The thing about food is that we all eat. It’s not like smoking or alcohol, substances that can be quit cold turkey. Quitting food isn’t an option and unlike smoking that has laws governing where people can light up, food is everywhere. From the fast food restaurant on the corner to the cheap vending machine and the company break room exploding with cake at every birthday, it has become increasingly difficult to stay healthy in the modern work environment. So what tactics can employees take to avoid overindulging in the guilty stuff, while still satisfying the urge to snack?
Last Thursday I went to the premiere of Catching Fire, the second story in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. In it, our two victors from coal-mining District 12, Katniss and Peeta, dine at the cosmopolitan Captiol at the end of their victory tour. Food is stacked high on every table and, already full from trying one too many treats, Katniss and Peeta are offered the Capitol fix – a little cocktail intended to “make you sick” so you can keep on eating. Katniss and Peeta, being from a district where hunger runs rampant, decline.
This story (and the Capitol in general) offers a great analogy for the general excess indulged in by wealthier nations on a year-round basis but which becomes exaggerated during the holiday season. It’s easy to become caught up in the festivities surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other winter holiday traditions, and to overdue it. It turns out that more is at stake than just a few wasted turkey bits when we throw out uneaten leftovers after the holidays. Continue reading
During ChangeLabs Heather Wooten’s Keynote presentation at the Built Environment and the Outdoors Summit, we were asked to guess what the gold dots on this map represent.
Give up? Continue reading
Business as Usual
At least two-thirds of the U.S. adult population is either overweight or obese and that number is expected to increase to 75% by 2015. Childhood obesity is also widespread, afflicting 17% of U.S. children under the age of 18 (Wang and Beydoun, 2007). While many factors can contribute to the development of obesity, perhaps one of the biggest is diet. With food playing such a large role in the obesity epidemic and its related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, strokes, and certain cancers, should it not follow that our centers of healthcare provide the healthiest food possible for healing? Is it possible that the very institutions trusted with making us healthy might, in fact, be putting us in the hospital?