Excerpt from chapter 1
Obesity. Not a day goes by when we are not confronted with this condition. Over 60% of our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and children are moderately to severely overweight.
The media bombards us with a barrage of doomsday reports on the obesity epidemic in America; broadcasting warnings of the fallout from diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and rising health care costs associated with being overweight. We are constantly reminded to always to eat right and exercise.
With obesity being so rampant in our country, we often forget that it is generally a Western condition.
This never became more evident to me than on a recent trip to visit my friend Alla in the Eastern European country of Latvia.
Latvia is the ex-Soviet republic now part of the European Union, and its capital, Riga, has a population of roughly 800,000. When I landed, the first thing that struck me was how gorgeous these people were. Upon closer inspection I realized that almost everyone was also in great physical condition. An entire population of, what seemed to be, a thin and physically fit people.
This above average fitness level seemed to show no age or social prejudice. Cab drivers, office workers, store clerks, bank tellers, street vendors, students, bar tenders, and so on were all in great physical condition. In a large population, busy about their day, I did not see one obese person. There was a certain Twilight Zone-ish quality about it.
As a health and fitness writer and certified personal trainer, this is not something I could simply ignore. Why did these people look this way? Genetically they are no different from Americans––but, look at them. The first place to start was with my friend Alla.
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