America’s giant problem

By on November 12, 2008

While technology advances more every year, people are constantly searching for new techniques to stay in shape. Good nutrition and weight control is hard to maintain in general, but it can be even more difficult for college students.

“Apply skill power, not just will power,” Dr. David Katz, a nutrition and weight control expert, said.

Katz gave a lecture on Nov. 5 at Quinnipiac about nutrition, weight control, and diseases that can arise entitled “For Whom the Dinner Bell Tolls.A Guide to Healthy Living.”

Katz started his presentation by discussing obesity and its enormous growth in numbers over our country.

“Obesity is the gravest problem we face,” he said.

He displayed a map of the world in 1995 with a color code to represent areas where obesity was a problem. In 1995, there was very little color on the map. As he progressed from year to year, the colors began to increase. By the year 2008, the map was covered with colored areas. Today, there are “more overfed than hungry human beings on the planet,” Katz said.

After showing facts of the problems we are facing today, he went on to talk about all the severe issues that are arising from obesity and lack of proper nutrition. Over the years, diabetes, heart disease and cancer have shockingly increased due to poor nutrition.

“Diabetes has had a 90 percent increase in the U.S. in the last year or two alone,” Katz said.

He fears that with the poor economy, people can be eating themselves to death. Even though fast food is a quick, cheap option, preparing homemade organic meals are much healthier.

In the final section of his presentation, Katz talked about what we can do to change and live healthier. He made a point to inform the audience to recognize that it’s not entirely our fault for the health issues we face. There are some genetic factors that play a role as well as society and the economy.

“Since World War I, the plate size has increased 40 percent,” Katz said.
Over time it is becoming increasingly hard to control the amount of food being consumed.
“There are 3,900 calories produced in the U.S. each day for every man, woman and child,” Katz said.

The best advice he said he could give in the quest for nutrition and healthy living was: “Eat less, eat better food, and do more!” He explained how incorporating these changes can greatly improve one’s health and increase the chance of a longer life. It is important that one takes the time to make themselves healthier, and that takes time and patience. People need to make “one well informed food choice at a time,” Katz said. He went on to say that if we take these healthy steps, by the year 2035 we could have an “80 percent reduction in heart disease, a 90 percent reduction in diabetes, and 60 percent reduction in cancer.”

Along with his presentation, he gave everyone some helpful sites and programs he is involved in that help promote good nutrition and healthy living. “ABC for Fitness” is one program where he tries to integrate physical activity into the school day for younger children. It has proven to be beneficial for good health among younger children and has improved their ability to learn.

Another program he introduced was NuVal; A Nutritional Scoring System. Katz helped create this program to make it easy and beneficial for everyone to achieve good nutrition and healthy living. It helps you make smarter decisions. Anyone can sign up and be part of the NuVal program at


About Lyndsey Wilson