Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

Well, I’m sure many caught Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on Friday night, but if not, surely they’ve read a comment or two about the show, both positive and negative.  Obviously, holding a big, ugly sore to the sun for viewing is not always a pretty thing, so bringing America’s obesity epidemic front and center in raw visual images may not be the easiest thing for some to look at.  Don’t you remember how taking criticism can be difficult?  Well, we all like to be praised and told we are doing a good job.  It’s hard to hear the opposite — reality is a tough thing to face sometimes.  However, this is a pimple on the edge of America’s nose, and it’s about to get really ugly and burst.

For years, I’ve been going to conferences where they show the CDC Obesity rates color-coded map of the United States, and every year the map has been looking worse and worse.  Twentysome years ago, obesity was not an epidemic in this country.  It was barely prevalent.  Then, something changed.  Something about our culture, our eating, our lack of exercise — perhaps everything became too convenient, too easy.  Slowly the number of states showing obesity rates of at least 10% began popping up — then multiplying.  A few years later we had states showing up at the 15% mark.  Now, we have some states showing up at the >30% mark.

Obesity map. For data, see PowerPoint or PDF linked above.

As this country tries to implement Universal Healthcare, we really need to focus on the biggest problem right under our noses, which is really not lack of health insurance.  It is a lack of healthy eating.  The growing obesity epidemic, which now affects our youth, with 1 in 3 born surely to develop diabetes, is going to be a major strain on the healthcare system.  The saddest part about it is that it is preventable.  It could have been prevented by us, by our choices, yet now some are pointing their fingers at a Brit who comes here and shines a light on America’s big pimple.  They say he’s focusing too much on the negative, and not on the positive changes that have been made in the school systems already.

Well, all I say, is look at the CDC Obesity trend chart above.  The data says it all.  Whatever we are doing — IT’S NOT WORKING !!!   So may it be a Brit who comes across the pond to rescue us from certain catastrophe here.  If that’s what it takes — a shock — to wake people up, then so be it.  Perhaps it will simply make this problem so front and center that we will have no choice but to pay attention to it once and for all, and stop sweeping it under the rug.  It’s time to wake up America.  I love this country, but I’m sad to say I think we’re going to become the sickest nation on this planet.

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