Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mississippi Losing The War With Obesity

This story I heard on All Things Considered tonight is so intriguing to me. They take you to Holmes County, Mississippi - the most obese county in the United States. Where 4 out of every 10 people are obese. It is also the poorest county in the state of Mississippi.

The epidemic in Holmes County is so bad that they can now only seat 2 children to a bus seat when previously they would have sat 3 to a seat.

And what about the woman, who doesn't look much older than I am at the age of 27, that had a stroke in the middle of the night?

This breaks my heart so bad, I had tears in my eyes as I listened intently to the report on my way home from work.

Of course when you are a single parent, living off food stamps and trying to feed 3 or more kids, you are going to go for the processed, cheap foods because fresh produce is more expensive, afterall. Is there nothing we, the American society, can do to change this?

I appreciate the Mississippi law makers are trying to lead by example. But I wonder how many state funds were put into the"legislator bootcamp" that could have been put into communities like Holmes County?

And what about the people that don't even believe there is a problem in the first place? The ones that think that you aren't obese until "you are goin' past 300-somethin and you're havin a hard time walkin and breathin." That is an actual quote from the Southword video.

You can't force people to see that there is a problem with the health and wellness of their community. You can't tell a parent that it's not normal for their school aged children to have high blood pressure if they don't want to hear it. But how do you make them WANT to hear you?

I don't have the answers. I can tell you the facts of how to improve your health as I'm lucky enough that I woke up and realized I was killing myself with food and have spent the last 4+ years educating myself. I've made changes to my lifestyle and I was fortunate enough to be able to afford the healthy food to make those changes. But what about those that don't have these resources? What is going to happen to them?