We are coming into that time of year when warm weather and outdoor activities bring about big changes in our menus and eating habits.
It's the time of year when we think hot dogs and hamburgers, potato salad and cole slaw, baked beans and home made pie. All so delicious--and all so fattening.
It's not the best time to come across a column I wrote last year about obesity. Spotting the article immediately dashed my daydreams of the aforementioned summertime favorites. It was an instant reminder of the perils of picnic foods, which can help pave the way to obesity. And obesity is a killer.
The state of Mississippi is evidence of that fact. Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity in the nation--for both men and women. Mississippi is also worst in the nation with the shortest life expectancy. This undeniable correlation is not a one-time occurrence--but one that has occurred five years in a row.
Curious as to what is currently happening relative to the subject of obesity, I checked and found that the national effort to promote healthful eating and exercise is apparently falling on deaf ears. There has been no significant improvement in the rate of obesity n America. A mind-boggling 35 percent of adults, and 17 percent of children currently qualify as obese.
The children of today will be entering adulthood heavier than they have ever been at any time in history. That dire prediction came earlier this year from Dr. David Ludwig, director of a childhood obesity program at Children's Hospital in Boston.
There is a ray of hope in that the anti-obesity effort is widespread and ongoing, and resulting public awareness might soon begin to bring about a decrease in the rate of obesity.