Working on being healthy in body , mind , spirit..135 lbs lost, then Maintained for a few years, and lately some regained. Working on it -in and out of Pjs
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Are you watching The Weight of the Nation?
I haven't seen much about this HBO documentary series amongst blog world chatter. Don't have HBO? It is free online, and
they have a nice handy website that breaks it down "watch, learn, take action".
This is a joint project by HBO documentary films, the CDC, Kaiser permanente, the Institute of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and it considers this "our most urgent public health crisis".
On another site where I blog occasionally, I mentioned I was watching it and asked others about it? The first comment was "Is it political ? I don't like political?".
Well, Is it a political issue?. I have this filter that I really don't care to discuss political things anyway, but I can't stick my head in the sand entirely. Yea, it's kinda political. Government , of course , is going to come in to it. Who subsidizes farmers to grow corn and soybeans but not fresh veggies? Who pays for healthcare for the poor? Who pays for food stamps? Who sets standards for food and drug guidelines? Who sets guidelines for food lunch programs? Who does NOT regulate advertising and marketing of food to children? and Why? (see episode #3)
It is also a very public issue, and a very personal one. All you can do is take it all in and add it to what you already think or perhaps have it change you. I'll admit I had a thought about a certain dessert this weekend, but after watching the first two episodes what stopped those thoughts was something I remembered from segment 2.
How would it be relevant to you? I was a fat kid, and I was an obese teen. My obesity grew exponentially as I grew older. I am the classic example of a person within this "epidemic". It isn't that in all these years I didn't do anything about it. But to just look at me on the outside, I am still a failure. I personally have to do everything I can to be as healthy as I can be, because the environment we live in promotes obesity. And I felt stupid when I realized to what degree.
I found this informative, interesting, hopeful, depressing, and frustrating. I feel charged somehwat to be more involved. As a nurse, I hear about health care reform everyday and wait to see what the Supreme court decision will be. How will it affect me as a nurse or as a consumer? The health care reform issue is hardly mentioned in this documentary, but the message is very clear. This is a big deal , pun intended.
Simply, this is an overall documentary about the problem of obesity, how we get here , how we stay here, what we can do as individuals or as society to get out of it? It's how we might always fight obesity? Who is researching the problem? Who isn't and why would they?, when it serves them to keep us living this way? Interspersed are the personal stories of people with weight issues and health issues. Most touching is Vivia and the segments that follow obese children who have involved parents who are seeking solutions. And then you think of all of those parents that don't. So yeah, it's relevant. It's touching.
1st episode -Consequence"-- The science of fat and metabolism and being obese. Genetics. Lifestyle. Research. Health consequences, Warning: there are beefy looking human hearts examined to compare normal hearts to obese hearts. Scary. Then there is the statistical info . So much . I drifted off to sleep , but did rewatch it.
2nd episode-"Choices"--How people attack their own obesity, or don't, and the choices they make. The history and myths and research of weight loss, fat, dieting. Everything included from : Mindful eating, bariatric surgery, the stress connection, exercise, diet programs, The National Weight Registry, and a burn on the Biggest Loser show. Personal stories that made me cry. Some that made me laugh.
3rd episode-" Children in Crisis" --our future. statistics, food marketing to kids, too much televison, bullying. The fight? or non fight against childhood obesity, school lunch programs. They saved the big impact punch for this episode.
4th episode-"Challenges"--I haven't watched it yet.
The make me angry parts
Apple jacks are healthy! This was an intersting segment of how an Intra-agency working group worked to propose healthier standards to be set for the nutrition guidelines for advertising to children. Simple. Less sugar, salt , and fat. Currently,
there is no government regulation on what can be marketed as 'healthy' for kid food advertising. I watched this twice-The back and forth between those recommending healthier standards with the groups representing the food advertisers, the food makers,and the different members of congress who supported the various sides deserved a rewatch. Ridiculous.
Mixed messages. One of the programs that those who recommend the healthier standards of eating for children considers a success is The Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act. This piece of legislature sets nutrition standards based on recommendations by the Institute of Nutrition, and it guides the recommendations for the USDA's guidelines for programs such as Wic and National Food Lunch Program. In other words, things like french fries as a potato is considered a veggie but is limited to being served only twice a week. Tomato paste on pizza is a veggie. (The pizza makers and potato growers got pissed.)
If you've read the books by David Kessler and Michael Pollan or followed the cancelled tv show of Jaime Oliver's US food revolution ,then this is right up your alley.
"To win, we have to lose"
"half of obese teenage girls become severely obese by age 30"
"Soda and other sugary drinks are the #1 source of calories in our diet."
"Only 10% of parents seek medical help for their obese children"
"By knowing someone's zipcode you can predict their bmi?"
"Juice is just like soda...there is no difference"
"Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the last 3 decades"
"Eat less and move more"
"Diet industry has no reason to solve the problem . Solving the problem puts them out of business"
"I cringe when I see the Biggest Loser-it can actually do a dis-service...." said by weight management researcher.
I'm a Geek for many things: Food, Pajamas, Coffee, Chocolate, Movies, Books, getting and being fit and healthy, 80's music, and the list goes on and on .....A nurse, a diabetic, I've lost over 130 lbs and have more to go . And I actually enjoy working out.
I chose the names of Ms. PJ Geek and PJ and Pounds because I have happy memories of childhood, coming in dirty and sweaty from playing in the yard. Then taking a bath, putting on a fresh nightgown and feeling all new again . I felt like a princess. Fresh renewal. .........
All names and situations will be changed to protect the innocent and the guilty, and so I can keep my job. While I am a nurse, I do not intend this to be a blog with specific directions or guidelines for healthcare. And.....though I have a college degree, that was a long time ago ya'll, and I don't remember proper punctuation or grammar.