Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Fit or Fat: The Choice is Ours
Patty was asking questions at Costco’s customer service counter as I stood waiting nearby, and with a clear view of the crowded warehouse store.
I thought how fortunate we are to live in a nation with such an abundance of products, goods that our free market economy provides. I looked at the huge shopping carts filled with a variety that most of the rest of the world envies. I recalled photographs taken in the old Soviet Union, with its citizens standing in long lines to enter dismal stores with few choices and limited quantities.
My second thought, however, was not as positive. I watched shoppers lining up at checkout counters and once again realized how we have, on average, become a fat and flabby nation. Month after month, reports in the media have been telling us about poor health and illnesses that will be the result of it. We have been warned, too, about the growing number of fat children who will early in life contract many of the diseases associated with old age.
Media reports are one thing. A more startling impression is actually looking at most large groups of people today. Thirty years ago, extremely overweight people stood out in a crowd. Nowadays, they are often the norm.
The problems created by being overweight and obese range from societal (rising health care costs, for example) to the personal. It is on the personal level that I focus. How, I ask, can anyone experience all that life has to offer if you are obese? I am not a psychologist, and in many instances I realize there are psychological factors involved. Yet after all the talking is out of the way, it always comes down to personal choice.
The choice is ours.