By Tara Lane, Staff Writer
When filmmaker Martin Spurlock released “Super Size Me” in 2004, he made a big impact on the food industry. While everyone knew fast food wasn’t the healthiest option, few realized just what it was doing to their bodies. Ever since then, there has been a noticeable shift in health and fitness activity across the United States. As we enter a new year, millions of people around the country will resolve to lose weight and get healthy. Though this happens every year, getting and staying healthy seems to have become increasingly more important over the past few years. As more and more reports and studies are released chronicling the effects of being overweight and unhealthy, individuals are responding and making a difference for themselves – with a lot of help along the way.
Wii Fit – Five years ago, who would have thought that a gaming system could do so much for fitness? Combined with its unique balance board, the Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus systems are revolutionizing the way people work out. Better yet, it makes working out fun. The Wii Fit program tracks user’s progress, showing how they’ve improved and other areas they should work on. Nintendo has brought the gym into the living room, providing a product that really works, and is accessible to everyone.
Going Local – Forget vegetarian and vegan – the newest trend in health is going local. Also known as the “localvore” movement, people following this trend strive to only eat foods produced in their local areas. The movement has many positive effects – money stays in the local economy, and the foods they eat aren’t processed – encouraging a much healthier diet. To help localvores in the New York City area, authors Jared Koch and Alex Van Buren wrote the restaurant guide Clean Plates NYC. The book offers reviews of New York’s 75 best restaurants, including details such as where the food is grown and produced.
- Wii Fit has sold more than 22 million copies worldwide, making it the number two console game of all time.
- So called “Twinkie Taxes” have been put in place at seven to 10 percent of U.S. corporate cafeterias, adding extra taxes on junk food and other foods deemed unhealthy for workers.
- Increased desire to eat locally has also increased the number of community farmers markets around the United States.
- The global sustainability packaging market is estimated to double to $170 billion by 2014
The passage of the health care reform bill has brought health and wellness issues to the forefront, as we contemplate where we stand in our own personal health and fitness goals. With dozens of tools at our disposal, there is no excuse to not get healthy. Being in good health can actually decrease health care costs and future health problems down the road. Many health insurance providers offer incentives for members who join gyms or see a nutritionist – because they’re a more affordable investment in the end.
Economists predicted an economic slowdown in 2009 due to the retirement of the baby boomer generation. While this generation has put a number of things into perspective – the economy and social, just to name a few – they’ve also made the health movement front-and-center. New technologies help us predict future health problems, so we can see what effects past actions can have on the body. As a result, we’re prompted to change our actions now in order to prevent similar occurrences.
- Gym memberships will be required for many insurance plans
- Supermarkets consisting of only local foods will pop up, taking the farmers market to a new level
- The average life expectancy in the United States increases from 78 to 73, then jump to 83, due to positive health and eating habits of younger generation.
Who’s On Trend
- Nintendo Wii
- Clean Plates
Image by Alex Bramwell from Stock.Xchng