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America, we’re getting really fat, and I’m going to rant a little bit.

Friday, July 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

July
8
2011
I just can't seem to lose weight!

I just can't seem to lose weight!

I was just reading an article on the obesity problem in America. Over the past 15 years the obesity epidemic in this country has gone from bad to downright shocking. The quote that jumped off the page at me and really drove the point home is this one: “Today, the state with the lowest adult obesity rate would have had the highest rate in 1995.”

Wow.

Colorado wins the award for the lowest obesity rate at just below 20%. In fact Colorado is now the ONLY state with an obesity rate of less than 20%. It’s pretty shocking when 1 in 5 people are obese in the leanest state in the union.

The article states that just four years ago only one state had an obesity rate greater than 30%; today there are a dozen.

The problem is out of control. Some people blame the restaurants, the government, the marketing companies, the grocery stores and so on. While I certainly think all of those groups could make some changes that would help the problem, in my opinion it really comes down to personal responsibility. I know people from all walks of life and with very diverse socioeconomic backgrounds who have lost fat and got in shape. I’ll be blunt: people are lazy when it comes to their health. They know they are fat, but they are not willing to put forth the effort to change it.

I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve answered over the years trying to help people who had questions about fat loss. I used to spend entire weekends writing out detailed diet plans and workouts for people, and the only thing I asked in return was that they please follow up with me and let me know how they are doing. Of the hundreds (thousands?) of people I tried to help, I maybe heard back from a couple of dozen. Over time I realized that I was, in large part, wasting my time. I no longer do that anymore. I realized that people who are not willing to invest their own time (doing research) or their money (hiring a personal trainer) are just looking for a quick fix and will almost always fail. They’ll fail because it takes much more than desire: it takes hard work and sustained effort to transition from an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle to an active and healthy one. If they aren’t willing to put forth the initial effort, they sure aren’t going to get far riding on someone’s coattail.

Damn it, America. We’re better than this.

John Stone Fitness Comments

4 Responses to “America, we’re getting really fat, and I’m going to rant a little bit.”
  1. While I think you are right, one thing to consider is the inflation of the statistics. The mid-90s saw the use the BMI as an indicator, which we all know is pretty flawed.

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    • BMI is still widely used and, while it’s clearly flawed for people who train with weights, it is a useful means of taking stock of the general population (most of whom wouldn’t know a dumbbell from a cowbell).

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    • If the comparison historically is the number of folks with a BMI indicating obesity then, versus the number of folks with a BMI indicating obesity now, then the comparison is valid in the sense that what we’re measuring is the relative increase in body mass (obesity) levels.

      Granted, the tool does have its flaws in certain instances (for folks that train with weights as John mentions), however, unless there’s been a massive increase in the number of weightlifters in the US, it’s more likely we’re seeing a massive increase in the collective size of our behinds.

      You’re right though DJ. In an absolute sense, the statistical incidence of obesity may be incrementally lower due to the fact that BMI does tend to be more inclusive of individuals who may not truly be obese according to other clinical definitions of the condition.

      In the end, I think that we can all agree that the results are disheartening. We’re getting fatter as a nation and not looking to slow that trend down anytime soon.

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  2. The funny thing is, anybody that wants to figure out how to get in shape can just read your blog. If you just dumped your blog into a book, it would be good enough with hardly any editing. If someone isn’t willing to do that much, they don’t deserve any help.

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