Know someone that's a little heavy? Maybe more than just a little heavy? Do you think that person just needs a little willpower to avoid obesity?
You know...if you could tell the person to just knock off the 48-ounce Big Gulp in the morning, and those two bowls of ice cream at night, they'd be fine, right?
Well, an national study on obesity statistics released this week by the Institute of Medicine suggests "individuals and groups can't solve this complex problem alone."
"People have a very tough time achieving healthy weights when inactive lifestyles are the norm and inexpensive, high-calorie foods and drinks are readily available 24 hours a day," said committee chair Dan Glickman of the study.
The report has specific recommendations on how to make people's trips to their bathroom scale in the morning a little less frustrating:
- requiring at least 60 minutes per day of physical education and activity in schools
- industry-wide guidelines on which foods and beverages can be marketed to children and how
- expansion of workplace wellness programs
- taking full advantage of physicians' roles to advocate for obesity prevention with patients and in the community
- increasing the availability of lower-calorie, healthier children's meals in restaurants
What do you think? Is the sedentary lifestyle of many to blame for the obesity epidemic? Are high-fat and high-calorie foods, often cheaper than healthy alternatives, to blame? Or is it a matter of choice? Why can't people resist all the junk food if they really want to lose weight? Do we really need a societal change, at least here in America, before people take matters into their own hands?
Tell us your thoughts and share your comments. And take a moment to voice your opinion in the poll below.