Tag Archives: childhood obesity

Solving America’s Health Problems With The Next Generation

A Special Guest Post By: Chris Steurer

As America continues to stay on top as one of the unhealthiest countries in the world, we are seeing a tremendous growth of obesity and weight issues among our adult population and children as well. INC.com has noted that “according to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 17% of all children in the U.S. are obese.” They are the future of our country, and they are looking bigger than ever before.

I don’t believe that short term solutions work very well for truly solving any problem, therefore, we must look to longer-term solutions that are responsible and sustainable now and into the future. The current children of America are the future of this country, and it is up to them to decide what will happen down the road. So why do we do such a poor job at teaching them healthy habits and such a good job at raising them to make bigger health mistakes than ourselves?

I’ve talked with my younger cousins, my friend’s kids, and other children and they excitedly tell me how much they love eating fast food and playing video games all day. It’s quite alarming if you think about it, our next generation seems likely to be worse off than we already are.

So, how can we fix the problem? It is known that prisons often serve better food than our public schools do. Children are eating at least one meal- five days out of the week- that is high in calories and low in essential nutrients that the body needs to stay fit and healthy. I am almost certain that many of them consume many more meals throughout the week that consist of fast food or other unhealthy meals. We teach children how to read, write, and do arithmetic in school, why can’t we teach them to eat healthier and stay more active as well?

At least one company has set out to do something about this problem. Revolution Foods is helping to bring access to nutrient rich meals that taste good to low-income schools. They have realized that by targeting schools with healthy food alternatives, they can help make the world a better and healthier place to live!

What other ideas do you have that could offer a long-term solution to getting America’s health back on track?

Do Americans Work To Gain Weight?

           A Special Guest Post by:  Chris Steurer

Throughout the 1900’s in America, we were known for our powerful and growing production industry. Many people worked in factories and other jobs that required physical activity at work. Today in America, most of the jobs here are service industry jobs that for the most part don’t require physical activity beyond visiting the coffee machine and getting back to your desk.

It is blatantly obvious that America is now one of the most notoriously unhealthy countries in the world. We are very well known for our overindulgence in unhealthy activities, most notably, living sedentary lifestyles and consuming way too many unhealthy foods (http://www.heartattackgrill.com). Despite the growing number of fast food chains that seem to be popping up on every corner, we can’t place our blame on them for our weight issues. We all have a choice as to where we eat, but that is only half of the problem at hand.

Most of us can agree, especially those of us who are overweight, that we aren’t getting enough physical activity in our days. There are thousands of excuses as to why we might not get in our needed physical activity ranging everywhere from “I am to tired after working all day” to “I just can’t do it.”

Despite the fact that I would like to say we need to stop making excuses and placing blame elsewhere, there is some validity to people who blame working all day as the reason to why they don’t exercise. Even if your job isn’t physically demanding, we are often mentally drained by the end of the day and it becomes hard to find the motivation to wear yourself out even more. So, what do we do?

We need to find ways to bring more physical activity into the office. I am not saying that we need to replace our desks with treadmills that have a computer attached to it, but we need to find ways to allow employees to get away from sitting in a chair and not moving all day. If that means getting a headset and notepad so you can walk around the office and take phone calls, then we should highly consider it. Some places, like Google, have taken things a step further by offering a work out facility in the office.

If you could design the perfect office that blends physical well being with staying productive, how would you do it?

With Great Amounts of Nutritional Info, Comes Great Amounts of Responsibility

Restaurant Nutritional Information displayed on the receipt

Will this help our eating habits?

We are all guilty of not eating healthy all the time, but we are probably even worse at making healthy choices when we are out to eat. When the menus are overloaded with delicious looking  foods that are just screaming our names, its hard to pick that wimpy salad when it’s sitting right next to a picture of a hot, thick, and juicy hamburger. So, is it the restaurants fault that we make poor healthy choices when we go out?

The Government has taken a closer look at this question and has come up with their own solution; make it mandatory for fast food restaurants and vending machines to display nutritional information. At first glance, this sounds great…but then you start to think about it, and you might realize that you never paid much attention to those labels anyway and that they can play psychological tricks on your mind.

So the question is, do you think giving consumers more information will lead to healthier choices?

Ronald McDonald Is Getting Fired

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

When I was little, my best friend and I would rollerblade to our local McDonalds once a week.  Every week we shakily crossed the busiest street in town, rolling with determination towards our favorite meal.  We didn’t mind the threat of speeding traffic, we didn’t consider our journey to be exercise, we just focused on the payoff: Chicken McNuggets, french fries, and hot fudge sundaes.  The golden arches beckoned us closer. The red and yellow colors were as bright as the vegas strip to two hungry 10 year olds.  Fast, hot, greasy food was the jackpot.  As my best friend and I enjoyed our happy meals, we were joined by another friend: Ronald McDonald.

The enemy?

This May, an open letter was sent to McDonalds CEO Jim Skinner from more that 1000 health professionals.  They urged McDonalds to stop marketing fast food to children, implying that Ronald McDonald was a tool of manipulation to to entice children.

They want to fire Ronald McDonald.

Personally, the clown was never really a draw for me. Granted he’s a clown, so he’s automatically interesting to kids.  He also comes with french fries, which makes him more appealing to the terrified-of-clowns-set. Sporting his red and white overalls, giant red clown shoes, and the classic red nose, Ronald McDonald is as recognizable as Santa Claus. But his mechanically waving hand from the parking lot didn’t spur me into a feeding frenzy. It was the smell. It was the taste. It was the immediate satisfaction of greasy delight.

Still is.

I was never there to visit Ronald, I was there to satisfy my hunger.  And there’s something so comforting about ritualized eating.

It would be nice if McDonalds continued to evolve their menus.  It would be nice if McDonalds needs to promote healthy eating. It would be even nicer if we could take the responsibility to lay off the fried foods altogether.

Parents can get out of the drive-thru line and choose another place for a healthier meal. They can even (gasp!) cook a meal at home.  Kids can be taught better eating habits. Americans can even pick healthier choices on McDonalds growing and health-friendly menu.

So why blame the man in the clown shoes for what is ultimately our decision?

Welcome to America, Would You Like a Grilled Cheese?

America.

Of all the things we associate with our ethnicity, food is probably at the top of the list.

American immigrants may be eager to eschew their ethnic dress, music, and language for the sake of acclimating to this culture… but their food? They’ll hang on to that, thanks.

The resilience of ethnic cuisine is much to our benefit, too. The choices in many
American towns used to be limited to ordering a burger or chicken wings  but now customers are in line for bibimbap or chicken masala coorg.

Unfortunately, a recent study suggests that this exchange between the U.S. and its newest residents is a two way street that might be leading immigrants’ kids to obesity.

The study showed that when Asian-American students were made to feel insecure about the American part of their culture- even if was only on a subconscious level-they tended to choose foods that were typically “American cuisine” (fried chicken, grilled cheese etc.) and shy away from traditionally Asian dishes.

The logic by the researchers is that the children of immigrants are so concerned with fitting in, that they are willing to order highly caloric foods to do it.

Getting fat to fit in?

They are willing to get fat to fit in.

I question that logic. American society looks down on heavy people far more than it does on people who enjoy the occasional plate of chicken feet.

Still, it is troubling that children perceive the unhealthy choice to also be the American choice.

So what’s your order?

Michelle Obama Can Do The Dougie

Michelle Obama Can Do The Dougie

Written By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer

“Let’s Move!” not only to Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign, but to the latest Beyonce song, “Move Your Body”.  America’s First Lady and the first lady of R&B have joined forces in the fight of childhood obesity… while dancing the “dougie”.

Mission 1.


Let me see you run

put your knees up in the sky

’cause we just begun…

Michelle Obama will soon be celebrating her one-year anniversary of her “Let’s Move!” campaign. With the combination of promoting a healthy diet, exercise, and providing resources to help kids and adults create an active lifestyle, Obama’s focus on changing the obesity epidemic has been nothing short of inspirational. And she’s just begun.

The First Lady Can Dougie

 Mission 2.


This is how we do

 jump a couple to the right


to the left, let’s move!


Americans are at an all-time high with their weight and statistics show that one out of every three kids are obese, but all it takes is that one step. It takes one step to start your own movement, whether it be making better food choices or even performing Beyonce’s “Flash Workout”.

It takes one step to make the healthy choice.

It takes one step to start the effort.

It takes one step to jump into action.

Mission 3.

Can you dougie with me?


Throw your own lil’ swag on this swizzy beat!

Beyonce Knowles is no stranger to the public eye. Her incredible voice has landed 16 Grammy’s, leading roles in feature films, and of course frenzied paparazzi trying to take the most unflattering pictures followed by ridicule of her size. But Beyonce rises above the negative and turns the tabloids into a celebration of showing off her curves; or better yet, her “bootylicious” self. Some say full-figured, others say fabulous. And whether you are “ready for this jelly” or not, Beyonce is a strong, healthy woman fighting the fight of obesity using her own lil’ swag.

I ain’t worried doing me tonight

A little sweat ain’t never hurt nobody

Don’t just stand there on the wall

Everybody just move your body.

Exercising is a key element to a healthy, active lifestyle. Beyonce’s new craze, “Move Your Body” is taking exercise to a whole new level; and most of all, she’s reaching a new and greater demographic…kids.

Exercise is considered a hassle or an obligation more often than it is empowering But perhaps Michelle and Beyonce can help those in need of a positive outlook when it comes to the active lifestyle.

In short, exercise can be fun….who knew?!

We NEED to stop standing against the wall.

We NEED to lift our feet off floor.

We NEED to be ourselves and move our bodies and our mindsets.

Let’s move. And let’s move our bodies towards the movement of anti-obesity.

*Participate at http://www.facebook.com/NABEF and http://www.twitter.com/NABEF

The End of Dieting Has Arrived

New Years Resolution: Stop Dieting Part I

I know that I have said these types of things before like a broken record but this time things feel different. There have been so many ups and downs but now after finishing the first cut of the movie and having time to reflect on the last three years of my life in production on this film, I think I am starting to get it. Forget dieting!
Now I know what you are thinking, we have heard the non dieting approach before, so what else is so new? Well I could make you wait for the release of the film to find out but I will give you some personal hints. After spending time with some of the best authors and personalities like Jillian Michaels, Dr. David Katz, Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Judith Beck and that doesn’t even cover almost every top ten university that we visited. I think I  have a good perspective to back up what I am going to tell you. I Personally don’t give a damn if you want to eat peanut butter sandwich sandwiches all day long, though I think you will probably get sick and tired of them very quickly. I also don’t care if you want to eat foods laden with chemicals or just fruit and vegetables. It really doesn’t matter on its own. My new school of thought is really mixing two approaches. The first is trying to make small changes that are geared towards more healthy eating but with only foods that I like. If they are fruits and vegetables that I hate, why bother forcing myself to eat something that I know I can not and will not stick with. Second thing is stop depending on becoming so damn obsessed with calories, carbs and the chemical breakup. If you really want live by reading every food label you come by for minutes at a time you are going to have very hard choices and grow to hate the grocery store. I think it is a certain amount of common sense when you decide between having eggs for breakfast or a box of yummy chocolate pancakes with pecans and syrup. One is not going to turn out very well for you and chances are you already know which one. If you do decide to go the with the route of obsession, its going to be very hard to eat out with friends and your going to basically live like a hermit.. I personally think it is not going to work. Never did for me or the majority of the rest of dieters in this country.
Another major change is you have got to exercise. Now that does not mean spending huge amounts of time and money at your local gym Chance are that if you didn’t go last year, you probably wont go this year. Now don’t give up hope yet. There are some pretty cool solutions that have come out that are relatively inexpensive and totally enjoyable that you can do right out of you home or even possibly your office if are willing to share. So my New Years resolution is going to be practicing what I preach. After all, I have had three years of researching and filming for this film.
Please keep joining me everyday up until the release and I will be honest with you and share what really worked and what did not.
Please stay tuned tomorrow for the second part to this blog where I wrap things up with the truth about most diet book authors and the way to find possible peace and weight loss for this year and many more to come. The odds really don’t have to be against you.