We need to stop blaming and shaming those affected by obesity. Anyone who is fighting this battle on a personal basis (my story) knows that obesity is a multifaceted issue and much more complicated than saying no to the bread roll and jogging. If it was that easy, I doubt we would have millions of people affected.
How about addressing obesity by creating a supportive environment...
Help put an end to fat shaming and weight based bullying. Call it out when you see it. Don't laugh at "fat jokes" obesity is not a joke or entertainment.
Doctor's offices need to be a weight bias free safe zone. Medical professionals need to treat all people with kindness and compassion. Period.
Fight for access to obesity treatments and insurance plans (& Medicare) that cover those treatments (nutrition classes, fitness classes, pharmaceuticals, surgical intervention, counseling) and not just the $$$$ illnesses caused by obesity (diabetes, cancer, heart, etc.)
Encourage teaching children nutrition and healthy cooking in school and put physical education back in their day. Stop marketing junk food to kids. Why must there be candy, soda and chips for sale in every store in America?! Best Buy (why do I need a Snickers and a Coke with my Big Screen TV) and Toys R Us (to get to the checkout why must we must pass through enough cartoon character shaped sugar to fill a football stadium.) How about creating a few supermarket checkout lines that are free of candy.
Make neighborhoods safe and streets with sidewalks and streetlights so an evening walk is possible.
Advocate for healthy vending machines and nutritious and affordable meals in work cafeterias, walking meetings, lunch time walking programs.
Model healthy eating choices in all public buildings and hospitals. How many hospitals in America will treat you for an obesity related heart condition down one hall and sell you soda, candy bars and chips in the vending machine waiting room.
|Scripps Health, Chula Vista, CA|
These are not excuses. This is reality, but it doesn't have to be. Of course, personal behaviors factor into obesity and healthy choices in body (food, movement) and mind (emotional health) are very important but some of the initiatives above would sure help in the fight.
So there's a few I'll be fighting for in 2015. The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story!
I encourage you to JOIN the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) The OAC is a 50,000 member-strong 501(c)(3) National non-profit organization. The mission of the OAC is to elevate and empower those affected by obesity through education, advocacy and support. The OAC is near and dear to my heart. I am a proud member and I am currently serving on the OAC National Board of Directors. Become a member ($20/year) I encourage everyone who is, has been, or loves someone who is affected by obesity to join. You get a great magazine mailed to your house too. FYI: You do NOT have to be a member to attend any OAC events (please make plans to attend the National Convention in August) or utilize their FREE resources but it's a great way to pay it forward.
I believe in everyday advocacy. I know my voice matters and that I can help change the world: Everyday Advocacy - 5 Easy Ways