Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Obesogenic Environment

It's a new phrase for me: obesogenic environment. Barbara Brehm-Curtis is a professor of exercise and sports studies at Smith College in Northampton. In addition to teaching, she is the author of several books.  Her list of credentials is impressive.  In a recent interview, she was asked about the challenges our society faces in overcoming obesity.  She said, “Our biggest challenge we face as a society is our obesogenic environment.   We have succeeded in engineering physical activity out of daily life and in providing most people with abundant opportunities to overeat the wrong kinds of food.  Cultivating a healthy lifestyle is like swimming upstream against a strong current.”  In other words, society is saying no don’t go the gym.  Let’s get a burger and fries.  Let’s super size!

I find so often that swimming upstream for some is just too hard and the first time another offer comes along, exercise goes out the window.  Sometimes the stress of the day is exhausting and people look for ways to make themselves feel better fast. Sitting in a comfortable chair can make one feel better fast.  What we learn from regular physical exercise is that it does make us feel better, but the hardest part is knowing that we can swim upstream.
Resource: IDEA Fitness Journal February 2013