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Overweight…is the title of a newspaper article in the Kennebec Journal, a local paper from the state of Maine. The Fourth of July has become a tradition for me:  spending time with family, lighting off fireworks, having great meals, and laughing until my abs get fatigued.  This summer I enjoyed Independence Day with my brother and his family on Cobbossee Lake in Maine. As I watched my two nephews wake-board like professionals, I decided to give it a shot. Well, after getting whiplash in the water, swallowing water through my nose, and getting my arms yanked from my body in an attempt to get up on the wake-board, I decided—we decided (with much laughter)—to take a break and grab lunch.

In a local shop where the lunch menu was less than appealing, we all managed to find something healthful to eat. At a glance I see a newspaper with the title of an article reading ‘Youth Obesity Frightens Businesses.’ The article goes on to state that Maine employers are already coping with rising costs related to overweight and obese workers. In an estimate from research conducted by the University of New England, the percentage of overweight and obese workers will rise from 62% to 80% in the next nine years! This will cost the local businesses 75 million dollars in lost work time and healthcare! Wow! This is based on a local area with 17 large companies in Maine.

This one state is just a piece of the puzzle in the big picture of obesity that is rocking this country. Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI is calculated from a person’s weight and height and provides a reasonable indicator of body fatness and weight categories that may lead to health problems. Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and type-2 diabetes (some of the leading killers).

Are we getting too big?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Obesity affects 20% of every state and, of those, 32 states had 25% of the population obese, and six states had 30% of their population obese!  Hey, people…wake up! What are the possible reasons behind this self-destruction?? Is it lack of education, low income, laziness, depression, compulsion, or brainwashing from savvy processed food manufacturers, or all the above?  Stay tuned.