A recent routine
visit for a medical check-up required that the HR Doctor be
weighed in. While my weight hasnt fluctuated for years, I
nonetheless found my doctor/friend, as well, as the beautiful
HR Doctor daughter Rachel, also weighing in on the fact that
I could do extremely well with fewer pounds on my body
preferably yanked away from the midsection. These
professionals are, of course, correct.
While this writer is
not obese at least not yet
not only the land of the free and home of the brave, it is
increasingly the land of the obese and home of the overeater.
More than 60 percent of adult Americans are overweight (i.e.,
a body mass index greater than 25). That is a growing number
and reflects a combination of changes in our diet, in our
lifestyle and in our lack of consistent
The September 2007
issue of the Smithsonian Magazine cited several statistics
that support what truly represents a serious failure of
Americans to practice effective waist management. The Centers
for Disease Control notes that the average adult weighed
nearly 10 percent more in 2003 that in the 1980s. Males
had an average weight of 168 pounds back then and about 180
pounds now. The weight of the average American female
has gone from 142 pounds to 152 pounds. A similar growth is
present in the weight of our children.
The Smithsonian noted
that in the National Football League in 1976, only three
players weighed more than 300 pounds. By 2006, 570 players
exceeded that milestone (or is it a millstone)? We exercise
less, eat more and watch more television six hours and 45
minutes a day on average in 1980, versus eight hours and 11
minutes a day today.
Right along with
those lifestyle changes, which have super-sized
is the fact that many of our possessions have also grown in
Our cars weigh more,
even though some of the materials that make up our cars are
lighter. The number of square feet in the average house per
person has nearly tripled since 1950. The size of our
refrigerators, our television screens, even funeral caskets
has increased. If you have any doubt about
expansion, visit any of the super-stores and see the
staggeringly huge facilities they represent.
Failure to control
burgeoning waist management problem will lead to
extraordinarily serious and sad consequences. The trend is
clear. The consequences are already appearing.
Perhaps the saddest
consequence of all is that the next generation may be the
first one in our history to have a shorter life-span than that
of their parents.
All the drugs
marketed massively during all that television-watching time
are stop-gap measures. Obesity leads to diabetes the disease
of the 21st century. It leads to coronary artery disease. When
combined with smoking, it contributes to lung disorders.
Beyond all that, it leads to a decline in our desire to be
active on a sustained basis in life. The more active a person
is physically, the more engaged they are likely to be in civic
activities, including volunteerism, interacting with neighbors
and friends, and more.
The HR consequences
are also present in the forms of workplace absenteeism,
increases in health insurance costs, reductions in
productivity and more.
Despite all of the
difficulties and changing statistics cited in this article, it
is very possible to be better waist managers. It begins not
around the tummy, but inside our brains and our spirits. Do
not be the parents of children who grow up addicted to
television. Be the parents of children who are active in the
community and get up off the couch. Eat better, exercise more;
become involved in the society more as a volunteer and as a
friend. Make each day a new opportunity to improve your own
personal waist management.
Give these things a
try and see if you are not feeling better and contributing
more in just a few weeks. If you cant buy a dog like the HR
dog Kamala, buy a pedometer.
The answer to waist
is action and acceptance of personal responsibility. At this
point, the HR Doctor will be leaving for lunch. It will be
broccoli and salmon instead of a double
The HR Doctor http://www.hrdr.net/