Integrity Matters
June 9, 2004

Healthy eating habits up to individual

Question: (E-122)

Dear Jim:

Have you seen the movie "Supersize Me?" Don't big food companies have responsibilities not to sell items that are bad for people?


My wife and I recently saw Morgan Spurlock's movie, "Supersize Me." Spurlock, a filmmaker who documents his own mission to eat nothing but McDonald's meals for 30 straight days, is what our society has either accepted or embraced eating habits that all too frequently lead to obesity and illness. Being a guilty party in this race for convenience and speed, "Supersize Me" challenged me to demonstrate greater responsibility in for my own health -- for how I maintain a legitimate partnership with my own physical being. Since I about to turn 59, the message is for me to get serious and take better care of the body that supports me. I need to eat right and exercise intelligently.

You asked about integrity issues. Who is to blame here: Me, the corporation, other customers, television? Let me start where I live, in me. Integrity can be uncomfortable, especially when one knows that he or she needs to make some personal adjustments to fulfill any one (or all) of the Bracher Center's "Eight Attributes" of integrity. After seeing the movie, I was confronted by my own violation of attribute No. 5: partnership. I haven't honored my own obligations to my physical body. I haven't eaten healthy foods nearly often enough. Even though my skeleton, muscles and organs continue to function well, I am not treating my body as a partner. To make matters even worse, if asked about eating an appropriate diet and regularly following an intelligent exercise program, my answer would simply be a resounding "no."

Shame on me.

The time has come for me to face up to a difficult issue: maintaining a more intelligent and healthy diet. After all, why wouldn't a reasonably bright person choose vegetables and salads over pie and ice cream, especially when so much medical information confirms the harm that comes from too much fat in one's diet? For years, those close to me have encouraged me to eat healthier and avoid the foods and liquids that can cause harm to the body. Ten-plus years ago I gave up drinking because my pancreas (and my surgeon) told me in no uncertain terms to cease alcohol consumption. I did what I was told, but kept a special place for desserts and candies, popcorn and couch-potato munchies for relaxing time in front of the television.

Free enterprise allows individuals and businesses to create and market what they want to sell. Burgers are just one more example of freedom of choice. So let's assume some personal responsibility for the choices we make and the choices our children make. As for me, I got the message and intend to be a better partner with myself. How about you?

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