Many would think that we are in the silly season for politics. However, in regard to our health, we are in a very sad season.
This past week the media and blogosphere were all-a-twitter either praising or demonizing Ms. Deen's decision to be a paid spokesperson for a Type 2 Diabetes drug. It's safe to assume that Ms. Deen's lifestyle choices - food, smoking, lack of exercise - have led to her disease. For anyone who errs on the side of genes, please note: Genes load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger.
Rather than focus on Ms. Deen's lifestyle choices, diabetes, and ultimate decision to promote a diabetes drug, I'd rather focus on the American food culture. Because, she is just one spoke in our messed up wheel of a food culture.
Here's just the tip of the iceberg. We have "hero" athletes pushing Oreos (Eli Manning, Shaq, and more), TV shows pushing Coke/Pepsi (Idol/X Factor), and a Main Street that is loaded with junk food. So, while Ms. Dean is a great scapegoat, she's just one of many problems existing with our food crisis.
In Georgia, we have a serious problem: Georgia is No. 2 in childhood obesity. Public health officials are very concerned. In fact, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has an aggressive and controversial ad campaign to address the issue.
While you can demonize its approach, you must praise its intention. Here's what Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and all health providers know. Diseases that are typically seen in adults - heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and others - are now being observed in very young patients.
Individually, we do have a choice:
- Maintain the status quo or
- Move toward healthier foods
If you choose the former, there's a good chance you will experience one or more of the diseases that the Western diet contribute to. By choosing the latter, you will be taking a step toward a healthier lifestyle.
Fortunately, there are many heroes in the battle to live a healthier lifestyle. I would like to introduce you to a few:
- Dr. David Katz - Here's an article that he has written - No Obese Child is an Island.
- Dr. Marion Nestle - You can follow her thoughful blog posts here.
- Andy Bellatti - Learn from a passionate dietitian.
There are many other wonderful people who are knowledgeable and passionate about lifestyle and health issues. You can learn about more of them at my website/blog.
As Dr. Dean Ornish states: "Joy is a more powerful motivator than fear." As it relates to living a healthy lifestyle, find your joy.