While I'm sharing some of the discussion questions with all of you, I can't even begin to scratch the surface of the multi-level discussions that develop from so many student perspectives on these crucial health issues. We are also being trained to focus, focus, focus our message and developing other communication skills so that we may be successful even when we are not "preaching to the choir".
Remember, any of you could have a opportunity tomorrow to share the healthy eating message in any of these areas. Just yesterday I responded to the reporter of this article about a cancer sufferer who was rejected from Jenny Craig. I hope she will pass on the information to the woman involved. In any case, being on this nutrition course has us all fired up to spread the word where we can.
Much of America's population has strayed from the optimal range on the BMI (Body Mass Index) scale.
The statistics are ominous. Two out of three adult Americans are overweight and one-third of the adult population is obese. Diabetes often accompanies obesity, and it too is rising.
A lot of effort has gone into educating the public about the dangers of being overweight, and people have responded by trying to slim down. Many now believe that "thin is healthy" and use a wide variety of techniques--including bariatric surgery--to help take off the weight. Others try to drop pounds and fail many times, some stop trying, and some decide not to try at all, embracing excess weight: "fat is beautiful."
1. Identify a weight loss strategy that you do not think is health supporting.
2. Imagine a publication you enjoy, featuring an advertisement for the weight-loss intervention you identified in one. Write a brief (one or two paragraphs) letter to the editor to challenge the weight loss strategy and recommend a better strategy to help people struggling to lose weight--or to maintain a positive self-image at a weight heavier than ideal--begin to imagine a more health-promoting outlook on weight loss.
Upon reading your excellent publication, I noticed an advertisement for Weight Watchers. With 2/3 of our population overweight and 1/3 obese, I applaud the encouragement to your readers to regain a healthy weight. However, you may not know that the success shown in these ads is not typical of this system. Only a few percent of Weight Watchers' customers maintain their weight loss.
The Weight Watchers' system supplies very expensive special food and a complicated system of points allowed. Portions are very controlled to control calories, and no human being can control calories that way for their whole life. The focus is on calorie counting instead of how food supports your health.
There is another weight-loss method your readers might try: a highly successful one that is promoted by many doctors. Studies show that vegetarians and vegans are about 10 to 30 pounds slimmer than nonvegetarians. Plant-based foods, close to their natural state, are more satisfying, so you are genuinely able to eat all you want (with no complicated calculations). These foods are also the best choice for your health - full of fibre and antioxidants and low in fat. They also increase your metabolism. So weight loss is natural, healthy, and delicious with (for example) a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, a huge whole-wheat sandwich for lunch, and a pile of tasty potatoes for dinner - with as many snacks as you need to fill you up.
You can eat this way for the rest of your life and you will only get thinner and healthier. You and your readers can learn more about this at