Thursday, May 31, 2012

Weight of the Nation

A walk around the lake with Grandma & Auntie L (Dave's mother & sister)

Over the long weekend, we watched the four-part HBO documentary, Weight of the Nation.  I enjoy documentaries and have watched many concerning our nation's diet and food supply.    Weight of the Nation really resonated with me, especially the segments about childhood obesity.  It saddens me to think of children having to deal with adult medical conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.  Living in neighborhoods where access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited.  Where there are no parks and play spaces.  Schools eliminating physical education while filling the cafeterias with processed foods.  Predatory marketing aimed at children.  The effect on our future generation is troubling and I can't see our nation being able to continue on this way. 

The film also made me examine my own habits and those of our family.  Dave makes a point of having the kids outside and playing in the backyard everyday.  Unless the kids are working on a school project, time outside is mandatory at our house because Daddy said so!  He also takes them to parks and playgrounds on the weekend.  Thankfully, our kids are healthy and active.  And, I want to make sure they stay that way!  However, I've got some work to do when it comes to myself.

For full disclosure I should mention I'm not overweight.  According to my BMI, I'm a normal weight.  But over the years, my weight has steadily increased.  In real life, it's hard to talk about weight when you appear "skinny" to those around you.  But when I look in the mirror, there's no denying the extra baby weight that has stuck around for the last...oh 5 years!  And when you consider risk factors like race and family history, I feel its best to make changes now and not when my doctor is telling me that I'm pre-diabetic or need to start medication for high blood pressure.  For me the key is increasing my activity level and reducing the amount of calories I consume in the form of sweetened beverages (my weakness!).  Instead of staying behind to clean, I've been joining Dave and the kids on their trips to the park.  We've also started taking walks around the neighborhood as a family in the evenings.  And I'm drinking more water these days!  Small changes that I'm hoping will make a big impact on my health and my waistline!

If you're interested in watching Weight of the Nation, you can find all four parts online here.

Did you watch Weight of the Nation?  What were your thoughts?      

Mary Ellen                   

1 comment:

  1. Obesidy in kids has been rising here in the UK as well. Partly to blame is the scool system that has sold off the school playing fields to developers, and the kids inactive life styles with too much time spent sitting at computers.
    If your kids are active around the home I don`t think you have alot to worry about. As you are feeding them with healthy meals you have even less worry.