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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why Americans Need to Start Thinking "Healthy"

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin remarks in her opening statement to the American public in the recently released publication, The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation, that the historic progress that this nation has made to increase the quality and number of years of life is threatened by the current epidemic of overweight and obesity. A supplementary fact sheet to the Surgeon General's vision reveals these alarming statistics:
  • Obesity rates more than doubled (from 15% to 43%) among American adults and more than tripled (from 5% to 17%) among American children and teenagers between the years 1980 and 2008.
  • 2/3 of American adults are currently either overweight or obese.
  • Almost 1 in 3 American children are currently either overweight or obese.
  • Various racial and ethnic sub-populations and certain geographic regions in the U.S. are disproportionately affected by the epidemic of overweight and obesity. For instance, 70% of adults who are of American Indian or Alaskan Native descent are either overweight or obese. Non-Hispanic black teenagers are more likely to be obese than their Hispanic and non-Hispanic white peers.
  • A teenager who is obese has more than a 70% chance of becoming an adult that is obese.
To combat the epidemic of overweight and obesity, the Surgeon General states we have to create a "new normal." In the past, emphasis has been placed on achieving certain numbers deemed "healthy" for body weight and body mass index (BMI). Dr. Benjamin remarks that although these standards of the "old normal" are important, the emphasis needs to be expanded to include attaining "an optimal level of health and well-being."

In her closing statement of The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation, she further elaborates that Americans are more likely to change their behavior toward healthier habits if they have a meaningful reward for which to strive. She describes this reward as a "level of health that allows people to embrace each day and live their lives to the fullest - without disease, disability, or lost productivity." She discourages Americans from thinking in terms of attaining a certain number on the scale, but rather to think of achieving optimal health and well-being for a functionally fit life.

The change from the "old normal" to the "new normal" can only occur if Americans start to take responsibility for their own health by making nutritious food choices and increasing daily physical activity. These actions will create a greater demand for food products and community/work environments (e.g., recreational parks, sidewalks, corporate wellness programs, etc.,) subsequently affecting the marketing and city planning trends to foster better health and well-being of the American public.

For more information regarding The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov.

Resources:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, January 2010.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation Fact Sheet. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, January 2010.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Surgeon General needs to follow her own advice and loose at least 150 lbs.

February 8, 2010 at 11:48 PM 

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