Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Good Enough for Government Work?

Ever hear the phrase that something is “good enough for government work”?  Sure, we all have.  Some historians believe it started in World War II as a standard implying that something could pass the most rigorous of standards.  However, over the years it has developed into a sarcastic and demeaning statement implying that something is subpar or poorly executed.  It’s funny that this statement has developed along the same miserable path that Americans’ weight has.  Just after World War II, the average American man weighed 166 pounds, while the average American woman weighed 140 pounds.  Fast-forward 50 years and Americans have gained about 25 pounds apiece.  The average American man now weighs 191 pounds, and the average American woman weighs 164 pounds. 

So, are Americans today really good enough for government work?  Turns out, no, they aren’t.  The average 20-year-old American would not be able to enter the military due to the weight requirements.  For a 5’9” 20-year-old male, the maximum weight requirement to enter the army is 184 pounds.  For a 5’4” 20-year-old female, the maximum weight requirement is 137 pounds.  So, most Americans could not serve our country due to lack of exercise and poor nutrition!  Our national security is being threatened by our own obesity…which is 100% preventable. 

Luckily the government has recently begun a new initiative to help all Americans with their nutrition.  In an effort to help those who have been confused by the previous guideline known as the food pyramid, it has been replaced by the Food Plate. The “plate” is the newest way to help America navigate their way to healthier food choices, and it has gained support from moms in high places, like First Lady Michelle Obama. She says the plate takes the caloric calculations out of daily meal planning.  Medical experts & pediatricians also applaud the user-friendly new guideline.  And I applaud it as well.  I have long taught my clients to envision their plate as a peace sign filling the largest portion with fresh produce, one small section with whole grains, and the last small section with protein.  So, it looks like the government is thinking along the same lines!  I would suggest everyone check out the new website – you will find lots of info from the USDA regarding selection tips and messages for consumers.  There are also interactive tools & media directly from the government.  Politics aside, Michelle Obama has been an extremely positive influence on the government’s endorsement of healthy kids and adults! 

I will say that this latest government initiative may be reversing the recent meaning of the popular phrase: however, we all must do our part to make sure we make healthy choices for ourselves.  Even Mrs. Obama’s comment on the new Food Plate is, “It's certainly not going to take the responsibility off of us as parents to make sure that we're making the right choices for our families.  That's still on us.”  And I agree wholeheartedly!  If you need guidance, encouragement, motivation, and/or knowledge to start making the right choices for you and your family, I’m here for you!  I’ll go above and beyond government work to get you feeling and looking great!  Go to to see all the ways I can help you and those you love.  And make sure to sign up for my newsletter.  It’s an awesome way for you to get recipes and meal ideas that will fit into your new “Food Plate”.  And give me a call so I can help you personally! 

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