Obesity: Does 'Just Say No' Work?

Obesity statistics released by a national group this week suggest it takes more than willpower to avoid being heavy. What do you think?


Know someone that's a little heavy? Maybe more than just a little heavy? Do you think that person just needs a little willpower to avoid obesity?

You know...if you could tell the person to just knock off the 48-ounce Big Gulp in the morning, and those two bowls of ice cream at night, they'd be fine, right?

Well, an national study on obesity statistics released this week by the Institute of Medicine suggests "individuals and groups can't solve this complex problem alone."

"People have a very tough time achieving healthy weights when inactive lifestyles are the norm and inexpensive, high-calorie foods and drinks are readily available 24 hours a day," said committee chair Dan Glickman of the study.

The report has specific recommendations on how to make people's trips to their bathroom scale in the morning a little less frustrating:

  • requiring at least 60 minutes per day of physical education and activity in schools
  • industry-wide guidelines on which foods and beverages can be marketed to children and how
  • expansion of workplace wellness programs
  • taking full advantage of physicians' roles to advocate for obesity prevention with patients and in the community
  • increasing the availability of lower-calorie, healthier children's meals in restaurants

What do you think? Is the sedentary lifestyle of many to blame for the obesity epidemic? Are high-fat and high-calorie foods, often cheaper than healthy alternatives, to blame? Or is it a matter of choice? Why can't people resist all the junk food if they really want to lose weight? Do we really need a societal change, at least here in America, before people take matters into their own hands?

Tell us your thoughts and share your comments. And take a moment to voice your opinion in the poll below.

yesenia May 17, 2012 at 04:23 PM
a little bit of everything. quality food is more expensive. cheaper food is loaded with food additives that mess with body function/hormones etc... lack of excersice. lack of will power. food addiction (from all the chemicals that are in processed food). lack of family/friends support. lack of love for self. hereditary (yes, some people can eat junk food galore and never get fat, but their insides are messed up (skinny does not always = healthy. while others blow up from seeing others eat, lol!) denial. hmmm, what else?
yesenia May 17, 2012 at 04:27 PM
tess: have you heard that good//bad cholesterol is a bunch of quackary? just another way to get more poeople on meds. food for thought. you should look into that and see what you find.
Courtney Carreras May 17, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I think a big contributor to unhealthy live style is the pace of life today. Every one is in such a hurry, stressed and angry. Walking or biking to destinations takes more time, cooking a meal at home takes more time. People are looking for fast ways to get their errands done. The 40-hour work week is gone, now you are expected to work 50 or 60 hours a week. I think we need to slow down and do better at balancing work/life. Its just easier in such a hectic world to drive the car and give convenience foods to your family. One other contributor is the irrational fear the media has instilled in parents that their kids can not go out and play at the park alone, or down the street at their friends house without risking their lives. Kids are kept so close at hand, that unless mom or dad has time to take them to the park, the kids stay in and play video games, watch TV, or do other indoor activities. There also needs to be changes in food manufacturing. Those ads about how high fructose corn syrup is not harmful - in moderation - are hysterical. The point is, the stuff is put in EVERYTHING, so there is not such thing as moderation. My husband and I once wrote to a company who made rice and bean packets that were super high in salt. They responded that taste tests proved that people like the high salt version better. This is ridiculous, just keep loading everything up with salt and HFCS and then wonder why people are unhealthy.
Bob Winters May 18, 2012 at 03:37 PM
I see your point Doug, it works for my commute, so IMHO it's great. I can walk to Caltrain, grab a 5 minute VTA ride (included in my 2-Zone Monthly Pass) and walk from Middlefield VTA to work. Even when I worked at Cisco in Milpitas, Cisco provided shuttle service from Mt. View to their campuses. When I was riding a year or two ago, the trains were empty, I can't say the same anymore.
yesenia May 18, 2012 at 04:23 PM
oh, and this is another thought as to why obesity is a big problem in america nowadys, "SOY Poisoning-+ Flouride and Chlorine + Canola = DAMAGED thyroid and damaged pancreas-destroyed colon from these foods--there is the sugar overload in the foods--plastic being used as fat--breads and cereals that are GMO even if they say organic--Vaccinations adding aborted fetus ( human) + the inflamming pollutants from chem trails all play a role---when we can get back to eating real food again--this will clear out and people will get there bodies back."


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