The Shape of America: PART 2 – TPI Trainer, SouthPark

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The Culprits

First, the average American doesn’t exercise nearly enough! Only 15% of Americans engage in vigorous exercise for 20 minutes three times a week.

Second, we simply eat too much! In the past 25 years, portion sizes served in restaurants and fast-food eateries have increased dramatically.

Third, Research clearly shows that when more food is on our plates, we eat more. The public health implications are profound, as researchers now point to larger portion sizes as one of the primary reasons our waistlines are expanding. Obese Americans consume more than 20% of their calories from cakes, cookies, pies, pastries, ice cream, sugar, candy, syrup, soda pop, corn chips,s, and potato chips.

Remember the 2004 documentary film Super Size Me, which chronicles filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s weight gain journey by eating McDonald’s three times a day for 30 days?

The Consequences

Obeying increases the risk of a number of serious ailments, including diabetes, heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, some types of cancer, and other chronic disorders. Some studies have shown an increase of up to 60% in the risk of death from all causes for obese people.

The statistics indicate that most of us will live to see old age. That’s the good news. The bad news is that some of us will acquire one or more forms of chronic disease, either disabling us or reducing the quality of our lives. The Journal of American Medical Society indicates that chronic disease is on the rise, having affected nearly 100 million Americans in 1995. By the year 2020, this figure is expected to reach 134 million. Our nation is in jeopardy, chronic diseases are occurring in epidemic proportions.

According to Dr. Jane Pentz,” The quality of your life and your relationship with others depends on the fact that you must have a place to live.” We are a replacement society; if the car of TV breaks, we simply replace it. We cannot replace our bodies if they break down. The fact is, that degenerative diseases of old age (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc.) are chronic diseases; they do not go away. They may subside temporarily, but they are incurable. The key to conquering them is to do what we can to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

The evidence is far too great to ignore any longer. There is a direct relationship between the food we eat, our physical activity level, our stress level, and long-term health. Some of us are given a compact car to get through life with, while others are given a big luxurious limousine. Both will get us through life, but even the limousine will end up in the junkyard if we don’t take care of it. Remember, we alone are responsible for our own health, even through our senior years. We all must leave this world one day, but how and when we do is partially under our control.

END OF PART 2