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OBESITY RISES AS CHARACTER FALLS
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natives are getting restless. Someone in the main tower is shining
a spotlight on the fat people of the nation. Please, don’t
be angry with me -- that’s the word they’re using, fat.
And they stand a chance of offending about seven out of ten people
waddling -- rather, walking -- down the street, kids included. Again,
I’m innocent. They show close-ups of these folk from the neck
down struggling to climb stairs, sprawled on park benches eating
ice cream, desperately hurrying to cross busy streets and, alas,
sunbathing at the beaches.
Who are “they” who are fussing over the matter? They
are university research teams, state and federal governmental agencies,
private industry, authors in nutrition, psychology and sociology,
doctors, assorted charlatans, late-night TV hosts and finally the
news media and their reporters responding to the growing overweight
epidemic. Even I wrote a book, Your Body Revival, targeting the
mess and what to do about it. It won the 2002 Laree Draper Award
for enlightening content and writing excellence.
have been Administration notables appearing before congressional
committees and the public, declaring the frightening plight and
the need to do something about it. Obesity is on the heels of cigarette
smoking as the number one controllable cause of death in our society.
Along with this sad truth is the cold fact that it’s costing
the nation money big time: insurance rates, hospital bills, destructive
trivial lawsuits, inefficient job performance, lost work time due
to sickness, lower company productivity and government litigation.
Thompson, speaking for our health department before a group of citizens
recently said something profound, possibly revolutionary: “If
you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll get fat.”
He went on to point out exercise, such as walking, will counter
the national dilemma. “Get a dog and walk it,” was tip
number six on a list of 10 doables the department offered to confront
the disease. This, of course, followed tip number five, “Eat
back, people. That big sucking sound you hear will be the vacuum
caused by the sudden fat loss of nearly 200 million overweight Americans.
And that barking and yelping will be their terrified dogs as their
masters at the other end of the leash shrink before their eyes.
wonder if we’ll accomplish anything substantial with this
round of national overweight alert -- fat fright (stout shock, potbelly
panic, big bottom blues, flabby flippies, dumpy dizzies, tubby terrors,
heavy horrors), or will the subject make the rounds of the talk
shows and human-interest news reports before disappearing like apple
pie a' la mode?
you glad you’re hip, even though your hips may be a tinsy
bit rounder than you wish? We are aware, we care and we dare. We
are applying ourselves to the wonderful proposition of improvement,
improving ourselves throughout, by getting in touch and staying
in touch, reading, reviewing, sharing and doing. The masses, I’m
afraid, are forever looking the other way -- TV, the refrigerator,
ball scores, stock prices -- while the silent monster has moved
into their house filling their cupboards with junk food and their
wardrobe with loose flesh.
responsibility has become obsolete and it’s no longer fitting
-- politically correct -- to call by name what a person is or has
allowed him or herself to become. As a part of the whole, I’m
concerned -- scared silly -- as it reflects the continually declining
nature of today’s community, our co-inhabitant. Does that
sting? Who can deny this dismal evolutionary phenomenon?
we are talkin’ about seven out of ten are overweight and the
rest, but for a handful, are under-muscled. Seven out of ten and
rising, brothers and sisters, as the waistline goes up, the character
comes down. Fight the good fight? I don’t think so; the good
fight is becoming a rout.
safe and aspiring, they’re not. Train hard, eat right and
have high hopes. I think people will get the message if we continue
the campaign, hitting the apathetic egos with daily reminders of
the overweight disaster through ads focusing on the pitiable struggle
of ordinary folks making their way through the day. This is not
to ridicule them, but to open their eyes and help them see who and
what they are: sluggish and dying rather than vital and alive.
That sounds mean and negative, but it’s serious and true.
it is in the interest of the economy (as well as national and international
health -- energy, endurance, high-spirits and enthusiasm for living)
we have a better chance fighting the sugar and junk food enterprises,
tackling obesity and getting the three-letter “F” word
out of our faces. We’re seeing changes in the fast food industry
-- salad bars, elimination of oversized servings, healthier protein
choices, fewer carbohydrates, improved frying oils, and more attention
to food labeling. We should no longer excuse, defend or ignore the
plight. Time for an attitude change, Bubba and Blubba, face it and
starts with the kids. Actually, it starts with the parents, and
their parents before them. Basic health education has vanished from
home and school. Phys-ed in schools has fallen to the wayside while
TV and technology have replaced outdoor play. Modernization is strangling
its brilliant creators and leading proponents. We have robots romping
around Mars, but we’re too lazy to romp in our own backyard.
Go figure. Our butts grow fatter and our backs grow weaker; the
blood pressure goes up and the life expectancy goes down. What useful
advances will tomorrow bring?
a tough one. Schools are stacked with fast food in the cafeterias
and soda and candy vending machines in the halls. Officials say
the schools are poor and the franchises bring in revenue. Shrewd
business plan, but the kids pay through the nose -- and heart, hypothalamus,
adrenal gland, kidneys, liver and brain.
tough one: physical education and recess is dangerous and kids might
get hurt and the schools might get sued. Jane scratched her knee:
You’re right, Counselor, the child’s now an emotional
wreck; let’s sue the system. Same ole’ problems: big
insurance, personal responsibility and weak society.
Wake up, America; we have a real war to fight.
my simple yet provocative plan:
a dog to school. Better yet, get a new-born calf and carry it to
school everyday till you graduate.
physical education in schools; the ever-loving ABCs of nutrition,
and good sports and exercise. Teach survival skills: smart and healthy
living in a tough and challenging world.
the sugar and junk-food vending machines from school premises. While
you’re at it, might as well get rid of the cigarette machine
and the dope dealer sitting in his BMW across the street.
the fast foods in cafeterias with proper foods for health and goodness:
Bomber Blend, mercury-free tuna, water, amino acids and other delights.
incentives to schools or businesses that initiate healthy dietary
about more active Police Athletic League (PAL) participation and
non-belligerent Little League sport programs? Wholesome has become
corny and being bad is cool. Perhaps now is a right time to reverse
the swing of the pendulum. Wholesome is cool and bad is just plain
I’m trying to be creative here. When I was 18 I had the key
to the Lincoln Junior High gym and taught weight lifting for the
PAL to a bunch of Secaucus’ youths one summer... kept all
of us out of trouble. Couple of the guys from those days recently
hooked up with davedraper.com and subscribe to our wholesome and
cool newsletter. Not bad.
appreciation for and understanding of our nation by emphasizing
national and world history, with all the flaws of man plus his stirring
glory and monumental achievements. Care for one’s country
and awareness of one’s neighbor engenders care and awareness
of one's self. That’s a stretch, but stretching is believed
by some coaches to be good before working out.
novel idea: Parents should become parents in some way, large or
small. And teachers should become the dedicated teachers they desire
to be and they must be paid appropriately for the task of preparing
the country’s kids, its future leaders and supporters. It
all starts with passion and discipline, courage and will. Note --
the same characteristics required to prevent obesity and to overcome
the disabling disease.
flash: If there was less bureaucracy there’d be less obesity.
Think about it.
can understand Tommy Thompson’s difficulty in originality.
Little more can be said than exercise more, eat less junk and walk
your dog. Get a brain, maybe.
week, bombers, we talk about will and caprice -- determination and
going through the motions. One is like flying an aircraft and the
other is like falling out of the aircraft.
fly... and fly and fly.
speed and perseverance... Dave Draper
Your Body Revival was written by me two years
ago as a challenge to the suffering overweight populous. As with
all my material, it was promising and straight-forward and truthful
(brilliant, side-splittingly funny and Nobel prize winningly provocative).
The truth is not exceedingly marketable or recognizable, as you
know, and the entire world did not go on to read my simple precepts,
real-life stories of encouragement and tips and hints for body revival.
YBR is a cool book, too cool for the guy and gal secretly crunching
their bathroom scales and outgrowing their undies. It's
also on sale this month for $12.95, autographed and hallowed. You'll
Please Note (specifically non-regular responders): The control tower
periodically to distinguish incoming signals and determine the correct
channels through which to communicate. Spam has cluttered the airwaves
disrupting our contact and we, Laree and I, wish to know if the
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