By: Bob Caputo
Few things are more clear, yet more difficult to achieve, than making the transition to a healthy lifestyle. We know, on the one hand, what to do – including what foods to eat, what types of meals to avoid and what portions to consume – while we nonetheless succumb to various temptations and perpetuate a series of bad habits.
This issue is of grave importance because, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults are obese. Complications of this condition include early onset of heart disease, increased risk of stroke and development of Type 2 Diabetes. Translation: We are in the midst of a medical crisis as severe as it is substantial, in lives and money, across a broad spectrum of society. We can ill afford to ignore this problem, or minimize the implications of related surgeries, prescription drug costs and lost hours of productivity concerning this phenomenon.
The issue, therefore, is not whether we should do something; rather the question is, What is the best method to capture people’s attention, and provide practical advice and visual examples about this matter?
In this regard, social media is an excellent means of accomplishing that goal. Indeed, I can offer personal testimony to that fact because, in my role as head of Bob Caputo Living Well, I feature several videos about cooking, working out and leading a healthy lifestyle, in addition to the blog posts I author, and the links I share on Facebook and Twitter.
By making this material interactive and even fun, by encouraging feedback from viewers and readers, and by leveraging the influence of social media in general, I believe I can make a positive difference involving – I know we can make a change for the better concerning – fighting the national epidemic of obesity.
That effort starts with having, and confining to produce, the right content. Put another way, if you want to win hearts and minds – if you want to establish an audience, and build an online identity for yourself – then you need to master the tools of social media. For each platform has its own nuances and style, its own network of users and commenters.
But this dialogue cannot begin, or rather, it cannot sustain itself without a steady stream of content. Hence my emphasis on the items mentioned above: The videos, the blog posts, the photographs and news stories – the full portfolio of coverage responsible for what I do.
We have a duty to confront this issue – to defuse this health crisis – through a combination of persistence and creativity. We can fulfill the former by never abandoning this cause; just as we can honor the latter by always adding to the dynamic exchange of ideas, by contributing to the virtual give-and-take among people across the country and around the world.
Let the dialogue begin.
Let it flourish in communities large and small.
Let it succeed, period.
Bob Caputo is the founder of Bob Caputo Living Well, a destination for people with an interest in health, wellness, nutrition, exercise and more