Obe­sity and its re­la­tion to our world­view

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Our na­tion­wide epi­demic of obe­sity is not just about our taste buds or fast food in­dus­try. Our world­view may have a lot to do with our waist­lines.

Our chil­dren learn the val­ues of speed, im­pul­sive­ness and im­me­di­ate grat­i­fi­ca­tion. The lessons, such as: “if you want it, go and get it, don’t let any­thing stop you, sky is the limit and en­joy, you live only once” are rarely tem­pered by balanc­ing no­tions of think­ing of con­se­quences be­fore spin­ning into ac­tion. These val­ues are even train­ing our emo­tions and erod­ing foun­da­tions of hu­man re­la­tions. “Make me feel good” is be­com­ing the new foun­da­tion and prin­ci­ple of love.

Our adult psy­che trans­lates the word “suc­cess” into growth and ev­ery growth is vi­su­al­ized as ex­pan­sion. In re­al­ity, there is a fine line be­tween healthy growth and men­ac­ing ex­pan­sion. Bust­ing bub­bles demon­strate the fi­nal boundaries of ul­ti­mate ex­pan­sion, i.e. noth­ing­ness.

Within a system, whether bi­o­log­i­cal or so­cial, sym­metr y and bal­ance are crit­i­cal for healthy sus­tain­abil­ity — an eco-system of its own kind. In or­der for any­thing to ex­pand, some­thing must con­tact in or­der to make room for ex­pan­sion and that “some­thing” could be of much greater and crit­i­cal value.

Our eat­ing habits may have fallen prey to these learned val­ues. We have learned to at­tach our sense of hap­pi­ness with im­me­di­ate grat­i­fi­ca­tion and ideas of quan­tity. This is ex­act­ing a heavy toll on our na­tional health and threat­en­ing our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

It may be time to re­assess these val­ues when it comes to calo­ries, where “less is more and more is not nec­es­sar­ily bet­ter.”

Dr. Sha­heer Yousaf, Wal­dorf The writer is an or­tho­pe­dic sur­geon with the Cen­ter for Ad­vanced Orthopedics.

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