HBCU Wellness Educator Cautions Americans About Their Obesity and Declining Healthby Dr. Charles Singleton April 26, 2019
For the past 52 years of my life, as a writer an educator and author, I have observed, researched, and taught others — both youth and adults — about the increasing-debilitating bodily damages and life ending episodes of obesity. Bad shape and in dire straits, then and now, we Americans absolutely must address this epidemic of obesity, which is threatening the survival of the United States of America. Former Surgeon General David Satcher, Morehouse School of Medicine (HBCU), 18 years ago issued the 2001 report, The Surgeon General’s Call To Action To Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity. Once again, today, I am strongly recommending that Offices of the U.S. Surgeon General (OTSG) and the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) to lead our nation once again, in addressing this serious health problem. Poignantly speaking, as a senior human being, 70-plus years of age, I am deeply concerned about this real-time menace, which is crippling and shortening the lives of human beings in the 21st century.
Statistically, the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta GA, reports and defines “obesity as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the CDC sex-specific BMI-for-age growth charts.” The CDC further stated that, “The prevalence, of childhood obesity in the United States for children and adolescents, ages 2-19, is approximately 18.5%, or about 13.7 million young people.” Meanwhile, since 2015-2016, regarding adult obesity facts and data, the CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) stresses that 39.8%, or 93.3 million US adults are obese. Moreover, the life-threatening effects of obesity terribly impact some groups considerably more than others. Meaning, 47.0% of Hispanics and subsequently 46.8% non-Hispanic blacks; 37.9% non-Hispanic whites, and 12.7% non-Hispanic Asians had the highest age-adjusted prevalence of self-destructive obesity leading to premature death. Please note, for the United States in 2008, preventable obesity-related conditions implicating type 2 diabetes, strokes, certain types of cancer and heart disease, annually cost a hefty $147 billion, and $1,429 more for each normal weighted person. Today, Americans receiving dialysis treatment has significantly increased 68% during the last 20 years; caused by increased rates of diabetes and hypertension. A single patient’s average cost of dialysis is an exorbitant $88,000 a year. Totally, all patients cost of dialysis in the United States is a massive $34 billion a year. — Healthfacts.blog
Yet, we have another health and a USA security problem. Recently, looking at 2017 Pentagon data, the Heritage Foundation reports that one-third (71%), or about 24 million of the 34 million young Americans, ranging in age 17-24, are too overweight; thus, making them ineligible for military service. — Facing Fitness Crisis, Military.com, 2018-2019. Come on now, we can fix these preventable health issues and our nation’s security problem, by dining at the table of my Fitness Buffet and Wellness Smorgasbord.
Wait a minute; really, just STOP Overeating and digging with your teeth, an early grave, and Think! You must avoid an early grave and premature death! We must always try to maintain a good level of glucose: sugar in our blood (24-7), at 3.8-7.5 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), in order to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Really, before you eat anything, seriously think about what you are eating and its nutrition value. Those things that do not taste good, may in fact contain vital nutrients for your overall health and wellness; mind, body and soul. Use and renew your entire body everyday (mentally, physically, socially, meditatively, and spiritually), to develop and maintain cardiovascular proficiency, flexibility, body composition, memory and mobility, self-image, muscular strength and endurance. — Keith McGregor, CVNR Health Science Specialist, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Emory University, Aging and Motor Decline. Immediately, learn how to reduce your health risks by understanding your generational family’s health history: ongoing illnesses, such as heart disease, hypertension/high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, obesity, colon cancer, kidney disease, suicide, respiratory disease, such as lung cancer; Alzheimer’s disease, other mental illnesses, vitamin D deficiency, eye disease: glaucoma, etc. Warning! The use of dialysis has increased 68% over the last 20 years due to increased rates of diabetes and hypertension. Remember to schedule an annual physical and request a biochemical profile (summary of your medical health status), with your health care provider and doctor.
Okay, got it! Take a physical, biochemical profile; get adequate rest, participate in acts of kindness and help others; reduce sugar, sodium, and fast food intake, refrain from describing yourself as: fat, slightly overweight, big boned, oversize, big, hefty, buff, chubby, thick, junk in the trunk, heavy, beef, beer belly, beer gut, pot belly, blubber, and live to learn; instead say that you are fit, fine trim, robust, muscular, hardy, well-being, attractive and say, “I am a small piece of leather, but, I am well put together.” Learn to love yourself more and say to yourself daily, “Just come on home and help me solve this problem.” “This is my lover’s prayer.” — Otis Redding, 1966, Memphis Soul legend and Macon, GA, “My Lover’s Prayer.” In other words, “Know Thy Self,” self-knowledge and wisdom, are the first laws of learning, according to Socrates and Edward Thorndike. Are you ready? Sit down at the table of progressive healthy meals; start converting information into self-knowledge and wisdom.
Caution: Always engage in activities and exercises sensibly, and use a selected calculated heart rate that you are most comfortable with. Estimation example: 72 years of age is 220 minus 72 =148 beats per minute (BPM) maximum heart rate. Then, along with monitoring your blood pressure, simply Live like a tree … drink plenty of water, take care of all the 11 organ systems of the human body (Circulatory, Digestive, Endocrine, Lymphatic, Immune, Muscular, Nervous, Renal-Urinary, Reproductive, Respiratory and Skeletal), and extremities, especially your head, chest, hands and feet; enjoy the outdoors, rain and sunshine, grow deep routes of balance, memory; sway from side to side and facilitate mobility, shed leaves of untidy clutter and stand tall! In the words of my beloved and departed father, 88 years old, the late Clement A. Singleton, Sr., “Live so long that you outlive your doctors and enemies.” Or, from my Fitness Buffet and Wellness Smorgasbord, only eat a small portion of every color of food; especially vegetable, fruits, seeds and nuts. — Kevin Mammino, Wellness Specialist, and Research Health Scientist, Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation (CVNR), Atlanta VA Medical Center. Yes, shop first in produce section of your favorite super market, before visiting other sections of the store. Learn how to read nutrition labels on packages and canned goods. If there are words on the back of items you do not understand, absolutely, do not buy these products! The late, Robert Fletcher, 94 years of age: a resident of Chicago, once said, “Don’t eat what you watch but watch what you eat.”
Wellness: I strongly recommend five personal tips for maintaining weight control and good health.
- Eat smaller portions, including an apple a day; along with foods containing lots of fiber, or supplement your diet by using Metamucil Psyllium, in order to reduce cholesterol.
- Increase your daily activity: exercise, walk, house work, yard work, acts of kindness; help others.
- Drink plenty of water and reduce carbohydrates, salt, sugar, and processed foods in your diet.
- Take an annual health examination and a biochemical profile.
- Know and reduce your health risks factors by planting a garden and eating an earthly harvest.
We Americans must encourage our educational institutions, Pre-K-12, along with colleges and universities, to require, implement and maintain curriculum-based health, wellness and physical education programs. And, until next time, say to yourselves daily, “If it is to be, then it is up to me!”
We must, we can, and we will remove, “The Burden of OBESITY!”
Dr. Charles L. Singleton is a Clinical and Educational Research Consultant. He is also the Editor/Publisher of The Family Journal, USA, Alston High School Garnet & Blue 1964 Journal and ECSC. ECSU Senior Class 1968 Journal, and the Atlanta Metro Alumni Journal. His brother, Mr. Isreal T. Singleton is the Editor-in-Review. Those who are willing and able can make a GoFundMefinancial donation in honor of a loved one to help with the continuance of their publications.
Read CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Data Brief:
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