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Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's A Waistline, Not A Waste Land

If you have been listening to the radio this week, or maybe you caught this tidbit elsewhere, you heard the news that clothing manufacturers are conspiring to make you think you are smaller than you are.  I was aware that women's clothing had actually gone up in size from the days of my youth, but I had no idea of the true extent of the deception. 

In case you missed the news, men's jean sizes actually measure much differently than the size stated on the label.  The difference varies from brand to brand.  For example, Old Navy men's size 36 jeans measured a whopping 41.5 in the waist.  I don't care what kind of math you do, 36 does not equal 41.5.  The manufacturers do this as a marketing ploy so you will buy their brand.  Who wouldn't like to feel they can wear size 36 rather than 41?  However, this deception is dangerous to your health.  We are already good at fooling ourselves into perceiving things differently than they are.  We don't need clothing companies helping us believe we are smaller than we are, thus ignoring a health problem.  And a large waist is a health problem waiting to happen, not just a cosmetic issue.

A waist measurement larger than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men is an indicator of metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that also includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar.  Metabolic syndrome leads to increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and other unsavory diseases.  According to the American Heart Association, 47 MILLION Americans are affected by metabolic syndrome. 

Let's get real people.  The Michelin tire man and the Pillsbury Dough boy are not the new age sex symbols.  Let's not blame doctors when they can't fix our health problems we caused.  Let's try something different for a change - take charge of your own health.  Most of risk factors for metabolic syndrome can be reversed by eating healthy foods in reasonable proportions and exercising, plus giving up cigarettes.  If you think you are worth it, do something.  Just don't buy the size 36 jeans. 

I'd like to announce a new feature on the blog.  I've started a recipe index so you can find a recipe without hunting for it.  Try something new this weekend.  And start exercising now.    

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