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Teen Talk: It’s time to trim the fat off fast food in Queens

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Queens is a good borough for working on both. Every neighborhood has its own weight loss centers,...

By Kohar Bayizian

Obesity is a huge problem, but despite the variety of solutions they still center on two issues: eating less and healthier and moving more and more often.

Queens is a good borough for working on both. Every neighborhood has its own weight loss centers, such as Weight Watchers, LA Weight Loss and Jenny Craig, as well as a variety of gyms, including many that are open 24 hours to fit everyone’s schedule.

Queens also is full of great places to run or walk with an extensive array of tracks, parks, fields and lots of wide open green spaces for jogging or social walking.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, obesity among American adults has climbed from 23 percent in the early 1990s to 30 percent today. And two-thirds of Americans are overweight. That means increased risks for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

It’s hard to believe, but one in four Americans visits a fast-food restaurant, like the ones we find on our busy thoroughfares such as Northern Boulevard and Queens Boulevard, everyday. Not surprisingly, Americans spent $110 billion on fast food in 2003 compared to only $3 billion in 1972.

And it seems that we are eating more than ever. Do we really need super size fast food portions? (Although to its credit or maybe more likely public pressure, MacDonald’s is doing away with that.) Restaurant servings are enormous. We drink more soft drinks and fruit juices, which are loaded with sugars.

We eat and drink while in our cars, and more and more edibles are available by drive-through. Everywhere you turn, they’re making it easier to eat and drink while doing other things, e.g. huge cups/popcorn holders in movie seats, which make it even harder for our wider rear ends to fit! And cars made for the American market have cup holders; European and Japanese cars usually do not.

Officials just announced that the government plans to require larger print on nutrition labels — the better to read the same information people have ignored for years.

So let’s not let Queens become part of the “fat” statistics we all read about. Let’s utilize all these great resources to get fit.

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