He is a brown-skinned visitor from Indonesia. He has a slight build, one you would expect from an Asian. Adi came to America to attend MIT; he has a knack for programming. Adi told Linda, his new friend from Boston, that he has never seen anything like it. “In my country, wealthy people are fat and poor people are skinny.”
Adi observed rich and very thin urbanites spending an enormous amount of time driving to their personal trainers and paying for bottled water when water runs freely from every tap. And he couldn’t understand how the poorest citizens are so overweight.
Starvation was eliminated in the U.S. in the sixties, with a green revolution that provided enough food for our population with plenty to spare. Yet in the 50+ years of abundance, obesity, diabetes and hypertension became the new problem.
Adi’s friend Linda has her own opinion on “why the disconnect?” It only took her one word to explain: Pop. She blames soda pop with its empty calories taking the place of life-giving water.
Sure, that’s part of it; along with a host of other valid reasons for unhealthy eating habits. But the wonder is; Adi was able to immediately recognize a problem that many of us, simply glaze over.
What can we do to help another help themselves when it comes to diet and healthy habits? With a long list of causes to support, it’s not likely that over-nutrition will get much attention. It’s another problem we’ll “tsk, tsk” about. We’ll feel a twinge of guilt and forget about it until the next time we’re mildly disgusted by a grossly overweight homeless woman shaking an empty Starbucks cup at us, asking for spare change.
Cut yourself some slack. Every problem is not yours to solve. But it’s not yours to walk away from either. Keep the problem of healthy choices on your prayer list. God hears our petitions and is working with victims to break free from their self-destructive cycle. With prayer, you can take it all on.
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