Overeaters, take heed to your health

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 23, 2004

By Harold Keller-Get High on Life

Tuesday, while in the New Orleans area, I had about an hour to spare between appointments. I noticed a pancake house that I knew had real good pancakes, so I decided to stop, not only to use up some time, but to eat an order of pecan pancakes.

When the waitress arrived with my pancakes, I was shocked at the amount of food I had. The pancakes were stacked about three inches high! At first, I was embarrassed for people to see how much food I had on my plate. The embarrassment didn’t last long as I looked around and noticed that the majority of the other customers (most of whom were overweight) were too busy stuffing their mouths. I could only eat about one-third of what I was served and then felt guilty for wasting the rest of the food when so many people go to bed hungry.

Recently, I’ve noticed on television and in newspapers that the topic is often the epidemic of obesity. Studies have shown that overweight children have a low self-image and don’t do well in school, but more alarming is that their life expectancy is less than people of normal weight. The reason is that overweight children grow up into obese adults who are more likely to develop diabetes, high blood pressure, heart trouble and cancer.

The bottom line is that obese children and adults have settled for a lower quality of life because of their eating disorders.

It grieves my heart to see overweight teen-agers struggle with their self-image and being continually ridiculed by their peers.

The addiction to food is not easy to overcome, but it can be done. The first step is to make a decision to change your eating habits. Take plenty of physical exercise, limit fast foods, eliminate soft drinks and cut down on your television time.

One of the most important meals is breakfast. Eat a healthy breakfast and when you must snack, eat a lot of fruit.

For those who need added support, there is a 12-step program called Overeaters Anonymous to help with your addiction.

After writing this article, I think I’ve talked myself into taking better care of myself.

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational organization. Call 652-8477 or write to P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084.