I thought I’d quickly highlight a significant and scary trend concerning the health of Americans. The class of master’s students I teach today gave presentations on diverse student subgroups in higher education. One group gave an interesting presentation on obese students, using civilized oppression theory to analyze the climate at the University of Virginia toward obese individuals. While their goal was to underscore the importance of the student affairs function in addressing the development of these students, they presented one really interesting CDC website, Obesity and Overweight for Professionals: Data and Statistics. If you have time, head over to this site and check out the Percent of Obese (greater than or equal to 30 BMI) in U.S. Adults. It is an animated map that shows the increase of the percentage of obese people over time. This map is scary. It really highlights the epidemic that will undoubtedly impact all parts of life: education, health care, taxes, etc. It’s especially scary from an education standpoint; many programs are being cut due to lack of funding and typically the first programs to go are health focused (I’m talking about gym people!).
The news media has made attempts to emphasize the consequences of this scary trend. Even popular programming has jumped on the bandwagon. Take, for instance, Jamie Oliver’s show Food Revolution, which was on ABC last night. His show and foundation takes an active approach to empowering and educating people to eat more healthy food and live healthy lifestyles. This movement has also been building, most recently (in the past few years) with Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity.
So I guess my question is what can we do about this? I read so many blogs everyday that detail healthy lifestyle choices: running races, working out, making healthy dinner/recipes, eating “real food”. What I’ve found lacking are any attempts to address this significant problem that is germane to the content of our blogs. In short, how can we use our knowledge and energy (2-3 blog posts per day for some people) to address this issue?? Rather than just documenting what we eat and do physically, how can we take a more active approach in engaging and facilitating a discourse on this issue?