Have you ever seen that movie Supersize Me, by Morgan Spurlock? If you haven’t, it’s about a man that attempted to eat McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 30 straight days. It’s one of the most disgusting things that I’ve ever seen and one of the reasons why I’ve limited eating McDonalds to maybe twice a year.
Long story short, this man began to experience multiple complications in his body. Not only did he gain a considerable amount of unhealthy weight, but he also suffered from a shorter attention span, irritability, and extreme weariness.The movie was meant to bring awareness to the problems with fast food restaurants.
However, according to the World Obesity Federation, the United States of America still ranks in the top 5 in global adulthood and childhood obesity. This should be extremely concerning since some of the countries that are around the same ranking are less-developed countries like Venezuela, Libya, Mexico, and Paraguay. Unlike these countries that may not have the resources to correctly educate their citizens on proper health, we actually make it mandatory for our students to take a health class that includes proper nutrition. And yet, Americans are still over-weight.
How come after all of this funding and attention that this country has put into improving its citizens’ personal health, we can’t make any improvements in our obesity rates. I think that the key relies in the glorification of fitness. When you think about the things that children are consumed by in their early years, it’s always been about stories about figures that were in some way less than their piers physically.
The David vs. Goliath story is always used to inspire kids that it’s okay to be David. You see this in kid’s media all the time now. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a character on Disney channel that was physically better than their opponent, like a school bully that is constantly defeated or the freakishly huge comedy relief kid that is always being put down for the unintelligent things that he says.
However, I believe that I see a downside to that kind of thinking. You see, if you keep telling kids that it’s okay to be David and not Goliath, then not only will they be okay with themselves being David, but they’ll start to settle for being what they are and not what they can become with hard work. They’ll never reach the level that the Goliath’s of the world are at. That is where fitness can come in.
The entire mindset of fitness is the idea that we can become better than who we are now. We can get stronger, faster, slimmer, and more conditioned if we’re willing to put in the work. Fitness is a lot like studying. You get out what you put in. If you put in the bare minimum of work, you should expect minimal results.
If you truly believe that you can be better than what you are now, and you truly want to be better than what you are now, with work, you can become Goliath. With enough support from government agencies that are tasked with human services and mass media, we just might make a drop on the obesity list.
My name is Michael Stephens. I’m 17 years old and I live in Cerritos, California. I’m currently a senior at Gahr High School and an incoming freshman at Cal Lutheran University. I’m a huge fan of fitness and the things that it can do for people and their lives. In fact, I’m going to major in exercise science when I head off to college. Fitness has always been a large part of my life since I’ve been playing sports since I was a kid and have always remained active throughout my youth.