A few months ago, I was scrolling through Facebook. I came across a post discussing if obesity and unhealthy lifestyles were a choice or from lack of action.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t comment on the actual post so I wanted to give my opinion on the subject.
My experience with obesity
From my own experience, I’m going to say it depends on your circumstances.
I didn’t choose to be obese. It just happened. I didn’t wake up one day and say, “You know, I really want to be obese for the rest of my life.”
I really think that obesity happens to people by circumstances.
I grew up in a middle class African American home. My parents didn’t know anything about proper nutrition. I really don’t think most parents who had kids from the years 1980-2000 knew anything about what was healthy for their kids.
Why are we obese?
If you were born during these years, anything sugary was readily available. Fast food was everywhere. Commercials were selling cereals, snacks and fast food during our favorite shows.
We begged our parents to get us this and that. There was no way to know the results of eating these foods.
In that circumstance, lack of information was and still is a problem in regards to obesity. Kids only know what they are told.
You can tell me that the information is out there to become healthy but it’s confusing to most people.
Most people don’t know how much they should be eating. Some people don’t understand the nutritional labels on a box. Majority of the time, people confuse a serving size which isn’t completely explained.
Fast food is getting better about calories on their menus. My wife, Angela, recently wrote about calories on menus in the post, “Do calorie counts on menus matter?”
Lack of information is definitely a big component for the reason why obesity continues to rise every year.
Lack of resources
The other circumstances would definitely be lack of resources. This leads to lack of action.
Have you been to the grocery store lately?
Most people are on a budget with finances. It’s cheaper to buy processed food than fresh food. This is what most low income families gravitate towards. They are making their money stretch to get the most amount of food.
Not everyone can afford the best foods for their health. It’s sad to really express that here but it’s true.
I can completely understand why there are so many people who are obese. Foods are pumped full of chemicals to keep them on the shelves longer.
Fresh food doesn’t last long but cost more for a lot less volume.
It’s a little ridiculous when you think about it. A salad at a fast food restaurant costs more than a whole value meal.
That’s not right!
Lack of Action
There is also one more circumstance. People who know what they need to do. They have all of the information that they need. The resources to buy the best food in the grocery store are readily available.
They just don’t take action.
Not all people fall into this category but they have all the pieces to the puzzle. They just like the effort to work.
Losing weight is a long haul journey. It’s just easier to just be inactive rather than put in the work.
What can you do?
If you want to be healthy bad enough, you’ll put in the work. You’ll track every piece of food you put in your mouth. Exercise and meal planning will become a priority over anything else.
This group isn’t about being lazy. It’s about change. Change is hard but change is worth it.
Is obesity a choice? I don’t think so. Obesity is a whole slew of factors. Everyone’s factors are not always the same.
People just have to look at those factors and see what they need to change. Once you realize what’s lack, obesity could be a thing of the past.
Do you think obesity is a choice?
What can we do to combat it?