By GEORGE ROBERTSON, M.D.
Tennessee is the fattest state in the union, according to a recent study, except for Mississippi which is all right because if you are in the overweight mind frame you can always find someone bigger than you are.
I don’t have to tell you how really unhealthy being overweight is. How many heavy people over 70 years of age do you know? I have tried to get patients to see how hard it is on their hearts by challenging them to get a 50- or 100-pound feed sack and put it on their shoulders or just carry it around for a few minutes. This is what we are doing to our bodies when we are that much overweight. No wonder our knees hurt after being on them for a few hours.
So what are we going to do about it? Nothing apparently, which has been the response for at least the past decade.
Things I have been encouraging people to do for a long time now is to get out the carrots and celery for snacks around the house. Get up from the table when you feel satisfied and not stuffed. Or just get away from the table while you’re still a little bit hungry. Taking the stairs instead of going up the elevator is a small step in increasing your exercise. Park the car at the far corner of the parking lot well away from the store so you can get some activity instead of cruising around for 30 minutes waiting for a slot to open up next to the front door. Or better yet, try walking or biking to places not too far away, like the mail box.
These are little things that will remind us of our need to get trim and will help us with a new mindset.
For the children I am convinced that computer games and soft drinks are big factors in our obesity problem.
Now that the weather is getting better, get the whole family outdoors and see how much better you will feel. Don’t think I’m picking on you. I have about 10 pounds that I need to lose, too.
Editor’s Note: George Robertson is a physician with Family Medical Associates, PC, in Lebanon.