In Illinois today 34.9 % of the population is overweight and out of that 26.6 is obese. There is a difference between overweight and obese. BMI (body mass index) is 25.5-29.9 for overweight and obese is 30 and up. Athletes are having a problem with this because their BMI is automatically higher because their muscle is so much more develop and therefor denser than fat.

Weight issues within the Illinois society is growing at an alarming rate. Reasons for this mostly involve overeating, and the fact the fattening foods are just cheaper. Greasy foods are also often more palatable than vegetables or fruit. It is not the fault of the consumer to like them. They are created and designed specifically so they can be mass marketed and sell in bulk. More over people are undereducated on exactly how to combat obesity. This in fact is so much so that the problem has spread like a virus to our children. Statistics show that over all of America 25% of the children are obese. And are more likely to develop cardiovascular problems. The solution for this, though everyone tries to say it’s simple, in my opinion really isn’t. Well balanced diets and a fair amount of exercise are getting harder and harder to find in a society of economic drought and mobility. This often leads to people taking matters into their own hands. They will begin skipping meals or over exercising. This is much worse for them and does more harm than good because it actually increase the risk of obesity and disease which is the opposite of original intent. Nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky of the Mayo Clinic when asked responded like this: Skipping meals (especially breakfast) is harmful because it actually increases you risk of obesity by increasing your body’s insulin response thereby increasing fat storage and weight gain.

Starting a new lifestyle is hard but worth it. To help maintain (or achieve) A healthy body weight a balance of macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates) and micronutrients to support human nutrition and provide calories for energy needs of the individual without inducing toxicity or excessive weight gain from overeating.

I am going to ask you to close your eyes and visualize America a century or maybe even a couple decades down the road. Everyone is overweight and struggling with disease or depression, the life expectance has dropped from 75 – 80 years to 40-45 years due to heart issues and breathing trouble. The people who aren’t fighting obesity are horribly anorexic and can’t enjoy life because of a condition they have developed out of fear of their surroundings.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Friends (if I may refer to you all as such) I am calling you to action today, not to change your entire life, not to make you feel insecure, but to bring your attention to a problem you as an individual can help fix. All I am asking is that you make an effort to be a good example. Just in small ways. Instead of eating a second cookie you could reach for that Apple. Instead of driving to Mcdonalds, you could pack a lunch. What we do everyday matters and just remember that the people who are younger than you are watching and patterning their lives and habits after you. Think of their future and everything you are hoping they will be.

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