A Small Idea to Combat the Obesity Epidemic

If Obesity really was an “Epidemic”, the same way that influenza or cholera could become epidemics, you would think we would be forming some sort of plan to combat it. The sticky part of obesity is that it usually is tied to personal choices. Government cannot ban you from buying a donut…yet.

Here is my idea for a Espirt d’ Corps on the front lines on the Obesity Epidemic:

  • Dietitians and other medical professionals cannot be everywhere at once. While they are necessary for monitoring the health of those who want to lose weight, they can’t be on call for everyone’s craving urges at 9 pm.
  • Instead of having the highly-paid sorts and commercial weight-loss programs “in charge”, I suggest spreading out the responsibility to trained peer counselors who help no more than half a dozen people at a time. This is a long-term relationship so feeling comfortable with someone is paramount.
  • The Peer Counselors will be trained in basic nutrition and fitness routines. They may or may not have lost a significant amount of weight, but it would certainly aid them in helping others through the same changes. They have support from professionals when they need it.
  • Overweight and Obese people must want to lose the weight. No amount of badgering from a “friend” will make them change. They sign up for the counseling and find the right Counselor to match their personality and geographic location.
  • Peer Counselors are on-call, pretty much all the time. They help folks through cravings or give advice on what to buy at the grocery store, etc. They are like Volunteer Firefighters in community service.
  • Peer Counselors visit with participants several times a week at the start. They have full access to cupboards, refrigerators, the backs of sock drawers, whatever and where ever food can be hidden. They help in meal planning and grocery shopping.
  • Peer Counselors bring together their participants for weekly fitness outings. Exercise and fun are mixed together. Fat people, I’ve noticed, tend to be lonely people. Relationship-building is paramount.
  • If the participants are not showing inner motivation after a set period of time, they are put on a back-list for a while until they come around the the idea that they are responsible for following the Peer Counselor’s directions.
  • Obviously, this plan will encounter some serious challenges from the Establishment, meaning those who have the most to “lose” if people lose weight. This will be the the weight-loss pay plans, cardiologists, and internists, among others. Imagine putting a cardiologist out of a job! That would be revolutionary.

I thought up this plan because so many times I wish I could step alongside others to help them through the process. I am not a professional but I learn all the time about health, fitness and nutrition. If there was some way I could communicate others how much fun being alive really is, without being overloaded with all sorts of junk -not just food and fat- I’d jump at it. 🙂

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6 Responses to “A Small Idea to Combat the Obesity Epidemic”


  1. 1 Mary Jo September 3, 2007 at 9:53 am

    That is a good basis for starting, however we as a nation also have to wake up to the fact that what we are putting in our foods (not just the “junk foods”) are making us fat. Some people can handle the extra chemicals and have no problem making up for the lack of minerals and such that are lacking in the foods we eat today. However the reason that many people like myself, who are not morbidly obese but could loose a substantial amount of weight, have problems loosing is because our metabolisims have shut down due to lack of nutrision. Twenty years of following what the government said was healthy then spending the last five trying to learn how to eat right just to find out that many of the foods I thought were healthy are not becuase they have additive that react badly in most people.

    The biggest thing is we need to get away from being a convience food society and get back to cooking food. Most times the food that you cook from scratch takes no more time and is better for you. Personal coaches can help with this and even help people learn to cook. Realy though the more I study food the more I am convinced we need it in the most natural state we can get it which means not having the processing that makes it “safer” for consumtion.

  2. 2 Kristen September 4, 2007 at 5:13 am

    Did you know that cutting meat out of your diet will help combat obesity.

    People who eat a vegan/vegetarian diet tend to be skinnier and healthier.

    Just thought I would throw that out there.

  3. 3 cbrunette September 4, 2007 at 6:55 am

    Kristen,

    I have “Go Meatless” on my list of 101 things to do! 😀 I feel so much better when I go through a few days without meat…a whole month might be the ticket.

    ~Anna

  4. 4 Anna S September 4, 2007 at 10:53 am

    I have a degree in nutrition, and I must say your plan looks great. Something of this sort is performed for women with eating disorders, and it’s a very important part of their healing process. I’m sure it could work wonderfully for overweight people as well, if there’s enough motivation.

  5. 5 Cathy September 4, 2007 at 11:40 am

    I think this COULD work, if the person was paired with a peer counselor who had the same weight loss philosophy. For instance, some go for the low-fat thing, others low-carb, etc… . Personally, I lost 73 lbs on a whole-foods diet including plenty of good fats and animal protein, but not all would agree with or want to try that.

    The way I see it is that the mainstream method of weight loss is clearly not working for many, so what would we have to lose with a peer counseling system?

  6. 6 The Scylding September 7, 2007 at 10:11 am

    The meatless thing might look attractive, but it is not good – and not Christian (meat is viewed as a good thing throughout Scripture, except in the OT when it was offerd to idols).

    As an alternative, read “Why French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano – it comes down to modest excercise, self control, less laziness, more responsibility, more enjoyment (as opposed to indulgence) etc etc.

    All these diets are great for short term loss, but not necessarily for long term healthy and enjoyable living. Meat, bread, wine, milk, honey – these are blessings, but like all blessings, become curses when misused. And for the record, I farmed organic vegetables at one stage – beetroot, carrots, lettuce, herbs etc etc – so I’m no meat and potatoes man.


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