One of the most loyal readers of the All About Seniors column is Earline Cole, the program director for the “WilElife Bunch”, the seniors group at Bonaire UMC. She often sends me feedback or items of mutual interest regarding seniors.
Last week she sent me this cartoon reminder ⬆️
I don’t know if the publisher can print it in the confines of the column so I’ll describe it just in case. It’s a bloated turkey standing on a scale with the caption: “Don’t’ forget to set your scales back ten pounds this week”! I got a real chuckle out of it and wrote Earline back saying she shouldn’t be surprised if she saw that theme show up in today’s column.
We are so blessed to live in a nation of agricultural surpluses such that we export food to other nations. In fact, the agricultural segment of our economy exported about $130 billon dollars worth of food products to Canada, China, Mexico, The European Union, Japan and Other nations (in that order) in 2015. With that kind of agricultural surplus it’s hard to imagine that many peoples in the world go to bed hungry at night. But that’s a tragic fact. The United Nations World Food Program says “795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth.”
Here in America where we have grocery stores with shelves and aisles filled to overflowing and restaurants galore that want to “Supersize” their servings to us, our biggest problem is obesity. Some research shows that about 30% of Americans are obese while 64% are overweight! It’s a national epidemic that threatens our economy and healthcare system as well as our health.
On the other hand, there are still many seniors among us who don’t’ get enough to eat. In fact, Among all clients served by the charity, Feeding America, 17 percent are seniors age 60 and over and an additional 15 percent are between the ages of 50 and 59 years old.
So what can we do about these disparities around us?
Here are some thoughts on this Monday morning after Thanksgiving which is one of my most favorite holidays, especially as my wife is preparing her savory turkey soup from our leftovers:
• First of all be very thankful if you are one of those seniors whose problem tends more toward obesity then malnutrition. In fact, it’s a wonderful practice to give thanks before (or after as many Jewish folks do) every meal.
• Donate to a food charity such as Feeding America’s Second Harvest and others like Samaritan’s purse that are more internationally focused
• Eat well, but eat less.
• Set a New Year’s goal to get your weight back to where it belongs and keep it there. I need to lose 15 lbs. myself…..maybe that will be a January column
• Despite Earline’s advice, don’t turn back your scales by 10 pounds!
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!
Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or search for us at http://www.facebook.com/VisitingAngelsMacon