Would you like a bandaid for that…?

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It seems like every day there is a new pharmaceutical solution being introduced on the market to solve some health issue. Sadly, they may resolve some of the symptoms of the particular issue for which it is being prescribed, but it does not address the underlying cause, which really must be addressed to produce any real change in the condition.

Take for example the newly approved obesity drug, Belviq (and yes, there are some known side-effects). There have been many products and procedures advertised as a “cure” for obesity. Some people have met with some success in using them. Most people that I personally know enjoyed temporary success, but eventually reverted to their pre-prescription or pre-procedure size/weight, and often experienced side-effects or complications from the “cure.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, people are considered overweight when their body mass index (or BMI) is between 25 and 29.9%. A BMI of 30% or higher is considered obese. The map below shows the rate of obesity in the U.S. as of 2010. It has continued growing each year that it has been measured.

 U.S. Obesity Map 2010

 

 

 

Percent of Obese (BMI > 30) in U.S. Adults

 

 

 

 

So while the number of pharmaceutical and surgical solutions for obesity continues to expand, so are most of America’s waistlines!

I myself have never met anyone who is obese from eating a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So what is at issue here?

Well, some people just never learned to eat right; they developed poor eating habits as modeled by parents or others in their lives. Others may know what they should eat but, perhaps due to emotional issues or a high-stress life, prefer (unhealthy) fat and calorie–laden comfort foods. Some people just choose not to eat right.

I lost a very dear friend last week at far too young of an age. He had diabetes, requiring insulin shots, and heart disease. He loved food (great big juicy steaks were a favorite), and was not willing to give up his pleasure of indulging in an unhealthy way of eating, even if it meant living a long, healthy life.

Ultimately we must each choose for ourselves what kind of lifestyle we want to enjoy. There is no reason why we can’t occasionally indulge in things that taste good or provide temporary pleasure (unless your doctor has advised otherwise), but if we choose to eat that way all of the time rather than making healthy dietary choices, our health will suffer.

Sadly, we cannot convince those we love that they should eat a healthy diet (as my friend would tell you, if he were still alive), each of us must assume responsibility for what we eat, and bear the consequences of our choices, good or bad. And ultimately, we must know that no pill or surgical procedure can remedy a lifetime of poor dietary choices. It’s like putting a bandaid on a broken bone and expecting it to be magically healed.

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