America’s obesity problem not getting any smaller

By Elizabeth Scopelliti
April 12, 2010

“Eat, drink, and be merry.”  I’m sure we’ve all heard that quote once or twice before in our lifetimes. That phrase, which originated in the Bible, has been repeated and glorified for decades upon decades. Who doesn’t love to eat or drink? It’s a way of life.

Well, as a young college student, I can tell you first hand that it catches up to you. The burgers and hot dogs from family cookouts, the pastas and bread from cheap restaurants…it’s a recipe for disaster. Not to mention carbonated and alcoholic drinks. It all adds up over time.

Obesity has become prevalent throughout the United States. Studies have shown that America is home to some of the most obese people in the world. Crazy, right? We’re one of the most advanced and progressive countries in the world, yet we are nutritionally impaired.

The facts are there: 58 million overweight, 40 million obese; 3 million morbidly obese. The scary part is that these numbers don’t seem to be decreasing. You would think that, after numerous amounts of articles and television specials detailing the horrors of obesity, there would be a change. Negative, Ronald McDonald.

What’s even more disturbing is that scientists are saying that there may be something known as “food addiction.” Damn, if I haven’t used that excuse before.  Should I say that every time I make a pit stop at a drive-thru, or when I pop a cookie or two in my mouth? Hell, if that’s the case, I’ll be 300 lbs by the time I’m 25.

Listen, I understand that there are people who have health issues that alter what they can or cannot eat. Example: people who are cursed with thyroid problems. It’s a sin. But excluding those certain individuals who cannot control their bodies’ tolerance to food, there’s really no other excuse for obesity. I wish there was, but I guess I’ll burst my own bubble and accept the facts.

College kids are definitely limited with the food choices presented to them. French fries and pizza seem to be the norm throughout all of the dorms, whether it be on a Tuesday afternoon or Friday night. At Cabrini, there are a few healthy options available to students, but there is definitely room for improvement, just as there is in all schools. It’s the little changes that make the biggest difference. White to wheat, soda to water, sugar to fat-free: it’s bound to help someway, somehow.

I know America is enthralled with pin-thin celebrities and Pussycat Dolls, but let’s be realistic here, America: most people do not, and will never, look like those superstars. You can pretend you’re Megan Fox or Brad Pitt for as long as you’d like… sorry, sweetheart, the mirror will tell you different.

You can control what goes in your mouth. No one is forcing you to eat (and if they are, that’s an issue…). So instead of trying to justify your reason for eating, just stop. Not literally, but think twice before you put that double quarter pounder in your mouth. And get off of the couch and do some sit-ups or something. You’ll feel better in no time, I promise.

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Elizabeth Scopelliti

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