Vernon, fat? I didn’t think so. He was just too heavy and physically slow to be on the football team.
But then things changed. That quiet, likeable, overweight kid reported for fall football practice looking physically fit. He was strong, solid, and had great stamina. His changed appearance and attitude were a big surprise to the football team, but not to him. He had decided to change his life. That summer he had found a job on a hay baler, moving from field to field running behind the baler. When the baling was done, he would load the hay bales by throwing them on a hay wagon. What impressed me was that Vernon didn’t change his diet, visit his physician, or join an exercise group. His desire to change his life guided his physical and mental reform efforts.
People like Vernon are not the only ones who can benefit from physical and mental reform. I read an article recently by Alexandra Sifferlin (“Fat Forecast: 42% of Americans Could be Obese by 2030”) in which she reported on a May obesity study conducted by Dr. Justin Trogdon of RTI International. Trodgon indicated that, “should these forecasts prove accurate, the adverse health and cost consequences of obesity are likely to continue to escalate without a significant intervention.” The health implications for people in this nation are huge as health care, life expectancy, and medical costs will significantly increase. One good piece of news: This obesity prediction is not as high as previous studies projected.
Just as Vernon decided to be accountable for his weight and health through eating responsibly and exercising, so the authors of this study are recommending strategies that are known to help people stay fit by including the building of recreational facilities, improving urban design, increasing anti-obesity social marketing programs, adding workplace health promotion programs, and developing new drugs and technologies.