© Jacquelyn Johnston, M.Ed.
Been in a shopping mall recently? Have you ever done any people-watching? While at a recent convention I was sitting in the lobby of a large hotel, waiting for the rest of my group to appear. Thousands of participants were exiting from a session in the arena. I started counting the number of people with potential health threats. I mean health threats that could have landed them in hospital any time. 1-2-9-17-24-37-52…
In 5 minutes I had counted 73. Had I stayed longer, the number would have gone up exponentially, as I had seen many of them seated opposite my bleachers in the arena. I had also seen what they had purchased for breakfast, then lunch, throughout the day. Didn’t they know?
Were they aware? The numbers with midriffs that would have prevented them from seeing their feet were astounding. They had midriffs that screamed “Do Something Now!”
Do you know that the middle of the body is the most dangerous part in which to harbor fat? These people were contributors to the fearsome statistics on Diabesity…yes, Diabesity, the second-ranking epidemic in the world, next only to AIDS.
Diabesity? Yes, the combination of obesity and its evil twin, -Diabesity. For the past quarter-century it has been the scourge of North America, but it is now a worldwide concern. And how did I come to the conclusion that the people I was watching had potential health threats? Answer: they had mid-section obesity. Enough of it to make walking difficult, and panting evident. Some of them sat don close by. They had only walked as far as the nearest kiosk to buy a coffee. They sat down laboriously, as if they had just run a mile with a sack of potatoes on their back.
This is a national epidemic in many of the G8 countries. Many of them must have had pre-diabetes, and those who were middle-aged could well have graduated to full-blown diabetes. And the weight wasn’t helping. With the number of people showing signs of pancreatic stress, it looked as if it was contagious. But no, you cannot catch diabetes from anyone else. You can’t catch obesity either. It’s something that creeps up on us when we’re not looking– easily, sneakily. All of them could have improved their condition immediately by dropping those blue, pink and orange super-sized pseudo-beverages straight into the garbage, where they belonged.