Today in the office, it was another hectic day seeing patients. I was struck by how often I had to discuss obesity with patients and their family. The educational need in this area is overwhelming. Basic facts on calorie, salt, sugar, and fat content of foods is lacking. You can direct patients to web sites all day to seek out information on food, nutrition, and fitness – but in the end my feeling is that they will still fail to really grasp this issue at hand. It is not that these people are not smart-not at all-it is simply the fact they there is a very high level of intensity that is required in getting the real message across. In has to be face to face education.
We have a great staff in our office, Liver Specialists of Texas. I simply don’t have the time to allow the staff to spend any more time with the patients. We could spend all day talking about obesity with them.
Enter Michelle Obama. One family brought up her name, and the Let’s Move effort she has outlined. They seemed to have the basic facts on the program, and the issues at hand. Michelle Obama did seem to connect with them. The First Lady has limits to her time I would imagine. She would need to be pounding the pavement 12 hours a day for the next three years to even make a minor dent in the problem of obesity. So where do we all stand with this?
We have to reach the youth, their parents, educators, school administrators, and corporate leaders. One clear message needs to be in tune. Obesity is killing us. Obesity is killing our children. Obesity is going to bankrupt the economy. If we can fix this problem of obesity, healthcare reform (aka address obesity), and cost savings, would be a true victory.
- Reduce your salt (sodium) intake to 2,000 mg per day.
- If you go out to eat, order one meal and split in two with you partner.
- Weigh yourself daily and record it.
- Start a food diary and record everything you put down the trap.
- Exercise 5 days per week. Remember 3500 calories burned is a pound lost.
- Don’t eat anything out of a can, box, or bag. Fresh fruits and veggies are the only way to go.
- Look in the mirror at yourself every morning.
Take responsibility for yourself, and your health.