Obesity kills more people than smoking, alcohol, drug use and somewhat ironically, hunger. Consider the TV Guide as a reflection of the cultural zeitgeist, choc-a-block full of heavily laden shows like The Biggest Loser. Perhaps with good intentions to motivate us to action, yet we watch them sitting on the couch eating dinner. Sky One in the UK has managed to squeeze in some air-time to audition for the Big Family Diet which will focus on getting the family on a healthy track. The show is one of few that recognises the fact that culture plays a role in the increasing number we read on bathroom scales. 

Culture is perhaps the strongest determining factor in obesity, where it can literally be mapped against cultural markers that posit the western world in the top 10 worst offenders list. Even looking specifically as the US for example, (where we often look for obesity trends), the rate of obesity can be delineated by city and state making Mississippi top of the leader board. In a pattern that fans out from Mississippi, obesity rates progressively decrease to California and Maine who rank near lowest in the US. Obese Americans did not host a teleconference and collectively decide to move to Mississippi at the time of the survey. It was a collection of cultural markers that facilitated the increased ratio of obesity amongst these communities.

Likewise in Australia, obesity can be mapped culturally against markers like sex, geographic location, income, employment, education and ethnicity. The 2004/5 Australian Bureau of Statistics report outlines cultural factors that influence obesity rates; common also to the UK and continental Europe. 

The social poison of obesity has a remarkably simply antidote; eat less, exercise more. 

It’s commonly accepted that the volume of food we consume has increased whilst food quality has decreased along with our rate of physical activity. Reversing this trend means to also reverse our cultural disposition and this is indeed possible without purchasing expensive gym equipment nor dedicating endless hours to punishing fitness regimes. 

Chris Gurney and his team of experts for example, have created a program based on the Royal Canadian Airforce 5BX popular in the 1950’s - 80’s. What’s more, it’s a program that works but costs less than a meal at McDonalds. The website header reads;
  1. -Move More, Eat Better
  2. -Find a simple fitness plan and stick to it
  3. -Change your diet and stick to it
  4. -Encourage your family to do it
  5. -Encourage others to do it 

It’s a plan that addresses the eat less and exercise more fundamentals and recognises the cultural change in the social environment that is required to maintain success. 

I don’t receive a kick-back so be assured that I genuinely encourage you to visit the website www.GoodByeCouch.comand make a positive cultural choice that will see you will live healthier, longer and happier.

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