In light of Friday’s video on walkable cities, I found an article on treehugger which deals with Boston area doctors now being able to prescribe a membership for their bike-share. It’s a subsidized annual membership which costs $5 instead of the usual $85 annual membership. This is an awesome program in my opinion.
We hear about it all the time, America is in an obesity epidemic. Despite the fact that almost every American can tell you this AND every American can tell you how to lose weight (diet & exercise), we still see obesity numbers rising. How are we letting this happen? How is it that society is suddenly okay with children having a shorter life expectancy than their parents?
Many of us spend all day sitting at work or school and then what do we do when we get home? We want to sit down and watch TV or use the computer. In the eyes of mainstream society, there’s no such thing as a useful walk and barely ever such thing as a useful bike ride anymore. We live in a society where people are content to get in their car, drive to a gym, and then only use the treadmill! I’m sorry, but why not just run outside?
There is no instant gratification in working to lose weight and fix this obesity epidemic. There won’t be a magic pill. There won’t be a no-work solution. There’s a very simple solution though. If you need to lose weight… Burn more calories than you eat on a consistent basis. That’s it. It won’t be a quick process and it won’t be easy. But it works.
Here’s the deal too, let’s stop pretending that being really overweight is okay. In the same breath I have to say that it’s not okay to stigmatize, stereotype, or treat very overweight people differently. However, we need to start realizing that being really overweight has consequences for us all (high healthcare costs, etc.). Instead of looking down on obese people we instead need to help support them. However, the way to support them is not by telling them “it’s okay to be obese.” That is the route we have collectively taken as a society. That isn’t the best route, it’s not sustainable. We need to support them in their journey to get healthy.
I realize that this was just a random collection of thoughts that was brought on by the Tree Hugger article. I’ll probably write up an entire post (or couple posts) on obesity and my thoughts on it. I really like the prescribe a bike program though.