Response to Washington Post Article

29 Dec

I read the Washington Post this morning and I wanted to share the article, Five Myths about Obesity by Deborah Cohen, which you can read online at  I will address each of the 5 points in the article.

Her first point is to blame the food industry instead of your genes. I do agree that you can change your body regardless of your genes and that some people are blessed with better genes than others, but I don’t think being obese is someone else’s problem. If you eat McDonalds every day and don’t exercise, you will probably wind up obese. If you eat healthy foods, watch your portions, and exercise, you will probably be healthy. I am sick of people looking to point the blame on someone. Our choices start with us. I didn’t feel like waking up at 6am and running 14 miles of hills in the rain, but I did it. Own your actions and love the results!

Her second point is that their is too much temptation and its too hard to resist. Yes the supermarket has tons of yummy foods that are horrible for us, but the outer perimeter of the store also has tons of delicious veggies and fruits. I just spent 2 weeks in Thailand learning about cleansing and I know it was easier to do a cleanse on a beach where there was very little temptation to eat junk. But when I returned to the US, I made a decision that I would no longer eat candy and I haven’t. It’s not easy to make healthy choices when every day we are tempted with greasy, creamy, sugary foods, but the world is full of temptation. I don’t allow temptations to be an option. Change your perspective and think about how the food will make your body feel. Forget about instant gratification and think long term.

I completely agree with her third point that obesity is the consequence of eating too much and making poor choices. Most people could achieve average body weights with a little exercise and smaller portions. The problem I often see with people who are obese is that their portions are really big. Smaller portions= less calories=weight loss. When I taught at Camp LaJolla in LaJolla, San Diego, all of the campers were served strict portions. People lost up to 50 pounds that summer and most of it was due to the control on portion sizes.

Her fourth point is that the increase in calories is too much to offset with exercise. I agree with this as well. Many people think that if they run, they can eat whatever they want. In fact, there are many chubby marathoners for this very reason. Let’s say that I burned 1500 calories on my run this morning, and as a reward I go to Ihop and get some yummy Double Blueberry pancakes combo with sausage and orange juice. That breakfast totaled about 1400 calories. Now if I eat lunch and dinner, I would have eaten more than I burned. The end result is weight gain. This is why I didn’t go to Ihop.

Her last point is that while education may help, we really need is regulation. If I am forced to pay for an obese person’s health care, than let’s regulate what people can eat, but why does it have to go this far? Every person has a choice, a choice to be heathy, be physically active or be sedentary and obese. I am blessed that I grew up knowing that eating junk and laziness were not an option in my house. Why aren’t parents enforcing this today? Every kid should be active. Teach children to enjoy being active and eat smaller portions. Resist junk foods and think about how they will make you feel. Forget about what is on the shelves. Don’t allow junk to be an option in your house. Don’t look to blame someone else, start with the beautiful person in the mirror.


In Health and Happiness,


One Response to “Response to Washington Post Article”

  1. anne hamill December 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Good job, Madeline!

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