Social Change and childhood obesity

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Bill C, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. Bill C

    Bill C Guest

    I'm going to take this out of the personal/emotional range because
    it's a lot bigger problem than that.
    Yes I can be brutally cold blooded at times. I've manned guard posts
    with shoot to kill orders and would not have hesitated. Would've done a
    lot of soul searching afterwards, but would done my job.
    The point here is that obesity, and particularly the alarming growth
    in, and acceptance of childhood obesity is going to kill and cripple an
    awful lot of people in the future while adding huge costs to our health
    care system.
    The vast majority of these cases are behavioral, not caused by medical
    problems. I don't think that's in dispute.
    Any social change comes about from a society deciding that something
    is completely socially unacceptable and creating tons of negative
    pressure towards people who exhibit that behavior.
    IMO it takes at least a couple of generations of young people coming
    up who have accepted the new belief system before it really begins to
    stick. If young people aren't recruited to place peer pressure on their
    friends to change the behavior, it doesn't happen. Smoking is a perfect
    example of a fight we are winning, as are racism, sexism, and drunken
    driving albeit more slowly.
    One of the keys to our sons rehab was to seperate him from his peer
    group who were strongly supporting his experimantation. He was writing
    a blog for a drug website, and other pieces for the pro drug community.
    He was getting a sort of fame, enough positive reenforcement for his
    behavior to make him very difficult to deal with. Once we managed to
    seperate him from this, and to get him into a different situation with
    a supportive peer group that had no tolerance for his behavior it
    started to change. It took me moving out to another family members at
    the other end of the state and getting him into rehab and school out
    there. Fortunately I'm a self employed carpenter and was able to be
    there, and keep working there, with him for about 6 months until we got
    the corner turned. One huge factor was the people there being
    unwavering in telling him they cared about him, but the behavior had to
    go, and staying the course in spite of the setbacks. Without the
    negative reenforcement from almost all the people he knew he'd be dead
    today. No question in my mind about that.
    The key to any problem is to define it as clearly as possible,
    generate widespread support for it, and then unwavering education.
    We are in the middle of an incredible crisis that is growing rapidly
    and we still, as a society, are refusing to deal with it, because we
    don't want to offend people, or infringe on their right to kill
    themselves and their kids etc...
    Until we stop making excuses for it and enabling it by providing
    sympathy and attention for it we aren't going to get anywhere.
    Yes this is going to cause some seriously painful problems, and some
    unjustified abuse of people with medical conditions, but the number of
    lives saved and vastly improved will so far outweigh that small
    percentage that, in my mind, it's criminal not to use every tool
    possible to fight this, especially in children.
    It might very well be cold blooded, and I expect there would be some
    suicides because of it, but I'm willing to live with that to save the
    hundreds of thousands of lives over a couple of generations if we can
    change the direction this is going.
    Bill C