Heavy-Weight Issues

My husband and I enjoy people-watching. No, not the kind that invades other people’s privacy or makes them feel uneasy at being watched and leered at. We are interested in people; in their behavior, in how they dress and in their philosophies in life that cause them to speak, act and express themselves in certain ways. You could say we also desire to understand people more, because there is always more (in people) than meets the eye.

We have observed in the past couple of years that more and more Filipinos have become overweight, and even downright obese. We remembered those times when an obese person would stand out in a crowd because there were very few of them. There would even be times when we could go one whole day in a mall and not encounter a single overweight person!

This is not to say that we are belittling people who have weight issues. We are, in fact, more concerned at the fact that more Filipinos seem to be losing the battle with obesity. The temptation to go for fast, easy and greasy food is too difficult to resist. The urge to lead a sedentary life in an air-conditioned room facing a television or computer monitor all day is just too easy to give in to. And the cost of gym memberships is not very appealing to a young professional who would rather go for snacks with friends than spend an hour sweating in an expensive gym.

I remember feeling distinctly proud of our people and our country for staying fit and healthy despite the physical and financial challenges that beset us as a nation. I remember being shocked at the fact that most Americans are obese and not at all what Hollywood portrays them to be most of the time.

Times have changed, and drastically! Many children in our country start out their lives overweight and don’t know any better, until other kids start teasing them and adults callously comment on their chubbiness. A lot of ladies wear skinny low-rise jeans that highlight their belly fat and give rise to the term “muffin top”. This not-so-pleasant site is ubiquitous in malls and restaurants, and many will be seen with a super-sized soda and extra large fries.

This has got to stop and we need to start taking better care of our health. Obesity not only damages us physically, it also leaves a scar on us emotionally and psychologically. Let us more actively seek help and pray for the strength to make a change. It is not impossible to get back on the health track. Let us start preparing healthful meals, avoiding fast food as much as we can, and walking more than we sit. A little goes a long way.

But we need to start now.


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