Monthly Archives: April 2014

Living Fit Mommy: The Semantics of “Obesity”

It seems to me that people are becoming a bit too technical about a term that has essentially become a means for some people to be made eligible for weight loss surgery.

In the fitness realm, the term “obesity” refers to anyone with a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 30, but in the mainstream, that same term, has developed a negative connotation–or at least that’s what being said.

“Most people who are in the category of obesity really dislike that term. When they hear it, they don’t think, ‘Body mass index is greater than 30.’ Instead they hear ‘lazy,’ ‘no-self control,’ and all of these negative terms,” says board-certified bariatric physician Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., co-founder of bistroMD, a national weight-loss company. “Sometimes when you tell a patient they are in the ‘obese range’, they might get insulted and not hear anything afterward.”

Okay, here’s my problem with the above notion: I’m not a coddler. I’m into calling a spade a spade, if you catch my drift, and as such, I’m not willing to sugar coat a potentially life-threatening disease simply because an individual is choosing not to live in reality and take responsibility for their part in the problem.

And while I don’t advocate the “Jillian Michaels” school of thought (I’m certainly not trying to make a person feel like shit in order to force them into a healthier lifestyle), I do think you have to make it clear to an that obesity is a serious matter, warranting a great degree of their attention. If you don’t, then I think you’re doing a disservice to that person. Period.

Obesity is considered a disease–although I personally see it as a lifestyle choice in a majority of cases–so it’s high time people stop obsessing over terminology and start doing something that invokes a change, because worrying about semantics could very well kill you.

“Ronald McDonald Never Sells to Children”…Are You Serious, Or Just Dumb?

So, I saw the trailer for the new Katie Couric produced documentary, “Fed Up”, yesterday and was struck by one particular statement—appearing at about the 1:54 mark of the following video—made by then Senior Director of McDonald’s Eat Smart, Be Active Program, Shelley Rosen. She says, “Ronald McDonald never sells to children. He informs and inspires through magic and fun”.

The hell?

Take a look at the trailer, if you haven’t already seen it, and then look for more commentary.

Firstly, I’m a devourer of these kinds of docs. “Food Inc.” remains a favorite, but I’ve seen other great ones as well; like “Food Matters”, “Forks Over Knives”, and “Vegucated” all offer something of value for the health minded; it’s my assumption that “Fed Up” will tackle many of the same issues of its counterparts, while sparking new discussion as well.

That said, let’s return to one of the biggest offenders in the obesity epidemic—McDonald’s. Here’s a company that’s been on a steady campaign of redemption since being demonized in the popular food doc, “SuperSize Me”, and one that sits at the head of the table when people start pointing fingers at the fast food industry.

Now, I understand Rosen (who is no longer with McDonald’s) had a job to do, but surely the public isn’t this stupid; of course McDonald’s markets to children. Why else is a toy offered with every Happy Meal? If they were just trying to bring in adults, they wouldn’t bother having a clown shilling its product. The draw is in the toys, the fun, and the atmosphere of McDonald’s; Ronald McDonald is the primary reason the Golden Arches are one of the most recognizable symbols in the world.

However, it’s lobbyist’s like Rosen who are part of the problem. The lies they’re willing to spew in the name of capitalism disgust me, but not nearly as much as the misinformed consumer who continues to perpetuate the cycle by giving in to the temptation to fund such corporations.

It’s always up to you, as the consumer, to educate yourself and your children about good nutrition. If you don’t, they are doomed to a life of pills on the counter and masks on their face. That’s the ugly, dirty, nasty truth of it all.

Know better so you can do better.

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So Many Milks to Choose From, But Which One to Choose?

Almond Milk is just one of many options available to those leaning towards a more plant-based diet.

 

I’m not a fan of soy milk; every version I’ve tried has an aftertaste I can do without. Almond milk has been my go-to for cereal and cooking for quite some time now, and I’ve had a lot of luck with it thus far.

However, I’m game to try anything that isn’t directly dairy, because me and the cow version just don’t have fun together–hell, I haven’t had “regular” milk in years, at least not in it’s straight form, and I haven’t missed it one bit. Even so, I’ve met people who swear by soy milk and can’t stand almond milk.

That said, eating a more plant-based diet often means sifting through the available options, and finding what works for you. The article linked here does a fairly decent job of hitting the highlights of what’s currently out there and the benefits of using each, but I always suggest doing your own research–and using a little trial and error–to really find the one (or two) that make your non-dairy life easier.

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