When “obesity experts” get together to discuss the skyrocketing rates of obesity, the same topics get raised over and over and over. Regarding the causes of obesity, the experts focus on:

  1. Medical causes which require medical intervention – ie pharmaceuticals or surgery
  2. Lifestyle causes – ie lack of exercise, overeating, junk food, etc
  1. Lack of Knowledge
  2. Lack of Resources
  3. Lack of Motivation

Lack of Knowledge Some anti-obesity experts believe that a general lack of knowledge regarding nutrition and physical activity is the cause of our obesity problem. Personally, I think that’s a load of B.S. I have yet to meet an adult human being who thinks that pizza is healthier than broccoli…or that watching tv for 8 hours a day is better for them than going for a walk around block. But….I am willing to concede that food companies employ deceptive practices when it comes to the relative healthfulness of their products, and that it’s easy to be taken in by their marketing efforts. Lord knows they spend a lot of money trying to get us to buy more and more and more. Lack of Resources Other experts believe that our increase in obesity rates is due to a lack of resources.

  • Urban areas that are devoid of fresh food & vegetables
  • The elimination of phys ed & home ec classes
  • Unsafe or unavailable play/sport fields and playgrounds
  • Neighborhoods designed for vehicular…not pedestrian traffic
  • Cheap processed food
  • Expensive fresh food
  • Etc….

The list could go on and on. Unfortunately, fixing all of these problems will cost a lot of money. And in 2011, governments around the world aren’t exactly flush with cash. Lack of Motivation We all know people who…

  • know that they should be exercising and eating healthy food
  • know how to exercise
  • know which foods are healthy
  • know how to cook healthy meals, and
  • have all the resources necessary to exercise and buy healthy food

…but they still don’t do it. For whatever reason, their motivation to be healthy and lean can’t overcome the thoughts/emotions/cultural programming that keep them obese and un-healthy.

The Trifecta of Obesity

In my humble opinion, our biggest hurdle to solving our obesity epidemic are the obesity experts themselves. Because there is a lot of money to be made trying to help people lose weight, a massive weight loss industry has grown out of our burgeoning waistlines. And if you’re a business trying to make money in the weight-loss industry, one of the first things you must do is create a niche. You can’t peddle the same diet or exercise advice as the other guys in the market. You have to have a unique selling proposition that will set you apart. This means that you have to focus on a single “miracle” cure. And then market the heck out of it. Unfortunately, because people are usually obese for more than one reason, these miracle cures are doomed to failure. What we need is a comprehensive approach that can satisfy all (or at least most) of the causes I have listed above

  • Lack of Knowledge
  • Lack of Resources
  • Lack of Motivation

In Part 2 of this post, I will outline a plan that will:

  • Make use of already available expert knowledge
  • Allow small businesses to flourish
  • Improve the image of the corporate business sector
  • Reduce health care costs across the board – gov’t, business, insurance & end user
  • Improve municipal infrastructure
  • Cost the public sector next to nothing
  • Spark our motivation to live a healthy lifestyle
  • Encourage us all to take ownership of our own health
  • Reduce levels of chronic disease
  • Reduce levels of obesity, and
  • Make us all look damn sexy in a pair of jeans

That’s it for today…stay tuned for Part 2. .