I have been surprised by the prevalence of obesity in Saipan. Few adults appear to have a BMI less than 35 and children as young as two years old are hampered by an abundance of extra flesh.
I think the root of the epidemic revolves around a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet. The other day, I approached the reception at the hospital and asked for directions to the human resource office. The receptionist said, “Go out the parking lot, drive down the road and the building is on the right.”
I then asked, “Is it far?”
He replied, “Yeah, I would recommend that you drive….because it’s not too close.”
We got in the car, pulled out of the parking spot and, as I looked over my shoulder, I immediately identified our destination. The door to the HR office was less than 200 feet away. It took longer to drive and park than it would have taken to saunter over.
After visiting the office, we went on a drive around the south side of the island. We saw many beautiful beaches, but it seemed each pretty scene was separated by a McDonalds, KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut or local fast food place.
If someone wanted to make a lasting change here, they could get people outside moving their bodies and encourage a more healthy diet.