After over ten years since our last, my wife and I finally broke down and took a one-week vacation last week. It was much overdue, and you may ask why we waited so long to take a vacation; everyone is encouraged to take some time off at least once a year. But, these last few years have been very hectic in our lives with many unexpected issues, taking care of her senior father and me taking care of my older mother. Plus me having major surgery in 2015 kept us very busy. We would not encourage anyone to follow our path and get so busy that you can forget about your spouse or the reasons you were married.
Thought I would start with some background because taking our vacation is what led me to the subject of this blog. What I would like to talk about is the number of Overweight Americans we have in our nation. An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight. Nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of women are obese or overweight. Being overweight can lead to obesity, which in turn leads to a multitude of several other health problems and we all know what these are, but the main health problem overweight people have is depression. Would it not be better if in our younger years we avoided all the bad habits that lead to overeating? We read about these things, and one hears them all the time on the never-ending commercials on our favorite past-time; the TV! Why does no-one pay attention?
Yes, we left last Sunday morning and traveled south to board one of those big cruise ships for a seven-day trip around the Caribbean. As this was our first cruise and we have no way to compare to other ships; my impression was they did an excellent job. All of the crew were friendly and helpful, and when you take into consideration the number of people that were boarding the ship, everything went reasonably well. The Carnival Vista is one of the newer cruise ships, well-kept and clean.
Everyone went out of the way to see to it that we have a great time and the entertainment was non-stop and excellent. What overwhelmed somewhat was the amount of food that was available and the way people took advantage of this to the point of wastefulness. The vast majority of the people on the cruise were overweight, and it was clear they did not need to eat so much.
Before I get all of you that eat a lot mad at me, I would like to say there is no problem with this, as long as you eat what you put on your plate. It was evident people were ordering too much food; more than they needed or could eat. Some would go through the buffet line for a second plate and only eat half of it. Others would order room service and leave half the food as leftovers sitting outside their cabin door in the hallways.
Overeating is a problem, not just in America, but all over our more advanced nations. How many times do you leave a restaurant and see plates of food left on the tables half-eaten? We go to buffets and see children pile their plates with food, eat only some of it, and end up throwing half of it away!
Any doctor will tell us overeating is the cause of many problems, but the only way to curb this is to start teaching our children to eat less. Just because your kid is crying for that candy bar or ice cream cone does not mean they should have it! Make everyone aware of the problems associated with obesity and not exercising properly. Overeating leads people not to exercise and not being physically active leads to being overweight. The majority of obese people are not happy not only with the way they look but because they lack the energy to do the things they would like to do and all this can lead to depression!
Other problems people have is they lack what psychologists call a positive environment in their lives. In other words, there are problems or happenings in a persons’ life that they are not comfortable with or very unhappy with and this could be anything from a job to children one might be having a problem with. All this could lead to eating disorders where people eat more than they should and end up gaining weight, which can lead to depression. Read more about creating a Positive Environment and how critical it is for a more pleasant life.
Be Thankful for What You Have
How many times do you hear that? Being thankful is especially true when one goes to other countries and sees how people live and what they have. Our first stop on our cruise was Montego Bay, Jamaica, and even though there are poorer countries in this world the people of Jamaica do not live a prosperous life. The people pay a 16% tax to their government; roads are marginal; crime and poverty are everywhere. If it were not for the cruise ships that stop there on a daily basis, the beautiful beaches to visit, and Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville, it is probably the country would be in worse condition than it is.
The next stop on our trip was Grand Cayman once the sanctuary of plundering pirates the country has transformed into a haven for tourist, scuba diving and nature lovers. The people here are more than happy to have all the tourist; being able to sell their goods, and services are their only way of surviving.
Our last stop on our cruise was Cozumel, Mexico, a beautiful place with friendly people, but entirely dependent upon the tourist. Most of the big real estate corporations in Mexico City own the beach resorts, and very little money gets filtered down to the average employee. The people in all these countries have to scrip and save for anything they have in life. I saw very few overweight people and no one was what we would consider obese. Everyone was thankful for being able to work and have enough money to buy what food they could for themselves and their families.
Reducing Food Waste
The Carnival Vista has a crew of 1450 people, of which only about ten are American. The ship’s Captain is from Italy, and the others on the cruise are from places all over the world. Asia, South Pacific, Eastern Europe, and Africa to name a few. They all speak several languages in addition to their native language. Most of those on the ship work six to eight months at a time without any time off with very little pay. In fact, the wait staff and housecleaning staff are only paid by way of tips.
Working that much and coming from poorer countries they probably spend most of what they earn to their families at home. I often wondered what they thought of all the overweight Americans on the ship wasting all that food and what the people in Jamaica could do with all the wasted food. There are no questions Americans eat more than they should and consume a lot, but how do we cure this?
I think it has to start with teaching our young ones to take part, waste less food, and become aware at an early age the problems caused by overeating. Incorporating a healthy diet into a persons’ life, as soon as possible, along with exercise and proper vitamins can go a long way to ensure a person does not become overweight, which can lead to depression.
Waste Less Food
Every parent tells their children “clean your plate, or there will be no dessert” or “think of all the poor kids in the world that would love to have your food.” How many of you were told that? But, what has happened to us? We continue to waste food and grow bigger! That is why incorporating a proper diet at the earliest possible age is critical and sticking to your guns even as you age.
It is imperative that when we go out to eat, we order healthy food and order only what you can eat. Most restaurants serve way more than the average person can eat. My wife and I are not what you could call big eaters and most times if we each order a meal it is too much for us to finish. We have gotten into the habit of ordering one meal and sharing it, and for us, it is more than enough. Another thing couples and families could do is maybe order a couple of appetizers and then the main meal, then share all that. Why not? You save money and save more food.
Obesity in the United States is a significant health issue, resulting in numerous diseases, specifically increased risk of certain types of cancer, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, as well as significant economic costs. While many industrialized countries have experienced similar increases, obesity rates in the United States are the highest in the world. All this leads to depression, and I invite you to read this short blog on the subject of the Therapeutic Benefits of CBD in the Brain. This article talks about the benefits of CBD on preventing depression and a host of other problems we encounter that lead to overeating and obesity.
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