to eat right!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I am not fond of my own suggestion about removing a child from their environment. All the education and church assistance can not overcome a home environment that fosters a lifestyle resulting in children becoming obese. We currently have education, public assistance, counseling, school programs, etc… and the obesity epidemic continues to grow. Until parents recognize their role and their responsibility, this problem will continue to grow. I continue to offer parents FREE education on addressing this problem prior to any action taken to remove a child from his or her environment. When all remedies fail, is it fair to the child’s physical diminishing health to leave this child in the hands of a parent unable or unwilling to correct this growing problem? A child should not under normal conditions develop cardiac disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc… They should not have to face ridicule and bullying at school. Intervention at some point becomes necessary to protect the child. I do not suggest this as a first line of action. It is only recommended when all assistance and all actions have failed. It is the LAST attempt to reverse this condition. This might act as a wake up call to the parent and help the child learn how to take care of their dietary needs.
      I agree with many of your suggestions including subsidizing meals for children without access to quality foods. In all honesty, although this idea sounds laudable, I’ll bet parents will continue to argue that their children do not like the healthier choices and are not willing to draw the line in the sand over dietary habits. There was a chef on TV that visited different schools and offered healthy options. He was taken off the air. The American Dietitian Association is in charge of cafeteria food planning. Does anyone believe that most public schools assist the process in reducing the obesity crisis? Action steps with greater consequences may be needed to protect our children and awaken the adult population.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done for raising this issue but I am sorry to say that I don’t agree with your solutions. It is only my opinion but subjecting fat people to special measures will never work unless you subject Alcoholics and heavy Smokers to the same.
    There are underlying issues in all of these problems and simply “taxing”the individual will not help but more than likely drive them deeper below the poverty line and further into the arms of bad food choices.
    Here in the UK we have the charity that I support called HENRY. This charity is one that promotes healthy family lifestyle by educating and not admonishing the perpetrators.
    Do not forget, we need food to live. We do not need drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.
    A huge part of this problem is the way that cheap convenience food has made it’s way into our lifestyles and for that we are suffering.
    I for one am so grateful that I have been given the opportunity to re educate myself as far as food is concerned. What we have its an epidemic and simply cannot be solved with sweeping statements such as the ones you make.
    As for making large people pay for two seats, I hear where you are coming from but all that will happen is that the large person will stop going out and stay home, eating more to drown their sorrows.
    There is an absolute need to address the issue we are all currently facing and I am sorry to say that splitting up families is not a healthy way of enforcing a solution. Don’t forget, a child may be fat because of reasons out of the control of the parent. They may be overeating because of any number of issues and then if you take them from the love and support of their family, who knows what might happen next.

    No, I honestly think positivity is the best way to address the issue. Make the healthy foods less expensive than the crappy processed and manufactured stuff, make people aware that they need to do things in order to make themselves better. Yes I agree there will always be fat and lazy that do not want to help themselves but I guarantee for avery one of those you will find 10 that do and its the ten that do whom we need to help to help themselves.

    Hope that is clear and apologies if not, I can confuse myself sometimes so goodness knows how I don’t confuse others!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for providing a compassionate response to a difficult posting. Unfortunately education has not made an impact to reverse the trend of obesity. I certainly agree that the causes of this condition vary and that is why my post continues to provide FREE assistance to those seeking solutions. Suggesting that families have a period of separation to correct this malady was also a difficult thing to write, however, knowing that the health dangers these children will face as a result of parents unwilling or unable to accept the responsibility outweighed my apprehension. Allowing a child to become obese without addressing this issue is as dangerous as physically or emotionally harming a child. In most cases I’m certain it’s unintentional, however, the term for this is abuse. Children are taken out of environments where abuse occurs.

      My suggestions include free assistance for adults and children. It is not a comprehensive plan that will “fix” this epidemic. It will be compassionate in offering guidance yet will begin to hold people accountable for their actions. I anticipate receiving significant disagreement, however, I will bet that few if any will step up and say, “here is my action plan to begin addressing this problem.” People in general do not have a difficult time telling others what they don’t like; they typically are unwilling to share ideas and REALISTIC solutions. My outline was SPECIFICALLY for those CHOOSING this lifestyle (defined as knowing and willing to live the life of an obese individual.) For those like yourself that was looking for self improvement, the FREE professional guidance I recommend as part of my solution would fit the bill.

      Smokers are already paying increased amounts in premiums for the habit they choose to partake in. Alcoholism has not shown any evidence of trending toward epidemic levels. I understand that people will look toward other issues and say, “this isn’t fair.” This approach, however, will never address or reverse the current problem. I understand you were not in favor of my changes offered to the current system to BEGIN the process of change. I, myself, stated it might fail in its attempt. What action steps must be taken to create ACCOUNTABILITY? Where are the comments by readers numbering their steps for their game plans to reverse this problem? In my opinion, I would rather see TEMPORARY discontent and IMPROVEMENT than pure freedom of choice resulting in self induced disease, hardship and death to adults and CHILDREN.

      Do you have a methodical plan of action that differs than what currently exists that offers the solutions to reversing this horrible condition? It’s not about 1 idea; it’s about a NEW APPROACH. This is what I’m hoping this article helps people create. Together we can combine each of our game plans offering the best hope for reversing obesity. This is NOT about my plan; it is an attempt to find serious people willing to invest the time and energy to find real solutions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I honestly do not think there will ever be accountability for this issue. We simply need people to wake up to the problem they are facing and I honestly think putting sanctions on the will not work. Don’t get me wrong, I have no idea what will work so cannot offer a solution, all I know is that if sanctions had been placed on me I would have reacted differently to how I reacted when the helping hand came my my.
        I am only speaking of my personal experience and can state that in this country, education does appear to be helping in certain scenarios but it depends on how it is delivered.
        I really think that healthy food should be made readily available and fast food should be taxed out of sitght so it becomes a luxury item and people are forced to go back to the days when there was a family unit pulling together to help one another and keeping each other healthy. This is simply another example of how rubbish certain elements of modern life are.

        Like

        1. My approach would never have placed sanctions on you because the FREE education and counseling would have supported your needs to help you find the direction you currently pursue in life. The goal is NEVER to need to place harsh realities on people, but knowing that these options exist may create some personal accountability. This dialogue has been very productive and I want to thank you for all your comments. Change requires time and dialogue. Wouldn’t it be nice if the comments from all the readers help begin the process. As difficult as change is, I will never give up. I believe too strongly in the goodness and kindness found within most people.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It is really great that someone cares and is as passionate as you are. Like I say, I can only speak from experience and I think that over here in the UK we are still a little way behind you guys in the fight against obesity (shame the same cannot be said about the disease itself…!)

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Fascinating. For years I have said smokers should be paying higher costs for health care. The ideas you propose follow the same basic ideology. Your suggestions may offend some, but I love it. I don’t think it will ever happen. I wish it would. Thanks for the thoughtful post. Sorry to say, unless we change our mindset and consider obesity a disease like cancer or diabetes, nothing will change.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interestingly, it is now classified as a disease and covered within individual policy limits. Even so, I believe the “head in the sand” approach will remain intact. We see the terrorist atrocities world wide and call for action against those participating in the destruction of human lives. When a child without experience, knowledge or understanding relies on adults to provide for their well being and is given instead a path leading to early disease and untimely death we defend the parent’s rights to raise their children as they wish. Is it not evident that both of these situations destroy lives? Why are we up in arms about the first and accepting of the second? This course must change regardless of resistance. We must turn to our ethics and our compassion and recognize painful decisions often produce beneficial outcomes.

      I’m hoping people gain insight and become willing to support change even if they don’t necessarily “feel good” about the process. The “feel good” approach hasn’t worked and shows no signs of improvement. A new path must be followed. The path is not definitive and will require a great deal of modification as hurdles are experienced. A new path, none the less, must be supported by the masses. Ultimately, it is in their best interest as well as the population of adults and children suffering from obesity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with everything you said. One other thing I meant to say in my original comment is this. America needs to do something with the prices of food. It is cheaper to buy junk food than it is to purchase fruit. Thus, it is easier for them to buy unhealthy choices (like box of cookies) than to buy the things they should be purchasing. This is a serious problem. Thanks for the post.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the post as it relates to getting Churches involved, just don’t get me started on overweight Preachers, They love to preach about the evils of alcohol and tobacco, but will skip the sin of gluttony. Over the years Dave Ramsey has done a tremendous job of teaching financial responsibility in Churches with certified financial counselors, the same thing can be done with diet and exercise.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree with your assessment on the church and it’s skimming over any discussion of gluttony from the pulpit. Many in the church are overweight. One of the main church activities that seems to feed this trend is church dinners. At these events, it is rare to see a healthy, raw, or veggie-rich dish being served, and why wouldn’t that be true, since so many are feeding unhealthy foods at home. I try my best to get better fare on the table when I attend such functions, but I wish there were more who were concerned with removing the bread, butter, and gravies that are served there.

      I respectfully disagree with any notion that the church is ineffective at overcoming dangerous environments/behaviors at home (a sense I got from earlier comments, not yours). AA was founded on the principle of a Higher Power and a spiritual community that challenges people partaking in dangerous behaviors to change and become healthy once more. Their program works, as is evidenced by recovering alcoholics around the world who have followed their approach. Belief in God has changed the behavior of many over the years, and when the individual changes, the family is changed.

      In order to act differently, though, we must think differently and be taught differently. If I had a choice between government programs teaching my children how to be healthy, or my spiritual community doing this work, I would pick the later every time and here is why: it is in that spiritual village that we learn to engage God, the only One who is able to go with us wherever we go. Regrettably, this powerful changer of lives has been banished from the public schools, social welfare programs, and many educational organizations in America, so that inner sense of personal responsibility we might otherwise learn from our spiritual roots is not being taught to our children/parents.

      I totally agree that children should not be raised in such a way that they inherit debilitating diseases from their parents, but I have to disagree with the idea that parents can’t learn to behave better. I believe they can. It just takes time and patience to get them there.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I appreciate your time in writing this well designed comment. Parents can certainly learn what needs to be done to reverse this horribly debilitating condition. The question becomes, “are they willing to learn AND implement the necessary changes?” Any parent demonstrating real effort at correcting their child’s condition should continue to receive all the support necessary to achieve a healthy outcome. I only believe that a temporary relocation is necessary when all CONSTRUCTIVE options fail and the child remains a “victim” in their own body.

        Thank you again for your helpful suggestions.

        Like

    2. Maybe it’s time we approach religious leaders and ask them to convey this health issue from the pulpit. Maybe it’s time we include the clergy into our discussion of LEADERSHIP and ask if they are willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes to set an example for their members to achieve. The more that credible people are willing to share the message and assist with the METHODS, the greater the results will likely be. Providing education is a good start, but fails miserably without tangible ACTION STEPS. Leadership will help guide people through the process.
      Great response, Frank. I like where this can go from here.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was *shocked* to see the United States had beat all other countries in obesity (um, yes, I’m joking)! Wow, Dr. J, the list of your solutions are quite strict. I agree with #1 wholeheartedly, but implementing the other two solutions would be quite the feat and the expense.

    Like you had said in regards to smokers, they “pay” the price with higher taxes on cigarettes; so, too, do I believe morbidly obese adults should pay for their unhealthy choices with higher medical premiums.

    Schools, thank goodness, are now eliminating soda and unhealthy snack machines. Their menus are also providing healthier foods. I teach nutrition classes in Snohomish County elementary schools in which we show kids how to read portion sizes and ingredients in food packages. I always get a shocked look when I hold up a “snack” size bag of chips and ask a student to read the serving size. They find it hard to believe that most of those “snack” sized bags are actually proportioned for two people!

    Thank you for your vital and unwavering stand on obesity. I may not agree with all your solutions, but I appreciate wholeheartedly your active voice and passion. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was so excited to see your role as a nutritional educator on an elementary level. This is such an important age to teach children about food and food choices. I’ll bet you’re great at it!

      As for my solutions, I personally dislike many of the action steps included in my recommendations. The problem is, I can’t think of choices that people will like AND BE EFFECTIVE at reversing this horrible condition. So far, based on the comments, I haven’t seen anyone else that believed they had solutions to affect the current status either.
      Answers need to be created structurally. You can’t simply take a “good idea” and hope its message creates change. Until we find an approach to legitimately deal with this, we can’t continue to shrug our shoulders and say it’s a problem. That won’t change anything. I need to help people get over the anger and frustration (regarding my “SOLUTIONS”) and refocus their attention on the problem and its affects on those suffering this malady. I welcome a different set of solutions (with action steps) if someone is willing to offer an alternative plan (not just individual ideas) to achieve the same results. So far, the SOLUTIONS remain silent.

      The food industry is not going to step up, because it is not in their best interest. I understand this. I also understand that the food industry makes its decisions based on consumer choices. It is our job, not theirs, to let them know our children will be eating a healthier diet based on the foods we purchase. Some people complain about the cost of healthier food choices. Food prices are created by demand as well as competition in this country. If we want healthier foods to cost less, we need to start buying them (at higher prices initially) to show an increase in demand. This will help drive the prices down (via competition) and reduce purchasing costs making it easier for the average consumer. The question becomes, “is the consumer ready and willing to change the Standard American Diet to one containing quality and nutritional value?” If the answer is yes, my solutions should not be necessary. In my opinion, people will want to exercise their rights to live any lifestyle they choose and continue(in general)to choose foods full of dangerous substances (to satisfy a food type of “addiction”)rather than switch to foods necessary for better health. IF I am right, without my “type” of solutions, this problem will simply continue to grow and destroy the lives of many people. Adults make these choices; children have this imposed upon them. It’s not about right and wrong, fair and unfair, anger and resentment or constitutional rights. It’s about children’s lives and giving them the opportunity to grow up and live a healthy life. Their welfare trumps our emotional feelings about my SOLUTIONS!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have no idea what the solution to this problem is. I do agree with you on several solutions – but my agreement comes from me being a smoker. Yes, I choose to be a smoker and therefore I accept the consequences of the results of this decision. Those consequences are health related and public opinion related and government laws related. So as a person who chooses to smoke and accept paying high taxes and not able to smoke in certain areas – then why not have some of the same consequences for those that choose to be obese? By the way, I do not have a bad opinion for those that are obese, as I try not to judge people. And also, I have no issues with the smoking laws and I take non-smokers into consideration when I do smoke. My 2 cents!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for participating in this topic. Part of my solutions calls for additional expenditure on the part of families that CHOOSE this dangerous lifestyle. Like you, I do not judge people. People, however, must be willing to take responsibility for their decisions. Parents need to be willing to provide an environment that gives their children an opportunity to grow up healthy. They don’t have the right to ignore this debilitating condition.

      I appreciate your response and your own admissions regarding your personal health choices in life. It sounds like you are willing to live with the potential outcomes, but just as importantly, recognize the importance and decency of common courtesy for others. I have a great deal of respect for you and the comments you’ve made. Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Okay. I am an obese working mother with no extenuating medical circumstances for my weight other than mental health issues (which I do feel contribute to weight issues, but which I do *also* still feel it is my personal obligation to seek treatment for). I think you have handled this topic fairly sensitively, and I appreciate you opening a dialogue.

    Here are some of my notes on this topic:

    1. Cheap food is unhealthy food. While I intend to provide my daughter (who is still only in the baby food stage of eating) with healthy options, including fruits and vegetables, I don’t often have enough money left over for my own diet, and I will prioritize our finances towards her health over mine any day.

    2. I work a 40-60 hour work week. This leaves little time for adequate shopping and food preparation. Again, I will prioritize her health, cooking in advance as necessary and freezing meals, but this isn’t always a viable option.

    3. Given the time and financial realities of keeping a home, raising a child, and working a full time job (with no money left over for outside childcare), I rarely have the time or energy to engage in a regular workout routine. As she ages, I intend to incorporate physical fitness into our play, but for a six-month old who is not independently mobile, this is not yet a reality.

    Both my husband and I have professional degrees, but we are crippled by student loan debt. That was debt we chose to take on, and for which we, solely, are responsible, but I can’t imagine our family is the only one that works like this. I agree that it is within my power to take important steps towards my overall physical and mental health. I also wish, though, that we lived in a society where:

    1. The fast food industry didn’t prey upon the economically disadvantaged; and
    2. Workplaces provided adequate childcare/maternity leave.

    Many of the countries compared to the United States who come out with lower obesity rates do have these conditions in place, as well as systems of education that don’t always cause students to endure enormous amounts of debt in order to obtain degrees. The economic disparities between the upper class and the lower classes in America contribute to this epidemic, and those who don’t address that miss that health doesn’t cost the same to obtain and maintain for every person.

    It’s also worth noting that those who are obese often function under intense emotional distress, and the idea of creating a system will function shamingly and punitively–like requesting patrons pay additional pricing for venue seating–may not only exacerbate the emotional motivators behind their weight, but may also cause the obese to no longer attend events with public seating, making them less likely to get out and get active.

    Obesity is a more complex issue, in other words, than these proposed solutions address, but I think it’s important that all of us–including those of us who *are* obese–get involved in this discussion, so that those who *aren’t* obese understand the realities of our situations, too. There is no “one size fits all” approach to health.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would like to begin by thanking you for expressing yourself in a manner that conveys a true wish for positive dialogue, potential solutions and a desire for better outcomes for the obese population. I wish more doctors and patients lowered the defensive barriers used to protect our situations to achieve goals that benefit everyone.

      You bring up many valid points. I will try to address them is a REALISTIC manner.

      1. Healthy foods cost more, but contain better nutrients and therefore require less consumption. Empty calories in cheap food create hormonal imbalances that interfere with the brain and stomach’s ability to communicate properly. This leads to over consumption. The difference in cost between eating adequate quantities of healthier foods vs. over consumption for nutrient poor foods is less than you may think. You don’t have to shop at a “Whole Foods” market. Chain grocery stores are carrying increasing amounts of better quality foods that often are more competitively priced than specialty food stores. Redistributing spending to slowly negate the poorer quality foods including snack type foods increases one’s budget for better quality foods. I would also suggest you do some research on the web regarding limited spending and healthier meal planning.
      2. Working a long work week makes daily food preparation difficult. Pick 1-2 days of the week; prepare and refrigerate and freeze your meals. The advantage of this not only gets the cooking out of the way, but removes the emotional component of “what do I feel like eating” as well. Eating for nutritional value followed by reasonable taste is a thought process we need to begin to create. This is a healthier approach than turning to “feel good” foods that temporarily make us feel (emotionally) better while causing gradual physical and (emotional) damage. We usually only think in terms of how good it tastes; not how destructive it is to function and overall health.
      3. Incorporate exercise into functional activities rather than specific separate time for exercise. Examples include: (1)Park as far away from work (in the parking lot) as reasonable and walk to your job. (2) Take short “bathroom breaks” and walk steps, around the building, stretch, become creative to use down time for limited exercise. Again, go online and research exercises that can be performed during working hours. Learn to incorporate healthy habits throughout the day to create a new mindset.

      As I stated, I am not a fan of some of my own suggestions for solutions. I understand that emotional pain exists and imposing additional “penalties” may cause people to further withdraw from society. That being said, I am open to suggestions that create accountability for the person choosing to live a lifestyle of obesity. I would like to hear from the obese population for their recommendations and incentives that would create accountability for their choice of lifestyle.
      You are also correct in stating that this topic is more complex than a blog article can cover. The solutions I suggest is only a starting point, because no one else is offering options. I would love to see greater dialogue among doctors and patients to address this issue. Many doctors are not qualified (in my opinion) to understand the emotional component. This problem cannot be addressed effectively by ONLY imposing penalties, or creating diet plans. People need to sit down together and find common ground solutions to make the process legitimate. The obese population needs to recognize that we doctors truly care and want to assist patients overcome this state of health. I believe that obese patients who truly understand the compassion behind our drive to help overcome this malady will realize our efforts combined are likely more effective than working independently.

      Thank you for being such a good honest spokesperson. I have a great deal of respect for your effort in responding to this article. Maybe our comments can begin a process that more doctors and patients can become a part of to ultimately address this issue.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Insurance premiums for smokers are higher than for nonsmokers, and that is as it should be. Implementing your #1 with higher insurance premiums would go down a little smoother than separate fees paid to separate entities. Not sure from the wording which was intended.

    Tho some obese people may object, your #2 is a matter of simple fairness.

    In light of the checkered history of interventions by government social services departments and the predictable howls of outrage from people touchy about interference with how they parent, I would be inclined to try a milder version of your #3 first. Schools should be serving healthy food anyway; they could supplement that wi lessons and individual counseling. There have been some good experiences with class gardens: kids like eating fresh veggies they helped grow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. #1 was imposing a fee (similar to those who smoke) on top of a standard premium rate (for those specifically choosing to live a lifestyle promoting obesity.) Since obese people average higher yearly medical expenses, they must be will to accept financial accountability for their lifestyle IF they choose to live this lifestyle.
      #3 is a progressive approach that will definitely create controversy. It is as diplomatic as I can see a program that will affect change. It offers parents MULTIPLE efforts to help their children without crossing the boundaries of interference. If doctor visits (with recommendations) followed by classes for parents (with recommendations) followed by professional nutritional counselors (with custom recommendations) does not create a change in obesity, I do not believe additional gentler approaches will be any more effective. Like I wrote, I do not necessarily like my proposal, but place the welfare of children far above my personal feelings.

      Garden veggies that children grow could definitely be a school program reinforcing better quality foods, but this project will never offset the family environment that provides no guidance.

      This is a very tough issue and will unlikely be resolved with smiles on people’s faces.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Obesity can be regarded as a potential killer for human beings. According to the obesity rate data you shared above, this problem is becoming more and more serious. Although many experts had proposed some solutions like you did here, the fundamental factor of obesity—unhealthy lifestyle has not been solved yet. These solutions indeed can prevent the spread of obesity, but I am afraid of that it can not work well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is no one good solution, however, incremental steps must be taken to reverse this current trend. I appreciate your comment and sentiment, but it is easy to identify ideas you believe won’t work. It is more meaningful to identify positive steps that can impact this dangerous condition. Understanding this condition is larger than calories in vs. calories out, what ideas can you offer to impact the course we face? I welcome new ideas that address the “whole person” in seeking solutions to this dilemma.

      Like

Your comment can positively impact the lives of others.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: