Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I saw a woman today who struggled to get on a bus. She lifted herself up in the same way I lifted my bad leg up stairs when injured a few weeks ago. It was a bit like watching someone on the parallel bars, though the display was the completely opposite of gymnastics. I think she was maybe 5'4" and at least 300 lbs, probably closer to 400 lbs based on how many seats she took up and how they gave out a thud when she sat down. Granted, she was probably around 40 and Vince Wilfork already looks like her at the age of 26.

What worries me is that so many of us might look and live like her in the future. My concern isn't merely limited to my ability to continue purchasing pants, though it seems a 48-inch waist is more common than my 28-inch waist these days. Given that children tend to grow and that those who are overweight at a young age tend to become still more overweight as they age, I have misgivings about whether the 26% of Canadian children who are overweight will be able to board and unboard buses as adults.

The New York Times will report tomorrow with a hint of relief that the growth of childhood obesity in the United States has stabilized, but this still leaves one-third of American children as overweight. Yes, the studies use BMI and, yes, this means LaDainian Tomlinson is obese, but you're not a professional athlete and the 30 lbs you've added lately aren't muscle. If one-third of US American children are overweight, they must surely be set to surpass their parents, about two-thirds of whom are overweight. I should either start stockpiling pants right now or do my best to gain the forty pounds or so I lack in being overweight.

No comments: