Today I watched a video of our esteemed First Lady Michelle Obama. She was discussing the concern she had over the abysmal state of our nations health problems; most notably the children.
She was addressing the nation to show how the new health care bill would change how our nation dealt with our children’s health issues. I was fascinated with the wording of this video with catch phrases like BMI or Body Mass Index and really scary words like Mandate. I am frightened by any governmental agency that is requiring an insurance or health organization to mandate or require this test.
As a matter of course BMI is notoriously inaccurate when it is not tested correctly and is often misread by so called “experts” in the field of traditional medicine. This test is only a formula using height and weight and does not take into account muscle and bone mass differences. The thing that bothers me isn’t that they are trying to get our nation and it’s children to be healthy but that they think that somehow they can control our lives.
I am all for healthy kids; in fact my adult children are very slim. They never fought the battle of the bulge as I have and even though they are not one of the many in our world that are having health issues related to weight I find that even if they did I would not want an organization to tell me how to take care of this issue!
For one thing we are a nation; a republic nation that is based on the foundation of freedoms. These freedoms are a hard earned thing that our forefathers made for us after a long and bloody battle with another governmental entity. This is not something that should be taken for granted. Something lost is rarely easily found again and more governmental control is one that is very difficult to stop once in play.
The other issue with this battle over our children’s health is that this test for BMI and weight is a precursor to using drugs to control weight problems. Now I am not sure how deeply we as a nation have looked into this problem but drugs that control fat and metabolism are horrifically dangerous; even when regulated by the government. Moreover; a child should NEVER be put on such dangerous drugs. And even though these drugs are supposedly regulated by the FDA; an organization fraught with inaccuracies and problems; they seem to be overlooking obvious health issues. To the best of my knowledge have not been tested for safety on children at all. The FDA has been taking monies from pharmaceutical companies for years which to me contaminates all results. A little bit like the fox in the hen house wouldn’t you say?
There are several common ways to control weight with pharmaceuticals. One of these are Orlistat; or Alli, a fat blocker which has been well documented for causing liver issues ranging from inflammation to permanent damage. Doctors also prescribe an amphetamine called phentermine which has dangers of causing high blood pressure; used as an appetite suppressant and Meridia; also known as hydrochloride adopamine/norephinephrine/serotonin reuptake inhibitor which has been known to cause serous health issues that are cardiovascular in nature. There were 29 deaths reported by people that took this drug in 2003 with 19 of them having cardiovascular issues and another 143 with arrhythmia.
Here is the real issue. WHY are we an unhealthy nation? Why, in this day of all that we have as a nation do we have such issues? The answer lies in what our lifestyle is all about. If you look back in the past to our ancestors you see a country of workers. Most people worked outside or did a lot of walking. In the past it was not unusual to see people riding bikes or trekking to work each day even in bad weather.
This issue of poor health isn’t only a case of not exercising but of what we put into our body’s for energy. It was not until the age of “fast food” have we really seen such health problems due to trans fats and high fructose corn syrup being the norm for our nations food. These catch all phrases are common to everyone with most anyone that you ask able to tell you the dangers of said additives. So why are we allowing these poisons in our diet? Why are we not only allowing our children to eat poor quality food but see it even in our meals at school, work and home?
It comes to the idea of freedoms; a double edge sword; the word freedom. We DO have the right to eat ourselves into health issues and even death. We DO have the right to feed our kids crap even if this is an abhorration to many in the health world.
So how do we battle the “battle of the bulge” without getting into the freedoms we all enjoy? How do we make our nation a nation of fit; healthy individuals that have the right do have the food we want? We already have the knowledge; we already have the recourses. After all; don’t we all see the organic greens at the store? Don’t we all hear the experts touting the health benefits of exercise? So what is happening to our nation when we cannot get our lives in control?
I personally believe that we are becoming a nation of narcissists. We want what we want when we want it. Instant gratification is the name of the game and we are making our kids a nation of people that have to have what they want; damn the torpedoes! As a spoiled brat world comes to fore we have to find a way to teach responsibility and instill in our nations children a sense that they are the masters of their own destiny. This is not a problem that happened overnight and it’s not a problem that will disappear overnight either.
But with this responsibility we also have to work on this type of responsible behavior in all of our life choices. After all; how can we teach it if we don’t follow our own advice? And on that note; if we are going to start this trend of thinking things through we need to follow through with the rest of our life; the rest of our decisions in life. With this new found idea of taking control we will not need our government to control us as if we were a group of toddlers at day care. It’s all up to us people. We are the ones that win if we can succeed and we are the ones that fail if we don’t succeed.
So the next time you go to the market or the restaurant think about not only your life; and the life of your kids but the health of our future nation. And when the waitress asks if you want that soda just say no.
Kim Weninger MH