- Carol Michaels
The Baby Boomer Obesity Crisis
Baby boomer obesity is becoming a health crisis. Obesity increases the risk of disease and health issues. This includes orthopedic issues, heart disease, and diseases such as diabetes, and cancer.
As the boomers age this will only exacerbate the strain on our health care system. You
now have the making of a health care crisis: health issues that arise with aging combined with the health issues that arise due to obesity. This is a deadly combination and is sure to worsen our already fragile health system.
There are several reasons for the obesity epidemic. Our food is low quality especially in low income neighborhoods.Those in low income brackets(or no income) often eat at fast food restaurants. The food that is inexpensive is the high calorie food. Fruits and vegetable can be expensive.
Corporate America has caused the country to have a high stress level. Stress is a leading cause of obesity. My clients are over worked and underpaid. Companies are working lean-firing employees and placing the burden on the remaining employees. Companies are lean causing employees to be fat.
Stress is also leading to increased alcohol consumption which can cause weight gain.
There are also undiagnosed mental health problems which can lead to emotional over eating
Boomers in a good financial situations are eating in restaurants frequently-some almost daily. This is a cause of obesity. The portions can be large and not all restaurants serve healthy meals.
Our obesity epidemic is the culmination of so many deep rooted issues.
It will be very difficult to change corporate America. How do you reinstate loyalty to hard working employees?
Can food companies take some responsibility for this epidemic and remove or change the unhealthy food that is being sold? Unfortunately food that is labeled "healthy" is usually filled with chemicals. It is very misleading. It is very important to read the ingredients labels.
How do we begin to solve this obesity crisis?
The burden has to lie with the health professionals and schools. As we know, most doctors are limited by the amount of time they have with their patients due to insurance. They need to fit in weight concerns of their patients but some are not trained in nutrition and exercise. Because of the lack of time, they need to refer to people who may be able to help their patients-trainers, therapists, etc.
We need to teach the poor to eat healthily on a budget. All schools should educate students as to what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. Physical education classes need to be expanded.