The Trust for America's Health recently released a study which should send a chill down the spines of every responsible American. It concluded that by the year 2030, more than half of the residents of 39 states will be not simply overweight, but obese. Mississippi is predicted to continue its "leadership" in this category with a staggering 67 percent.
This means that our nation, which once was a leader in technology and innovation, and which once boasted of a prominent "President's Council on Physical Fitness" is likely to come to be known as the cane/walker/wheelchair/motorized scooter society, a culture of the physically disabled. How will we be able to afford to pay for the health care that will be triggered by our poor choices, much of which comes from public monies, and how will our civilization continue to thrive when so few will be able-bodied and fit? In the event that we are somehow able to pay them, how will we secure a sufficient number of workers to provide care for those confined to their homes or nursing facilities?
We consume too much fat, calories, sugars, and salt (not to mention tobacco and alcohol, issues for another day) and we are sedentary. We shield junior (or juniorette) from the elements and having to walk to school, serving to minimize youth activity and aerobic exercise. We look for the closest space to the door at a mall or store; heaven forbid that an able-bodied person should walk 100 yards to the entrance. Look at those around you at any sports event and note how short our attention spans have become, how dependent we are on incessant texting rather than watching the action on the field. We spend larger and larger swaths of our lives in front of various types of screens through which we communicate even while attempting to simultaneously operate a motor vehicle. Exercise? Who cares about something like that? It comes last, if at all for many of us.
When government does anything in an effort to promote more healthful choices, shouts of "Hands off! How dare you impose a nanny state/big government on me in a free country!" are not far behind. If folks think that government efforts to improve our health constitute an undue intrusion into our lives, wait until you see its breadth when it must spend tens of billions more on health care per year to treat those who have dug their own graves with their teeth!