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Solutions to obesity start at the dinner table
Written by Mark Zea, South Minneapolis resident
Posted  11/3/2010
The recent withdrawal of the diet drug Meridia marks the latest setback in a long and frustrating quest for a pharmaceutical solution to our national obesity epidemic. Despite millions of dollars spent by drug companies, none of the handful of diet drugs on the market is considered very effective.

This is most unfortunate, for obesity has become the number one public health problem for our community and our nation, affecting one-third of our population. It’s a precursor to heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses that account for more than a million premature deaths each year.

Leading causes of obesity are consumption of fat-laden meat and dairy products and inadequate exercise. This is particularly critical during childhood years, when lifestyle habits become lifelong addictions. The failure of the drug industry to come up with a dietary silver bullet places added emphasis on the diet/exercise solution.

The time has come to replace meat and dairy products in our diet with wholesome grains, vegetables, and fruits and to undertake a regular exercise program. Parents should insist that their schools introduce wholesome school lunch choices and should set a good example at their own dinner table.

Mark Zea
South Minneapolis

NorthNews Opinion