Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Nation Crumbling Under Its Own Weight

Meg Evans, who lost 55 pounds by taking a weight-loss drug called Qnexa, and CNBC reporter Scott Wapner in "One Nation, Overweight." Photo courtesy of www.msnbc.msn.com.

THERE’S a good reason to stay home tonight to watch something on the tele other than "American Idol”: “One Nation, Overweight.”

The CNBC special report uses the statistic from the Centers for Disease Control that two-thirds of U.S. citizens are either overweight or obese to weigh in with its two cents on the nation's No. 1 health problem. That’s two out of three of us, folks.

As Yours Truly has written in these pages before, I hope to make the world a better place by educating everyone who has ears about making healthy food choices that will prevent them from becoming overweight and putting them at risk for myriad health complaints and, premature – and preventable – death.

One Nation, Overweight, which is also available on DVD, should be required family viewing. No new ground is broken here, but overweight/obesity is such an important issue of the day that it is impossible that too much can be said about it until it is eradicated like polio. Correspondent Scott Wapner addresses a number of issues around obesity, including the staggering costs of treating it and how it will bankrupt us as a nation if not brought under control.

And why are we obese and overweight? The obvious answer is because of the foods we choose to eat either out of ignorance or expediency. We are a nation addicted to processed foods, which are largely fast, sugary and laden with chemicals. This is not good for any of us, particularly children who are still growing and developing. Alas, many are afflicted with adult illnesses such as diabetes. One in three children is either overweight or obese, according to the CDC. Not such a surprising stat when one considers the huge volume of unhealthy snacks and soft drinks on sale in vending machines. Ditto for the high-fat foods being served in the school cafeteria.

No doubt, we should be mindful of what we put in our mouths. But are we alone in this responsibility – surely children shouldn’t be expected to make these choices without parental guidance? If processed food is so toxic and costly in the long run why is it on the market? Why do food manufacturers sell this poison – are they doing anything to make it healthier? What is government doing about it? All of these questions are on the table, as are various initiatives that corporations and individuals are undertaking to combat obesity, including literally getting moving.

Regardless of how healthy we eat, to enjoy good health we must also move (read: exercise) as we were created to do.

”One Nation, Overweight” airs at 10 EDT tonight on CNBC; see a schedule of repeats at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37155126/ns/business-cnbc_tv//; purchase the DVD for $19.99 at http://www.nbcuniversalstore.com/detail.php?p=263063&v=cnbc&ecid=PRF-TV2-100768&pa=PRF-TV2-100768.


  1. Thanks so much for recommending this! I did make my kids watch it with me and boy am I glad I did.. I think they are finally seeing what all of these little snacks are going to do to them. Did you see those cute commercials for WAT-AAH! ?? I am thinking of buying some to hopefully get my kids to drink more water! Here is a cute video by them:

  2. Hello ... Anonymous,

    I am very pleased that you found the program helpful. And bravo! for getting your kids to watch. They are the future, and we need a healthy future.

    Thanks for the youtube link. I do like the WAT-AAH?! ads. They run on CNBC often. Interesingly, enough I have a bottle of WAT-AAH! that was in the gift bag that I received at a recent fundraiser for Dr. Oz's HealthCorps. It's on my list of things to drink soon.

    Meanwhile, I appreciate your readership. Do stay tuned to VEVLYN'S PEN and tell your friends/colleagues/family about it. Thank you for your support and encouragement.


    Yours Truly


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