- Susan Peacock
Times Have Changed
Recently a friend brought me yearbooks he had saved from our high school days. The smell of the old pages wafted to my brain and I immediately started reminiscing about times gone by, a good 30 years or so.
When flipping through the pages I started to remember the faces and names, and whether I had known them as close friends, or acquaintances. Were they in my classes and hadthey affected my life in anyway?
There was a section for teachers, senior’s, underclassmenand activities. I spotted myself in various places other than my class picture. There I was in my green jumpsuit we had to wear for gym class. Not the prettiest piece of clothing but it was provide for class because gym was a requirement in our school. Everyone had to get their exercise.
I also noticed the other girls, and the band along with the dances. The lucky girls got dressed up and were taken by a nice boy, given a corsage, and taken to the prom. How dreamy it all was.
But as I flipped through the pages and identified some ofmy classmates it occurred to me that none, yes none were obese. Maybe a few pounds but only if you were to ask them. From first look everyone looked to be a fairly normal weight.
Of course being a dietitian I would look at these things, but since I had know these people I started to think about what we were concerned about in high-school?
Looks were very important; especially for the girls at this age and carrying a few extra pounds might mean that you would be excluded from a certain group or the lips would wag behind your back.
This could be solved with a little more walking, and passing up the chips at study hall. We wanted to fit in, and we did what we had to do to make that happen.
Today it seems that maybe you would fit in even if you had not only a few extra pounds but be more than 20% over weight making you obese.
Unfortunately this is true.
Today 66% of the population is overweight and 37% of thepopulation of the United States are obese.
What difference would it make to anyone if you were heavy, if everyone looks the same?
Of course doing what everyone else is doing, doesn’t make it right.
In fact part of my discussion with my weight loss patients is for them to practice looking at the world differently.
I use the “sheep” example: That they are not sheep and should not be following everyone else by eating poorly and being overweight, just because everyone is doing it.
I also add that to loose weight you almost have to “buck” the system by going your own way.
It does seem that it is easier to be out of shape and eat “junk food” than to be healthy.
In Fact Did you know ?: A new study shows that the rate ofobesity in U.S. children and teenagers has tripled over the past three decades.
Amazing isn’t it? It also is a fact that: Between 1969 and 2001, the percentage of middle and high school students walking or biking to school decreased from 41.6 percent and 26.4 percent, respectively, to 15.2 percent and 8.1 percent.
Part of the problem is that schools have removed physical education from the curriculum. Even though I didn’t like my green gym outfit, I got my exercise, and I am forever grateful.
These statistics confirm the obvious that my high school chums were thinner, because we got more exercise and even though there was junk food around we ate less of it.
It might have been for different reasons to be thin back in high school other than for health but the fact is we were thinner, and healthier for it.