O.k. I admit that was a dirty trick to get you to read my blog post. In the battle against obesity however, I am not opposed to “fighting dirty”. Think about advertisers who spend millions to promote junk food targeting children. Is that fair?
What about the “Happy Meal?” Did the guys at the Golden Arches spend tons of money and marketing research to determine the exact amounts of sugar, salt, and fat needed to elicit an addictive response on the American public? You better believe it.
If images like these make you crave the food you see, you are not alone. Our brains are wired to want what we see. It’s part of our physiology. The area of the brain responsible for processing visual information is also conveniently in charge of procuring food.
This allowed our ancestors to eat whatever was available, whenever it was available, in order to avoid starvation. Combined with our ability to store excess nutrients in the form of fat tissue, this allowed our ancestors to have the energy to chase down their prey or gather wild food sources. Later we used these abilities to raise livestock or do manual work in the garden to cultivate our own food.
The problem in our modern culture is that our eyes have gotten bigger than our head. There is a fast food restaurant or vending machine virtually in sight at all times and we have to do very little in the way of physical effort in order to obtain this high-calorie, low-nutrient “junk”.
Advertisers know that a picture of their products will stimulate the appetite and cause us to purchase them. Why do you think all of the major Superbowl commercials are for food or drinks? Think about it.
The solution to this dilemma is the same thing that Mom and Dad always said “Go outside and play!” People today are more likely to sit at a desk rather than working at a physical labor type job. Kids also spend the school day at a desk and the summer on a couch. We have hundreds of ways to entertain ourselves, television, internet, video games.The list goes on and on (and on and on). The fact that I am writing this article and that you are reading it is proof of it! Experts agree the majority of Americans need more fresh air, sunshine and exercise to be as healthy as we possibly can.
If you are anywhere in the Atlanta area. You can attend a free outdoor class at Panola Mtn State Park. Details are available at EnvisionHealthCoaching.org/team-extreme
If you show up early, I will even give you a doughnut. Sound fair?
Until next time, Stay Strong and Live with Faith- Jason