I normally don't discuss such things here, but I'm truly curious to hear your take on this.
I read an article on Msnbc.com called "With Friends Like These" about a study that found that obesity is contagious and that it spreads through social networks of friends even if those friends live thousands of miles apart.
Let me give you my take:
Until we start accepting responsibility for our actions, owning all of our experiences and choices (good and bad), and really, truly respecting and honoring our bodies through our choices of what we put in them and do to them, the obesity problem will continue--and I'm not just talking about the United States here as it's becoming a problem in many countries around the world, including Italy.
Let's leave aside drug and alcohol issues for the moment while we also recognize that there are absolutely similarities in all types of addictions that harm the body.
I share the following as background, so you can understand where I'm coming from on this one:
You can't tell much from my little head shot up there, but I'm not skinny. I don't think I ever was (doctors put me on a diet when I was less than a year old--how's that for setting someone up for life?), and I don't imagine I ever will be. And that's fine with me because I feel good and healthy and know that I'm doing my best to be good to my body.
Over the last few years, I've been working on developing a better relationship with food, understanding nutrition, listening to what my body tells me it needs, and doing more physical exercise than I've ever done in my life. I've lost a good bit of weight, but the best thing about all this is that I feel like I'm taking better care of the only thing that's really mine in the world.
And it feels wonderful.
And no, I'm not perfect--last night for dinner I had a big ole steak and french fries. And it was delicious. I'll probably have a gelato later. And I'll probably never lose the last 5-10 pounds I should, according to the Body Mass Index because of it. So be it. A lot of people are at so-called healthy weights but they aren't healthy in the least (so many skinnies that I know smoke more than the Marlboro Man), so who's really to say what's best for me but me?
But enough about me. I'm interested in what you think about the study.
Was it worth studying? Do friends make somebody fat? Family? How much influence do your family and friends have over what you do?
Obviously certain medical disorders cause weight gain, but aside from such causes, what are the real reasons for obesity? Who or what really is to blame? How can we stop this epidemic?
Do you care? Should the government care? If so, how should it go about caring, so to speak?
I'd love to hear some of your experiences and opinions on this issue.
This is a touchy subject, so I do ask that you be as kind as possible if you decide to share your thoughts. I look forward to reading them.