It’s always interesting when I run into the “straight shooter” and the “tell it like it is” person. They never seem to run out of breath telling everyone like it is and sharing their own fragmented brand of consumer commentary while the glaring contradictions of their actual lives are smacking you in the face. You know the type of person that I am talking about. It’s when you or I avoid the huge beams hanging out of our eyes while trying to remove the splinter in someone else’s eye.
Not surprisingly, the straight shooters have usually arrived at their position in life because no one has told them the truth or they have never been forced to deal with the contradictions or the consequences in their own selves. This is quite normally a result of living in a consumer based culture where we need to use people as a means to our ends. As a result, we don’t tell people the truth because it will cost us something. So, we allow ignorance, hypocrisy and hubris to grow. Even though a person may violate order, common sense and truth on every level, we ignore it because we need something from them.
We are all (so weirdly) trying to sell people something, get them to like our post or us and in some way, shape or form lure them into the service of feeding our own egos that there’s really not been a lot of straight shooting and telling it like it is to the very people who ignore their own lives to scream their opinions every single day. This is especially true when it comes to 88% of people living with some form of diet-related disease and sickness. The truth is that we don’t tell it like it is to consumers or force them to deal with their diet-related disease and sickness resulting from their consumer lifestyle because if we told them the truth, then it might hurt us and our our businesses that feed their consumer lifestyle.
Instead, we feed people massive amounts of junk, talk indirectly to them about their health and we quietly spread the trillions in health cost to everyone, except (of course) to the corporations profiting off our poor health. We don’t force individuals to deal with their poor health because we don’t want to force businesses, corporations and the government to have any responsibility for the marketing, subsidizing, educating and distribution of things that cause diet-related disease and sickness. Industries of junk food, sodas and alcohol are all given a free pass to do whatever it takes to sell as much product as humanly possible. Even the government promotes and endorses the very CRAP that makes us sick. It is obvious that the government doesn’t want us to change or the health of our children to change because neither food or proper health education are a top priority in preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities or communities.
Wouldn’t you think that health in our country would be a top priority at the highest level and for the earliest ages? I have read paper after paper from the government and their health leaders/experts who say this very thing. Isn’t this how the whole health system works and all this top level thinking should trickle down to us on the lower levels? Right? Aren’t all the smart folk at the top, who set public policy, determine educational curriculum, approve funding and lead us, also supposed to identify problems and create solutions that help us to be healthy since our health affects and determines everything including our economy.
Yet, on the top levels and in the highest intellectual circles, it seems that (1) what they are doing doesn’t work (2) they are just so smart that they have to talk indirectly and in a way that no one understands or (3) we are just not smart enough to pick up what they are putting down. But wasn’t it Albert Einstein who said, “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
As far as I can see based on the epidemic of diet-related disease and sickness that has been skyrocketing in youth and adults for decades, regardless of which political party was in office, that it seems reasonable to assume that what looks really great on paper and sounds great in meetings are useless in real life. In fact, I say without hesitation and with full confidence that nothing said or done for decades in these meetings have made an impact to the most basics practices and systems that we need to be healthy. Based on simple math and common sense, I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that what the leaders and experts say and do at the top levels makes absolutely no sense and ABSOLUTELY no difference in the world filled or the daily lives of breathing, feeling, thinking and moving creatures.
I have sat in countless meetings while highly esteemed intellectuals and industrial experts have done a lot of intellectualizing about health. But as you can see from the past 40 years- absolutely nothing they have thought, talked about or put into action worked at any level to treat, reverse or prevent the continual escalation of diet-related disease and sickness affecting nearly every man, woman and child (regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic levels, politics, religion and location).
In fact, most of the health meetings, church meetings, political meetings, school meetings, agricultural meetings and business meetings that I have had the pleasure of attending are being led by a majority of men and women who are also suffering from some form of diet-related disease and sickness. I have to say that my favorite meeting thus far was a meeting on childhood obesity that was full of overweight and obese men and women, even the director would have been classified as obese. And in this meeting, not once did we acknowledge or admit that the number one risk factor in childhood obesity is NOT food deserts, lack of parks and programming, unhealthy food in schools and a lack of physical activity and proper education…but the number one risk factor in childhood obesity is being taught, coached, guided, and instructed by a bunch of overweight and obese adults.
I am sorry if this is too direct because it was way too obvious to miss the disconnection that existed in a meeting on childhood obesity led and attended by people who had never figured out how to reverse, prevent or treat obesity or weight gain in their own lives. But… surely as a nation of straight shooters we know this and we can handle someone trying to shoot straight with us. Surely, we know that we cannot surround our kids with unhealthy adults and expect them to imagine themselves as grown ups, who look, eat, exercise and live differently than everyone they see and know. I bet this particular childhood obesity meeting would have been considerably shorter and cheaper for taxpayers if we had just decided to cut through the nonsense that they were discussing to keep themselves funded, and we had the courage to shoot straight with one another about our own poor health and what we have done and are still doing to sabotage ourselves.
Seriously, when adults are already dealing with an epidemic of diet-related disease and sickness and our kids are already experiencing an epidemic level of diet-related disease and sickness, do we really have the time or luxury not to shoot straight to the people setting policy, writing papers, creating programs, being funded and telling us what to do? But I wonder, would they even have the space to listen to anyone like me,who has spent a lifetime in working on the front lines of health and wellness but without the proper title, say anything that contradicts what keeps them perpetually funded? In this meeting, a person from the local children’s hospital said, “We don’t know what to do anymore” but then she continued to participate in a conversation and tinker with a formula that has proven to fail over and over and over. I tried to meet with the director but it seems she didn’t have time to meet with someone new and different.
I guess if I had been given an opportunity to shoot straight with a space full of people trying to “move a needle” that even if moved, would still mean that we are still overweight, obese and suffering from epidemics of diet-related disease and sickness, then I would have said the following:
“Yes, educating kids matters, along with having access to nutritious foods, clean drinking water, safe places to play and opportunities to be in nature but the one thing that matters most is being taught, parented, guided, fed and coached by healthy adults. It is adults- not parks, not food, not water and not programs-who are the living, thinking and feeling human beings who guide, guard, protect, educate and provide everything a kid needs to be healthy. We cannot start with childhood obesity. Rather, we must start with ourselves. Until we “get healthy” and know how to nourish our own health, then we can forget that the ‘do as I say and not as I do’ will ever do anything other than waste time, breath, money and resources. Because when we refuse to look at ourselves, then we will continue to fund the wrong things, look to the wrong people for answers and tinker with broken formulas that have failed for decades.”
Fed A Lie
Dare we look at how many doctors, healthcare providers, dietitians, social workers, teachers, preachers, business men and women, dads, moms, coaches, farmers, actors, actresses, artists and social media stars who are suffering from diet-related disease and sickness? Statistics say over 74% of adults are overweight or obese and that percentage is rising, right along with the rate of childhood obesity. Do we really think that a child who grows, develops and gathers experience by watching adults, who according to the current working definition of health are unhealthy… has any chance of imagining what is healthy? It is absolutely impossible, which is why childhood obesity is highest around obese adults.