I’ll bet if you turn on the TV right now, you can find some “news” station doing a report on how America is becoming more and more obese. You can find some expert somewhere saying we shouldn’t drink soda or allow snack food in schools.
There is an old adage that comes to mind: “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.”
Americans are blessed in many ways. We are among the most innovative people in the world, we are entrepreneurial and we are just downright clever when it comes to inventing things that solve problems. That is what the Lord gaveth.
Of course, the fact that you just turned on the TV to see what was going on is a really big red flag. Through all the marvelous labor-saving devices we have created, the Lord taketh away movement. Ironically, the human body was meant to move.
Throughout American History, we were movers and shakers. Literally. When the Vikings landed in North America, they had to work and left nothing wasted. When an animal was killed for food, it’s skin was used for clothing. They had to run through the woods and hunt for everything they got or run through the fields and pick it off the vines. Of course, before they landed, they had to row their way here from Greenland via Newfoundland. And since the Nordic regions of the world are closer to the Eastern shores of Greenland, they had to hike it over to the Western shores before they could sail to Newfoundland.
When the Pilgrims came over, they were in pretty much the same state. Although we now had fabric, every piece of clothing we wore was hand sewn. No sewing machines yet. And those Pilgrims had to plant and harvest their own crops, in addition to hunting.
Days were tough back then. A typical day started at dawn and ended at sundown. The entire day was spent outside chopping wood, hunting, fishing, plowing, planting, harvesting and building. We moved.
Then we started solving problems. At first, machines required a lot of exercise. The first sewing machines ran on footpower. We could still produce more pieces more quickly, but it was getting easier. Even in the cities, foot travel was the most prevalent.
As we solved more and more problems, we created more and more labor-saving devices and started moving a lot less. There are many problems with moving less.
First, as with any machine, use causes wear and tear. Non-use causes deterioration. Second, we didn’t stop eating when we stopped exercising.
By turning on the TV or sitting in front of your computer screen, you can read about the benefits or evils of genetically modified and/or processed foods. Yet, those, too, solved a problem. We have been feeding a good portion of the world with our food-related technology for decades.
That doesn’t necessarily mean we need to polish off an entire bag of chips while watching the Sunday game.
Don’t blame the proliferation of readily available processed food for America’s growing weight problem. I blame poor choices. Instead, the next time you turn the TV on to learn about obesity, you should think twice about raking the leaves mowing the lawn.