Obesity is killing Americans faster than a speeding train. OK, I might be exaggerating, but this disease, flagged as an epidemic, isn’t getting any better unless we as a society start actively living healthier lifestyles. Obesity causes a host of diseases and health problems that include high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, joint problems, and even death.
That all seems par for the course, but did you know that obese individuals are more likely to die in car accidents? According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was an 80% increase in fatalities in traffic accidents for obese individuals. What could be causing obese people to die more often in car accidents? An obese drivers’ lower body is ejected farther before the seat belt safely engages the pelvis, plus the extra tissue on the driver stops the seat belt from fitting snugly, thus making it harder for the driver to be held safely upon impact.
Another factor at play is the design of cars. Researcher Thomas M. Rice said, “Vehicle designers are teaching to the test – designing so that crash test dummies do well. Crash-test dummies are typically normal size adults and children.” Read Full Post >
There’s a new cola war going on, but it’s a little more serious than the old Pepsi vs. Coke feud of decades past. Obesity is out of control, stretching our already stretched-thin health care system, and sugar consumption is center stage.
So, what do you do when you are the purveyor of some of the biggest selling, empty-calorie, sugar-laden drinks in our country’s history? Well, you play damage control, of course.
“We have not done a good enough job in telling our story and being consistent in telling our story,” said Coca-Cola spokeswoman Diana Garza Ciarlante.
Right, the problem is that people don’t know what Coca-Cola is really all about. In reality, we’re talking about a propaganda war. Try to soften the blow of bad publicity, then draw more attention to your diet soda by signing a major celebrity spokeswoman — Taylor Swift announced her partnership pitching Diet Coke last Sunday:
But back to damage control. Coke decided to take on obesity directly, with their “Coming Together” campaign, pointing out that of their 650 beverages, they offer 180 low- or no-calorie drinks. Read Full Post >
As a trim, chic couple passes me on the street, I hear snatches of their conversation—in French. The other night at a restaurant, I heard Italian coming from a nearby table of three generations: healthy children, parents and grandparents. Living in Washington, D.C., with all the embassies and international organizations, I wind up hearing many different languages. When I recognize one, I do a quick—and surreptitious—assessment of the speaker’s body weight. My amateur research findings, corroborated by legitimate studies, are that in most other countries, people are at healthier weights than Americans. For instance, our obesity rate is 3.5 times that of France’s.
I’ve pumped my international friends—all of whom are at a healthy body weight—for their secrets. No matter where they come from, there is one strategy they all share: They respect the concept of mealtimes. They eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, with little to no snacking in between. Read Full Post >
With this week’s inauguration wrapped up, Michelle Obama is set to be the nation’s first lady for another four years. She made a huge impact on the nation’s fight against childhood obesity in her first term and will no doubt continue to focus on that platform through 2016.
The first lady has tirelessly worked to tackle childhood obesity, most notably through her Let’s Move campaign that launched in 2010. The effort brings teachers, leaders, doctors, parents, and students together in a nationwide effort to educate about and reverse the challenges of childhood obesity. It can be a touchy subject, but there are times when Mrs. Obama approaches the subject with fun and excitement. We’ve compiled our favorite fittest moment of Michelle Obama’s first term and look forward to seeing what’s up her very toned sleeves in the years ahead. Read Full Post >
One of the most widely circulated pieces of advice for effective (meaning healthy) grocery shopping is to steer around the perimeter of the store where nutritious foods are traditionally on display. But food makers and the stores that sell their products aren’t happy just to sit still and not try to influence your buying habits.
Food ad spending in the U.S. rests at about $7 billion a year. Not to mention, the Newspaper Association of America reports about $1.5 billion is spent by food companies each year in newspapers and mailed circulars.
Billion with a “b” comes with a pretty hefty influence. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a UK study found that people alter their meal plan according to what products their grocery store is promoting.
Back Stateside, a new study evaluated the types of foods promoted by supermarkets chains and their corresponding share of advertising space in 2011 sales circulars. The food group that was given the heaviest promotion on the front page of supermarket sales circulars was meat with about 40 percent of the ads. Fruits and vegetables were each given about 10 percent of the sampled advertising space. Read Full Post >