Then the e-mailer who had read my food fright commentary added: "Just kidding! Thanks for writing this piece." Here's the rest of what he had to say:
I've gained 45 pounds over the last couple of years. I gained this weight because 1) I am sedentary due to quadriplegia [I am paralyzed and in a wheelchair] and 2) I turned 40 at the end of 2002 [in other words, over the past few years my already slow metabolism has slowed even more]. Now, I could stop here to justify my gain in weight, or I could mention a third--and the most causal factor, i.e., my failure to take responsibility for my life circumstances and bodily changes and adjust my eating habits and dietary practices. I did not do this. Therefore my inaction toward making needed changes in my eating habits and dietary practices is the real cause for my gain in weight! . . .and if I don't do anything about it now, it will be a major cause for poor health in the future.
To me your article says (paraphrasing of course!]: "It is understandable due to many factors, including lifestyle and marketing, why we have poor dietary habits and eat unhealthily. However, this is inexcusable! We can and need to take responsibility for ourselves and our eating. Here are some tips and resources on how to do that."
Thanks for the challenge, the tips and the resources. Now I just have to put them into practice to experience their benefit.
It looks like baby carrots and celery sticks for lunch today!
Another reader wrote:
Thank you for writing this article...what ever it takes to make people wake up and realize what they are doing to their bodies...
I work at a hospital in Tacoma- a large portion of my job involves reviewing patient charts and assigning nutrition risk levels...
it is amazing what people do to their bodies, and then come into the hospital as "full codes"(wanting everything done possible to stay alive) expecting us(the hospital/medical staff) to make things all better for them! Our society was set as a economical machine... as such we want the best deal out there, to get the most we can for our money, and have it all done yesterday..hence why not super size to get more for your buck? Why not buy the cheaper food-white bread canned fruits & vegetables chips, school lunches, fast food, take and bake pizza?
Then there's the time crunch...we want everything yesterday! ...the energy to do it all...Caffeine? sugar highs? Oh, and the alcohol at the end of the day to relax...Who has time or takes the time to prepare healthy meals?
Quick easy and cheap fits well w/ our societal goals... we need to get off the bandwagon, take control of our lives, do what is healthy for ourselves and those around us...teach the next generation healthy habits???? Simplify- eat, live simply that others may do the same...
Exercise? Community interaction? Building healthy families? Neighborhoods?
A healthy society doesn't just happen, it takes purposeful thought and effort... more articles in the paper to support such efforts would greatly benefit all.
I am a health care practitioner who is frustrated and distrubed every time I set foot into my sons school to pick him up from kindergarten (Puyallup). As I am waiting for him the kids parade by with their school lunch trays--what an opportunity to see what's on their plates!
Bottom line? I'ts appalling. Yes the proteine/fat/carbs might meet some government regulation, but I wouldn't feed most of the food to my dog (who I admit I love) let alone my kid ever ever ever.
What's more? During Student of the Month day we parents get to eat lunch with our kids at scool in the cafeteria. You know what's interesting? Watching the parents bring foood from local restuarants or home versus eating the school cafeteria garbage.
I feel pasionate about this subject but don't know what to do to make a difference.
See what reading your article stirs up!
Alan Sinner, D.C.