What will it be like to be in the “skinny” minority?
It was recently reported in the news that 44% of the adult population in the United States is projected to be OBESE by 2030. Some states, like my boyhood home of Mississippi, will see obesity levels as high as 70%.
Upon reading this news, it suddenly dawned on me that obesity is fast becoming the accepted norm—meaning that people like me will be in the minority. Just think about the implications:
- Restaurants. When we enter restaurants, we’ll be asked if we prefer “regular” seating (in the best part of the room) or “irregular,” in the other part.
- Clothing. The department stores will stock regular sizes of sportswear—with waist sizes of 38″ and larger for men. Then, the “big and tall” specialty stores of today will be replaced by the “lean and mean” stores of the future–for waist sizes below 38.
- Airlines. The airlines will be keeping our height and weight on file and will be seating the regular people in the front of the plane, where the seats are larger—and only four across. This will also serve to move the center of gravity forward in the aircraft. As for us skinny folks, we’ll be assigned to the irregular section in the back of the plane where there will be six-across seating.
- Vehicles. Automobiles will be designed for the larger regular folks, while the irregular skinny people will need to buy what amounts to a booster seat for adults that provides padding around the cavernous bucket seat which is standard.
All of the above sounds absurd, but it could very well become a reality. We’ve already got a lot of prominent leaders out there who comprise the first wave of obesity in positions of authority.
For the past week, we’ve seen a great deal of one of them—the one Dave Letterman picks on almost every night. The exceptionally large, and highly popular, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.
The inspiration for this blog came from a friend who’d just attended the annual meeting of the National Safety Council. He caught my attention when he mentioned some of the obesity-driven safety and liability concerns that were being discussed. As he described the likely workforce of the future:
The incoming workforce will be increasingly obese over the next decade impacting their endurance, flexibility and physical abilities. This will lead to reduced productivity, increased injuries (workman’s compensation cost increases), increased property insurance liabilities due to worker errors induced by reduced physical capacity and more subtle issues like workplace employee costs (i.e. clothing, larger chairs, etc.)
Not only do employers have an opportunity to reduce their current medical expenses, but they can protect themselves from the future liabilities of tomorrow’s workforce.
In the last paragraph, my friend was referring to just another reason why today’s CEOs should be doing all that they can NOW to “tame the healthcare monster” of today—because he will be even meaner tomorrow.
The Bottom Line. It’s only going to get worse until some visionary CEOs take decisive action to correct it. Ironically, most CEOs think they’re already doing that. Towers Watson reports that virtually ALL companies with over 1,000 employees have a corporate wellness program in place today. But it is blatantly obvious that they’re not working—as our nation’s workforce continues to get fatter and sicker.
That’s because 99% of those “wellness” programs are missing the singe most crucial ingredient—serious attention to the FOOD. To my knowledge, only one CEO has demonstrated a commitment to a truly health-promoting, disease-reversing, whole foods, plant-based diet—John Mackey of Whole Foods Market.
The time for action is now—and the corporate CEOs are the only group of powerful leaders who have a financial incentive to help their entire workforce get healthy, trim and more productive. If we wait until the vast majority of our population is obese—we’ll never get out of this mess. (my 636th consecutive daily blog)
- Even our most prominent leaders in the war on obesity are obese “The BIG three.”
- Are corporate wellness programs working? Not even scratching the surface.
- Connecting the dots: FOOD . obesity . diabetes . Alzheimer’s!
- Obesity—now threatening the future of the planet
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation