Carrol Vertrees: Issue weighs heavily on Hoosiers
Carrol Vertrees August 25, 2012 8:26PM
Updated: September 27, 2012 11:02AM
Every true Hoosier, except those who love old Purdue, will be cheering when IU basketball kids break the Top 10 in the country. Maybe this season.
But Indiana as a state is already in the Top 10 — I speak of the obesity league. You know, overweight people. Calling us fat is rude, and a bit exaggerated, although some Hoosiers fit that one.
Our status may be worse now than the latest figures I saw: 29 percent of Hoosiers are overweight. Mississippi is the fattest state — 34.4 percent. From what I see, we Hoosiers are trying to catch the rebels.
I am only a simple fellow, so the method used by experts to feed us those figures is a mystery, but who could challenge a report based on, and I quote: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Data?
Some folks are overweight because of systemic problems, and I will poke no fun at them. But most of us with sagging midriffs probably are that way because of overeating and physical laziness. Mental laziness too, probably. I read the other day that green tea and lots of water will help neutralize the fat cells that are just waiting to pounce while we sit around watching as the world turns, or something worse, like the Cubs. So will some exercise, probably.
Buffets should have some rules, too — like having an alarm go off if you keep going back for more.
Many schools with cafeterias are trying to make them calorically friendly, and they should be commended.
Parents who don’t monitor their kids’ food intake or set healthful examples should be ashamed. They may feel that drinking green tea is a sissy thing and that exercise is a big bother. Well, then, just eat less — a novel idea.
From what I can see, the kid generation of today is smarter than mine was — well, they can play computer games that keep their brain muscles going. But in my day, long, long ago, kids actually played games that required physical muscles — you know, tag, and stuff like that. We actually ran around outside, having fun.
We had never heard of organized games, so we organized ourselves. Loosely, but it worked. We had fun.
We farm kids went to school carrying food in paper sacks — modern folks would call them paper bags, and they contained no fancy stuff, except sometimes there were a couple of mom-made cookies, a real delight. Bean sandwiches, maybe an egg — a soggy sandwich at noon was a treat, and we ate fast so we would have more time on the playground. Do modern schools have actual playgrounds where kids can run and play? Do kids even want to run and play?
I wish I could understand why today’s world produces so many overweight kids who become overweight parents and give us more fat kids.
Some restaurants don’t help. One day I ordered one egg and a piece of toast and the server told me it was cheaper to order No. 3 on the menu — it included some sausage and potatoes. Lots of potatoes!
Recently we ordered Chinese to go and got enough rice for three days — even an extra fortune cookie. And this was Chinese made in America!
I meditate on this great caloric calamity as I eat my third bite-size Snicker bar of the day — the little ones are OK, I tell myself. Through plain genetic luck, I don’t have fat genes. But to be honest, I don’t have any muscles to speak of either. Life gets complicated when you try to understand the meaning of life and the danger of a caloric overload.
I feel good about where we live: 5 minutes from a fast-food place and a hospital. Not necessarily in that order.