Lifestyle Changes: Running Against a Societal Headwind

Black African American businessman meditating on desk
Why is it so hard to begin and maintain healthy dietary changes?

Basically it is because our environment is set up for us to fail…miserably….and most of us unfortunately do fail, becoming overweight or obese and too often dying prematurely from preventable disease!

Here are a few examples of the environment to which I refer:

Sample weekday:

  • Drop the kids off at school and have a doughnut at PTA meeting
  • Boss orders pizza lunch for all
  • Ingest buffalo wings, nachos and beer / margarita with friends after work (happy hour!)
  • See multiple fast food joints while driving to and from work, and everywhere else! While true, many now offer salads, these places also know that fat, salt, and sugar sells to a food addicted population, so trust me, they always prepare (and sell) more burgers and fries than salads!

Sample weekend:

  • Hot dogs and burgers at family picnic
  • Fried chicken with mac n’ cheese after Sunday church service

These are scenarios that we face on a regular basis.  Not participating in such caloric extravagances would make us seem antisocial. Yet, we know that such foods contribute to rapid weight gain, chronic disease and early death.

Fortunately, there is now a movement taking hold where more and more people are feeling empowered to just say “no” to such foods… like refusing a cigarette.  Afterall, the health consequences are similar to smoking:  suffering and premature death.  Join our Heal2BFree community and get the information and support you need for healthier living by signing up for our newsletter, listening to “Funerals and Fried Chicken” on BlogTalkRadio, and following me on Facebook and twitter.

By Dr. Ed James, BDO Healthy Lifestyle Expert

Dr. Ed James draws inspiration from his personal experiences with healthy lifestyle changes, having overcome prediabetes and obesity several years ago. In 2011, he founded Heal2BFree to focus on helping individuals and organizations to develop and implement action plans that help close the health disparities gap between blacks and whites.

Dr. James has given many presentations, including the 2011 National Medical Association Colloquium and regularly contributes preventive health-related articles to some of the nation’s top health publications. He is also the primary author and co-editor of Getting into Medical School – A Planning Guide for Minority Students.

He received his BS in Biology from Bucknell University and earned his MD and MBA from the University of Pennsylvania as a participant in the Penn Med Scholars combined degree program.

For more healthy lifestyle tips and news, visit Dr. Ed at Heal 2B Free. To visit Dr. Ed’s blog on BDO, click here.