How To Stop the
by Ron Brown, author of The Body Fat Guide
"Ron Brown is a certified fitness trainer who doesn't have an inch of flab on his body. He'll tell you what you can do to become fit and trim too."
TALK TO AMERICA, Washington DC
I WENT TO THE
local farmer's market in my town the other day to pick up some homemade cinnamon
buns for visiting guests. The Mennonite lady at the market was packing an
assortment of oversized vanilla and maple glazed buns into a box when I jokingly
asked how many calories were contained in each gooey and ginormous bun. The
lady, who was not exactly slender, said, "That's your problem." Yes,
it is indeed my and the rest of our obesity-plagued society's problem.
This little scenario at the market highlighted what I believe is a significant cause of the obesity epidemic: People often have no way to measure exactly how many calories they are eating. If people were aware of their specific calorie intake they would tend to eat normal amounts of food and manage their weight more successfully. You can't manage what you don't measure. Until people get in the habit of measuring their calorie intake they have little chance of managing to prevent extra calories from converting into body fat. It's as simple as that!
Scientific research links self-monitoring one's calorie intake with successful weight management. See: Science Backs Calorie Counting. However, until the public is educated in how to monitor its caloric intake, and until all vendors who sell food products are legislated to provide reliable calorie labeling, our obesity problem will continue to grow.
Unfortunately, there are several obstacles to implementing a
public calorie-awareness policy, most having to do with the desire to maintain
profits. The diet industry actively discourages calorie awareness to promote
their gimmicky quick fixes. Doctors and surgeons are busy finding treatments for
symptoms of overeating rather than teaching patients how to eat normally.
Although food markets have recently come a long way in calorie labeling the
products they display, much of the restaurant industry, with the notable
exception of major fast food outlets, continues to
ignore listing the calories they serve to customers.
The public must stand up for its rights. Legislation must force all food providers to list the caloric content of their products. Advertising junk food to anyone under 18 years old should be banned! The public should have access to educational resources regarding self-monitoring their caloric intake and managing their weight through proper lifestyle habits.