Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Changing Behaviors and creating conversations

Here's a post of Jay Parkinson

In 2009, Kate Moss said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

In 1964, our Surgeon General said, smoking is bad for you. This was released when about 50% of all adults smoked. Now, in NYC, only about 12% of adults smoke. 46 years later.
Which one has the most influence over people? Pop culture vs. the surgeon general?

The issue of obesity is much, much more complicated than smoking. Smoking is one addictive behavior. Obesity is an entire ecosystem around you— your neighborhood, your means of transport, your corner store, your supermarket, your family, your culture, your attitude toward exercise, our media’s attitude toward skinny and overweight, our retail stores gradually increasing the measurements of a size to make us feel we’re not gaining weight, etc..

There is no quick fix to obesity.

So what does “quick” mean? In the world of smoking, quick meant 46 years to see a 38% decrease in a city with a very progressive, multi-factorial anti-smoking campaign. Regarding obesity, en masse behavior change takes generations. Just in the past decade, we’ve gotten the obesity conversation started. Hopefully, in 50 years and about the time I die, we’ll have seen a 38% decrease in obesity.

It’s just important to have some perspective and keep the conversation, awareness, and inspiration going.

I especially liked the last line about needing to keep perspective and the conversation, awareness and inspiration going. It applies to the macro view (how are we going to deal with the number of obese kids and adults in the US -- but also on the micro view of how are you going to deal with yourself day to day.

How often to do you take a look at your behaviors because you are interested in having positive conversation with yourself (did you notice I specified "positive"?)?  Hopefully, you are using this blog (and other resources) to create awareness and inspiration to keep you moving  in the direction of healthy, long-term weight management.

Just like decreasing the total number of smokers in NYC by one was not a very big dent in the total smoking population but was part of a larger trend -- your adoption of strategies of eating less and paying attention to when and why you are putting food into your mouth can be part of the larger trend of changing the shape (literally) of our country.

Are you up for that challenge???

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