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Davis, California

Friday, July 19, 2024

Column: F is for fat

“A mile a day keeps the doctor away.” That’s an old proverb I just made up.

America is one of the richest countries in the world. It’s one of the fattest countries in the world as well.

Look to the person on your right. Look to the person on your left. One of you three should be obese. According to the Center for Disease Control, 33 percent of Americans are obese.

A map of the United States with obesity statistics from HealthyAmericans.org shows that Colorado has the fewest obese adults (19 percent). Mississippi takes the lead, with 45 percent of the state’s population suffering obesity. California is in the middle at 24 percent.

The state with the least amount of obese people has nearly 20 percent obesity.

I don’t know what it takes to become obese or to have an entire society become obese, but there are ways to avoid gaining weight without starving yourself or over exercising.

Now, I’m no expert, but I think there are some common sense things that are easy enough to incorporate into our lifestyles.

When moving to college, most of us are left to fend for ourselves in terms of food. The easiest thing to do is get in line at In-N-Out and order a delicious animal-style double-double with fresh fries and a chocolate shake.

But there are other equally delicious foods that are not only cheaper, but a lot healthier as well.

Buying groceries can seriously help manage your budget, and there are a lot of easy recipes out there that are also healthy for you. Get a low-budget cookbook. Believe it or not, a lot of meals can be made within 20 or 30 minutes. If you think about it, that’s just as long as you’ll be waiting in line for that double-double.

When you cook for yourself, you can eat exactly what you want without asking anyone for favors.

Along with eating healthy, we should also be exercising. The most motivating thing for me to get up and go to the ARC is the fact that we pay for it with student fees anyway.

If you can’t get to the gym for any reason, there are really easy and simple things that you can do just to get some exercise in. Walk instead of taking the bus or driving. Ride your bike to nowhere in particular. Wrestle your best friend once a week. Even just taking your dog out for a walk might be really rewarding. Try dancing in your underwear until you work up a sweat. Have sex more often. The possibilities are endless.

Between studying, working, being lazy and eating junk food, we can all get a little sluggish. Doing simple things like making pasta at home or riding your bike can really make a difference – both for your health and for your wallet.

It’s a new year. We all make resolutions we hardly keep. The easiest thing to do would be to take baby steps. (Literally!)

SARA KOHGADAI is attempting to live healthier and longer by making small changes in her life. If you have any other ideas, please contact her at sbkohgadai@ucdavis.edu.


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