This past week we took our followers on two tours. One of these tours was a fictitious cycling tour that circled Switzerland. If only this fun romp through the Alps could be a reality. Who knows… someday it could be. The tour did highlight the reality of the many faces of obesity. It you followed our posts, you know that we highlighted the impact that obesity has in America from different perspectives.
Is weight loss surgery the answer to the obesity epidemic in America? Looking at the people in our weight loss surgery network, we can attest to the power of these surgeries to eliminate or reduce obesity in individuals. Is it the cure-all? We can definitely say that it is not.
The American obesity epidemic is not just about the unhealthiness of adults and children. There is a sizable financial burden that affects each of us. In 2010 the Centers for Disease Control reported that the nation’s total medical costs of obesity were $147 billion in 2008 and growing faster every year. Each of us pays a share of that $147 billion as part of our healthcare insurance premium and tax dollars.
Childhood obesity is truly an epidemic. The statistics are telling. Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. Sixty-one percent of overweight 5 to 10-year olds already have at least one risk factor for heart disease, and 26% have two or more risk factors. Those are very concerning statistics.
Exercise is one of those words that bring unpleasant thoughts to most people. Even in today’s hectic family schedules, we seem to find time for just about everything except a workout. The Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 50% of American adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity to provide health benefits. The story is not much better for our internet age video-game addicted children. More than a third of young people in grades 9–12 do not regularly engage in vigorous physical activity.
The typical American eats an unhealthy diet. I remember the USDA food pyramid from my school years. It was pounded into my head in the classroom. Sadly, I did not retain it for very long. Are you aware the pyramid has been replaced with a plate? You can check it out at ChooseMyPlate.gov. Vegetables occupy the largest space on the plate followed by grains. Fruits and proteins fill the remaining plate space equally with a side of dairy. Here are some good healthy eating tips from Choose my Plate.
Sunday September 25 Update from Chuck and Tom
We left CAK Saturday afternoon to catch our flight. Chuck had just finished the Akron Marathon, his third. He was looking forward to a quiet flight to Atlanta where we boarded our international flight to Munich. From Munich, we caught a short flight to St. Moritz. Today, we crossed the Swiss Alps on the Glacier Express to Zermatt through many mountain passes and tunnels. Late this afternoon we arrived in Geneva after a long day of travel.
High on a hill was a lonely goatherd… Those words from the Sound of Music echo in our heads as we pass through the Alps on our way to Geneva. It’s Tom and Chuck coming to you from our totally fabricated trip across Switzerland. Over the next week you can follow us on what we hope is a believable Tour der Alps.