How Honesty has been Replaced with Political Correctness
Sometimes I should just keep my mouth shut. When people ask my opinion, I give it to them. I don't pretend, I don't dance around a subject and I don't shy away from the truth.
A few weeks ago, I was chatting with someone I've known as an acquaintance for several years. He had just left his gym when we ran into each other. Over the last decade, this gentleman has put on about 90 pounds; and it wasn't muscle. I've watched him grow without saying anything because he never asked me. But this particular day he said, "How do I look? Not bad for a big guy, right?"
The socially polite thing to say at that point was, "Great!" Nice, non-committal, with no possibility of offending anyone. He wasn't asking my opinion, he just wanted me to confirm the self-image he had of himself. But that was one of those times when my mouth engaged before my brain.
I looked at him and said, "Not bad, if your goal is to be obese." Then, to make matters worse, I proceeded to tell him that 30% of all cancers are the result of obesity.
By letting his weight grow unchecked, he was putting his health in serious jeopardy. When I finished talking, his face looked like I had just punched him in the stomach. Without saying a word he turned and left. It was awkward, but not uncommon.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 30% of all cancers in developed countries are the result of diet and nutrition.
In the report, "Global Cancer Facts and Figures" the American Cancer Society said that in North America alone, 1,745,375 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2007.
That means in one year, 523,612 people in the United States got cancer as a result of their poor diet!
We don't like hearing the truth. There is a huge disconnect between how we perceive ourselves and the way we really are. But knowing your true condition is so important, it's one of the four pillars critical to any weight loss program.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) spend nearly $800 million a year on obesity-related research. After decades of work, we still don't have a pill, potion or cream that can wipe out the fat and build muscle effortlessly. But NIH has identified four things that are critical for any diet to succeed.
The first thing that MUST happen, (I call it the first pillar) is assessment. You have to know where your body stands, and where you're supposed to be. My friend is surrounded by people who are big or bigger than he is. By their standards, since he takes time to workout, he's the healthy one. But by medical standards, his body mass index is 32, making him clinically obese.
That extra weight can dramatically shorten his life. He's at a much higher risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. As he gets older, simple things will become difficult. With modern medicine, he may live to his 60s or 70s, but if he's typical, most of his later years will be spent dealing with sickness and poor health, not living a full and robust life.
Even doctors, the people we rely on to give us the facts about our health, shy away from telling us about weight problems. In one study, 12,835 obese adults, (those who had a body mass index of 30 or higher) from all 50 states were surveyed. To be part of the study the subjects had to have visited their doctor in the previous 12 months.
Participants were asked what their doctors recommended during the visit. Forty-two percent, "reported that their health care professional advised them to lose weight." That's not bad, but it still means an incredible fifty-eight percent of medically obese people weren't told by their doctors they had to drop a few pounds! Nobody told them about the dangers they face, how they were reducing their lifespan or setting themselves up to be incapacitated later in life.
Suddenly I didn't feel so bad. The gentleman I told was obese may have had his feelings hurt. He may think I'm a jerk for saying what I did. He doesn't have to change anything but at least he's been warned. He has the information and now it's his responsibility to act on it.
Below are links to abstracts or reports we mentioned above. Click on the title and an Adobe PDF file will open showing the information as it appeared in PubMed.com or on the source website on 4/25/2011.
The American Cancer Society said that in North America alone, 1,745,375 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2007.
Global Cancer Facts and Figures 2007
An incredible fifty-eight percent of medically obese people weren't told by their doctors they had to drop a few pounds.
Are health care professionals advising obese patients to lose weight?
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