How did we get here?

Michael Gelfgot - Guest Columnist

With 70 percent of U.S. population being overweight, losing weight is a common topic of conversation for the majority of Americans. Maybe a question to ponder would be, how did we get so out of control? What changed in our society to cause this weight gain? Although there are many variables that caused this epidemic, three causes for weight gain seem to come up over and over again, processed foods, soda, and lack of physical activity.

Processed food are any foods that have been stripped of it original nutritional content and then enriched with other ingredients like trans fats, preservatives, food colorings etc. … The problem with processing is it simplifies the food and makes it very easy to digest by the human body. The problem with the latter is that anything that takes no time at all to digest typically prompts a spike in blood sugar, which then prompts a spike in insulin. For most people that don’t get enough physical activity this sort of a pattern begins a very nasty cycle that leads to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes, indigestion, heart attacks, and storing of fat.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is what most sodas use to make them taste sweet. The reason HFCS is used over sugar because it’s cheaper to produce. Most people would have a hard time eating five to eight thousand calories a day, but they can drink them very easily. HFCS is one of the main causes of weight gain in US.

According to National Academy of Sports Medicine, adults should be exercising 150 minutes per week. Whether it means five, 30-minute sessions or two 75 min sessions, whichever works best for your schedule. Most Americans are lucky enough to get one time per week. This presents a massive challenge and therefore why we are gaining weight as a society. We are eating foods that are easily digestible. Our bodies can only store so much food, the rest of the food that we eat get’s converted to body fat for later source of energy. Health problems arise as a result of us storing fat and we continue to get sicker and sicker as a nation.

There is a way to turn this around. There is a way to improve the quality of your life and minimize the odds of getting sick. It’s called personal accountability. It’s called community.

The only way for us as society to make a difference in our health and the amount of money we are paying for our health is to start making better decisions at the grocery store and in restaurants that we visit. The most successful way for us to make sure we are making better decisions most of the time is to place ourselves in an environment where this sort of thinking is prompted and promoted. We all know that we are by products of our environment, however, very few of us take that very serious at all.

When our kids start to hang out with “the wrong” crowd, most of us intervene immediately because we know the consequences. When our kids start getting bad grades in school, we place them with a tutor because once again, we recognize the consequences. The biggest difference between kids and adults is adults parent and coach their kids.

This begs the ultimate question, who is your coach? The most difficult part about being an adult is making the decision to place yourself in an environment that will help you seek the change that you want see. You would do it for your kids, please do it for yourself.

Michael Gelfgot

Guest Columnist

Michael Gelfgot is certified though the Functional Aging Institute and has over 15 years of experience in the health and wellness industry.

Michael Gelfgot is certified though the Functional Aging Institute and has over 15 years of experience in the health and wellness industry.