Article in Outside Magazine: US spends most on fitness but still ranks lowest

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
The United States leads the world in spending for health and fitness but still ranks lowest in measurements of actual health.
More Money and Less Motivation

Americans spend more on fitness because we have more money.

A good piece of fitness equipment cost money. People purchase the equipment with good intentions but lack the motivation to stick with an exercise plan or a diet.

The fitness equipment becomes an expensive clothes rack.

One PBS program stated that American are too lazy to walk from one side of the mall to the other; they drive.

New Years Resolutions fall by the way around January 12th.

Around 20% of the population maintains some type of exercise program.

95% of people who go on a diet fail.

1 in 3 Americans Will Have Diabetes by 2050, CDC Says

Ironically, medical companies that focus on medication and devices for diabetics are a great place to invest.

That due to the fact that there is basically a guaranteed growth in the number of diabetics for decades to come.

Many of these individual, like my sister, could avoid diabetes by improving diet and exercising.

However, as she told me, it just easier to pop some pills. She been following that plan for over 10 years and getting worse.

How do we break the cycle?
The Cycle Isn't Going To Be Broken

It only going to increase.

The bottom line is until someone is motivated to make a change, there is nothing anyone can do about it.

The Take Home Message

You can't help anyone who doesn't want to be helped. Trying to do that is a waste of time and eventually burns you out.

You can only save the ones who want to be helped; better, more rewarding. Focus on them.
 
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Oscar

> 1k Posts
Interesting thread @Steve Freides.

Something I have noted when travelling in the US, compared to Europe and South America, is that life is designed to use a car. Things are very far away, there is lots of space everywhere, lack of public transportation, etc. Something that even comes up in the movies is that when children turn 18 they get an old car as a present.

In South America and Europe, many cities are designed to work without cars. Here in Buenos Aires, for instance, many people dont even know how to drive. When walking and using public transportation, you are forced to stay a lot more active.
 

Timmer C

Triple-Digit Post Count
People like to think that spending money on things such as fitness shows they are investing their money in a virtuous lifestyle. The irony is that many of the ways to spend money on fitness related products and services are a poor use of money. And some of the best things that one can do for fitness are free — but people don’t want to do them. As one example, overpriced over processed over artificial “diet” foods can separate one from a lot of their cash without proving real benefit, while intermittent fasting is free but can provide a lot of people with a lot of real benefit. And many overpriced exercise gadgets can’t beat the benefits of freebies like push ups and deep squats.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Oscar, I drive regularly only twice a week. Unfortunately, I am the exception here in the US. Once to see a couple who are both my piano students - our lessons are in their home in deference to their age. They are both 87. The other time is to and from my church job on Sundays. If I am taking music lessons, usually I have to drive to that once every week or two. I am proud that I walk everywhere, although I am lucky, and thank my wife, that we choose to buy a house two blocks from the edge of the downtown area of our town, so I have multiple grocery store, dry cleaners, coffee shops, restaurants - every thing I need on a regular basis is within walking distance.

A few thoughts on the article:
  • It recommends a past article about a minimalist strength program, but our minimalist programs at StrongFirst are much simpler and they're more effective.

  • It recommends fast-paced walking - my own personal preference is for relaxed walking because it's both exercise and restorative, which pushing the pace when walking is not.

  • It says the best fitness tracker is a partner or community - we have the community right here.
-S-
 

william bad butt

More than 500 posts
I do not live within walking distance of my town. I must drive to get anywhere. But I am fortunate to be a dog owner. 3 large black labrador mixes. At a minimum, they force me to walk them 1 mile each day. At a maximum, sometimes we have 60-90 minute walks once or twice a week. Sometimes I wear a weight vest to make things interesting.

I also have a desk job. I try to take multiple breaks throughout the day and go for mini 10 minute walks. This is important because no matter how strong I am or how "fit" and disciplined I become, working out in the evenings via powerlifting or A&A or kettlebells or whatever, my workouts cannot compensate for living a sedentary life. I also recently acquired a telescopic standing desk in the office, so I can spend more time on my feet.
 

the hansenator

More than 500 posts
Interesting thread @Steve Freides.

Something I have noted when travelling in the US, compared to Europe and South America, is that life is designed to use a car.
That's been my experience. Sometimes, while trying to walk to certain places, I find myself climbing over snow banks or cutting across lawns or walking across large parking lots because those places weren't designed with pedestrians in mind.
 

ShawnM

> 2k Posts
Lots of really great points made by all. As several have pointed out it’s as easy as just getting up and walking, eat real food and IF would work wonders.

Here in the states, we, as a now over emotional, hand held society, have fallen back on being told what to do and convinced that all we need is a magic solution in pills or food. That’s why we’re fat as heck! The thought of people doing something for themselves is lost on most, with the exception of those of us here.

Before I retired from the Navy last year I could honestly say I was in better shape than 70-80% of those I was stationed with. Body fat levels were raised to keep people in the Navy back in 2015 with lesser numbers need for passing.

The US is a nation of fatty’s because it’s not just allowed with the elimination of physical requirements in state school systems, but promoted!
 

Antti

> 4k Posts
I would say that this isn't a problem in the US alone but the whole western world.

I think a we need a paradigm shift in physical education. We need to teach kids to enjoy moving from as young an age as possible, and to do it a lot. Add some stress/life management skills.
 

Kettlebelephant

> 1k Posts
The US is a nation of fatty’s
To be fair, all of the developed countries are getting fatter and fatter, but yes the US is still on top of that sad list...
Other countries try to do something against it though. The UK for example put in place a law that raises taxes on sugary sodas. The right thing to do? Debatable, but still a step in the right direction.

Americans spent $264.6 billion dollars on physical activity in 2018
apparel and footwear ($117 billion)
Quotes from the article.
So almost half of the spendings are for apparel and footwear. All of those sneakers, Under Armour and lululemon gear people buy that aren't used for fitness, but for fashion go into that number and artificially inflate it to a high degree.

IMO (in this case) the problem is not the spending on fitness, but the spending on health care per person which are highlighted in @offwidth's post and nothing more than just mentioned in the article.
The problem is a system in which health care has become a major business model. Instead of telling people to get outside and eat some veggies they get told to take pills, because a person who isn't in need to go to the doctor or the pharmacy doesn't generate profit.
For everyone outside it's somewhere between weird and disturbing to see how much advertisement for meds and pills you got over there in the US...
For example here in Germany you are legally prohibited from advertising prescription meds. In the US on the other hand there are all of those "You got X? Y can help you with that! Go ask your doctor about Y!"-advertisements for prescription meds. You are actually encouraged to approach your physician for pills...that is insane.
 
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offwidth

> 7k Posts
In the US on the other hand there are all of those "You got X? Y can help you with that! Go ask your doctor about Y!"-advertisements for prescription meds. You are actually encouraged to approach your physician for pills...that is insane.
Beyond that... we even have advertisements for medications to take if you are suffering the side effects of other medications...
 

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
...being told what to do and convinced that all we need is a magic solution in pills or food. That’s why we’re fat as heck!
Obesity: A Choice For Many

One of the primary reasons for obesity goes back to people not being motivated to do something. Essentially, it a choice.

With that said, some individual are genetically predisposed to being over weight. While those individual can improve their situation, they will always be over weight to some degree, no matter what they do.

The Magic Solution

Many of the less motivated would rather find a quick, easy solution to their issues than do something that takes effort, like my sister.

That makes these individual prime targets for companies selling weight loss products.

The problem is a system in which health care has become a major business model. Instead of telling people to get outside and eat some veggies they get told to take pills, because a person who isn't in need to go to the doctor or the pharmacy doesn't generate profit.
Health Care A Major Business

There is definitely money to be made off sick people.

As I noted above on diabetes, this market ensures guaranteed, constant growth for the next 30 years. Data shows that wisely investing in this market can provide a good return on your investment. Sad but true.

Physicians

Overall, I have a low opinion of he majority of physicians for a variety of reason.

One of the few future physicians that I believe and trust is one of our posters, Snowman.

With that in mind, I believe the majority of physicians recommend eating less, eating less junk foods and moving more.

However, as statistic show, the majority of individual are not going to do that.

To offset a patient doing nothing, a physician then may prescribe something. My sister is a testimonial to that.

In cases like this, the majority of the time it's the patient that is the issue, not the physician.

For everyone outside it's somewhere between weird and disturbing to see how much advertisement for meds and pills you got over there in the US...
Advertising and Propaganda

Great point.

I worked in advertising for 15 years. As I would tell clients, the difference between Advertising and Propaganda is that it's Advertising in American and Propaganda in Russian.

The same principle applies to both, "If you scream something loud enough and long enough, people believe it."

In the US on the other hand there are all of those "You got X? Y can help you with that! Go ask your doctor about Y!"-advertisements for prescription meds. You are actually encouraged to approach your physician for pills...that is insane.
Med Education

Initially, advertising medications was looked at as a way for educating the public.

As you noted, it jumped the tracks and the pharmaceutical companies are now legalized "Drug Pushers".

As you basically stated, the medical companies advertise to go see your local dealer and get your fix; without getting busted and having your insurance cover all or most of it.

That is definitely insane.

...we even have advertisements for medications to take if you are suffering the side effects of other medications...
Side Effects

That is another part of the insanity. There are side effects to most medications.

You end up solving one problem, only to create another.
 
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kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
I would say that this isn't a problem in the US alone but the whole western world.
The Chinese

It extends beyond the western world to places like China.

Generally speaking, as a nation becomes wealthy, they become fat.

They have access to a lot more junk food and now have more cars.

They are becoming "Americanized"; eating more and moving less.


Swelling waistlines are the most visible symptom. Even the state-run media outlet Global Times found that China now has the largest overweight population in the world10.8% of men and 14.9% of women in a nation of 1.4 billion people bumping the United States to second place, according to a study published in the Lancet Medical Journal.


The number of vehicles registered in China reached an all-time high of 300.3 million.... The US has a population of more than 324 million, according to its Census Bureau.
 
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I would say that this isn't a problem in the US alone but the whole western world.

I think a we need a paradigm shift in physical education. We need to teach kids to enjoy moving from as young an age as possible, and to do it a lot. Add some stress/life management skills.
This ^.
The bigger issues:

-Many foods are nutritionally devoid of value other than calories

-people have lifestyles such that if they don't deliberately include fitness training of some sort they are essentially sedentary 100%

-consumer and social messaging reinforces the validity of poor health as a legitimate "choice", and exercise as something to be humorously avoided

-health care system is all but useless for anything but surgery for trauma or other acute conditions

-health care messaging on the topic is muddled or listed as a "recommendation". People need to be educated that one doesn't exercise to be "better" , homo sapiens exercise to not be ill. We have no protections against a sedentary lifestyle as our evolutionary past all but eliminated a low activity life - we are literally evolved to be dependent on "exercise". The trade off is we can reach extreme outputs of strength and endurance in virtually every environment on the planet except the one we have currently manufactured for ourselves. Its not convenience, its a trap.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
People need to be educated
Education

Education isn't the underlying issue. The majority know exercise promotes health.

The issue comes down the fact that people aren't motivated to make an effort to change.

Here is an example of well educated individuals in the health field that know but don't care...

Physician Obesity: The Tipping Point

According to the 2007 Physicians Health Study, 40% of the 19 000 doctors were overweight and 23% were obese.

CigaretteSmoking among Physicians,Dentists,and Nurses

CPS II data show that 16.7 percent of doctors currently smoke cigarettes, as do 14.1 percent of dentists, and 23.4 percent of nurses.
 
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Kettlebelephant

> 1k Posts
People need to be educated that one doesn't exercise to be "better" , homo sapiens exercise to not be ill. We have no protections against a sedentary lifestyle as our evolutionary past all but eliminated a low activity life - we are literally evolved to be dependent on "exercise". The trade off is we can reach extreme outputs of strength and endurance in virtually every environment on the planet except the one we have currently manufactured for ourselves. Its not convenience, its a trap.
Beautifully said and I will probably quote that in class 👍
 
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