The Obesogenic Environment

By: Nelson Roque

"Obesogenic adj. related to or contributing to obesity"

Our increasingly "obesegenic environment" makes it "easy to eat crap and not exercise,"

"Genetics loads the gun, and the environment pulls the trigger." AHH! Isn't it lovely we have a new word to describe our ever expanding girth; this is nothing to celebrate about my friends.

The causes for obesity are fairly self explanatory, too much food in vs. too little going out in the form of physical exertion equals obesity.

So what's changed over the previous 20-30 years? Well, for starters we have an abundance of labor saving devices such as microwaves, toasters, computers, car washes, refrigerators defrost themselves, we get a ride to school, and we don't even need to drag ourselves up from the sofa to change the television station for goodness sakes! Combine that with current trends in North America to eat a diet of over half the calorie content coming from fat and sugar, and bang very shortly we'll all explode!

The term "obesogenic environment" popped up in the 1990s to describe an environment that encourages the over indulgence of energy dense foods, that is, foods high in fat and sugar. Eating fat has very little effect on suppressing appetite, nor has sweet foods for that matter. And guess what? Fast foods and processed foods are full of fat and sweeteners. How else do you think you could chow down a Big Mac or two, large fries, large soft drink and still have room for a desert? For most of the population, an average fast food meal uses up, 100% OR MORE of their daily calorie requirement. It is little wonder we are fat and getting fatter.

Ok let's talk about genetics for a moment, genetics play a role, but the gene pool in North America has not changed all that much in the few decades during which obesity has become so dominant. Genetics must be combined with an environment conducive to gaining weight, an environment that has been termed "obesogenic", in order for the explosive increase in both childhood and adult overweight and obesity to have occurred. Saying that may I tell you to cancel out "I got the fat gene" I was meant to be fat excuse, HMM! Got your attention didn't I?

If the obesity epidemic in North America is not controlled by YOU THE INDIVIDUAL and YOU do not take responsibility for YOUR CHOICES, almost every North American will be obese within just a few more generations. I am sad to say this but "becoming obese is a normal response to the North American environment" do we as a society really want to be labeled as "fat is normal" HMM!

This hits my nerve in a way that makes me GRRR at the "National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance" and our governments relax people by no means am I trying to offend you all I am saying is STOP and think of what environment you're creating for yourself. We don't need bigger caskets, bigger chairs, bigger beds or weight loss pills WHAT WE DO NEED is to get ourselves properly educated on nutrition and fitness not on how to stay fat or get fatter that's not in my books, I am against all fat acceptance organizations we simply do not need them I rather see that money be spent on more specialized obesity programs for adults/children, more so I would like to see manufactures stop making bigger then life products we don't need them its time for a reality check if you cant fit into a MRI too bad for you your health care will suffer, if you cant fit into a roller coaster with your child that's very sad, if you don't fit in a normal sized bed sleep on the floor, if you cant play with kids outside because its hard to move stay inside watching them have FUN FUN FUN from the window, get the picture? Good lets get to the good stuff shall we?

Let's improve our environment.

Few things we need to do when we are embarking on a healthier lifestyle and it all starts in the kitchen:

- Remove all junk food and soft drinks out of the house; this includes every room in the house not just the kitchen.

- Don't turn on the TV you don't need it its making you and your family fat!

- Remove all video games; get them out of the house our children need to move not sit.

- Stock up your pantry with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and meats. The first step to a healthier lifestyle is cleaning up your homes environment remember your house is a "Living Being" lets make it clean, pure and healthy for our bodies.

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