People looked at me like I had three heads when I walked in to work with a sack of food from B-Bop‘s on New Year’s Day.
NEW YEAR’S DAY!!!
What? Whaaaaat?!? WHAT?!?!?
Their expressions said, “You can’t do that! It’s resolution time! You’re the ‘health & fitness’ person! What...Is...Happening?!?!”
I’ll tell ya what was happening. The day before we ran a story about the best foods in Iowa and it got me craving a tenderloin. I can’t remember the last time I ate one. I can’t remember the last time I ate that sort of fast food...probably during a road trip last summer.
Here’s the thing...there’s nothing magic about January 1st. There’s nothing deadly or even unhealthy about the occasional cheeseburger, tenderloin, French fries, ice cream, green bean casserole, pecan pie, etc, etc, etc...
It’s clear we have a problem in this state when it comes to health.
Right now Iowa ranks as the fourth most obese state in the country. 4th. FOURTH.
The scale is not a predictor of overall health but we know that being overweight can lead to chronic conditions like heart disease, joint issues, diabetes, and others that reduce quality of life, increase healthcare costs and lead to early death.
We know that obesity is bad for us (AS BAD FOR US AS SMOKING!) but the number of obese Iowans keeps going up.
The programs in place aren’t working.
So what needs to change?
Should we start treating this like we did smoking? Should we not allow people under 18 to buy pop, candy, junk food and fast food? Should we exponentially increase taxes on those products? Should we ban those products in all public places? Should we institute mandatory programs requiring people to walk a certain number of steps or raise their heart rate for a certain amount of time each day?
I’m curious about your thoughts, your personal experiences, and what you hear from friends and family members who struggle with their weight.