Hmm. Could it be that some people simply consider the gains from heavy eating and non-active leisure time worth the costs? Could it be that some people actually prefer their current situation, all things considered? Surely that’s at least a possibility. But the usual suspects immediately assume false consciousness. The rest of the article positively oozes paternalism:
“I wonder if Americans walk around and see other people who are overweight and not physically active and that’s becoming an accepted norm,” [Bill Howland, director of research at IHRSA] says. “That’s alarming if that is in fact happening.”If people just didn’t understand the health consequences of their choices, that would be cause for some concern – and possibly a justification for providing people with better information. But the figures here, on the contrary, indicate that people understand the situation. As Howland’s last statement implies, he is not content with making sure people have the approved beliefs – they must also display the approved behavior. The health-gestapo just can’t stand the notion that some people willingly accept health risks in return for other compensating gains.
Still, Americans do know exercise is good for them, results indicated. Eighty-seven percent of those polled said they believe exercise plays a major role in health.
“There’s a big disconnect,” says Howland.
“We’ve got to get the behavior to match the beliefs,” he says.
Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit fitness group in San Diego, says getting Americans moving is clearly easier said than done.
“We’re just passively sitting back and letting this inactive lifestyle become the accepted way,” he says.