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If national really wanted to deal with this issue, they would just eliminate the plus sized uniforms. Imagine the incentive to slim down to wear a complete and correct uniform at a roundtable.


Of course that would eliminate their ability to buy vast amounts of tan materials at bulk rates, hence all our uniform prices would rise.;)

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Sheesh! Hey Knight, why don't you crawl back into the narrow-minded hole that you crawled out of. Ever hear of eugenics?


I suppose you'll want to add another Scout law:


A Scout is genetically perfect.


Clearly you missed the "mentally awake" part.

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One point that has been made in the past is that if BSA was evenhanded about their membership requirements, then perhaps the "physically strong" part would carry as much 'weight' (so-to-speak) as the "morally straight" part. Or is this the case already?


Ahem, that would also mean we need to pay attention to the "mentally awake" part? ;)

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"People continually condemn the overweight and blame them for their condition, despite evidence that obesity owes more to genetics than to will power. "


Don't buy it. It's simple physics. If you eat more than you burn, you'll store the excess as blubber.


I used to weigh 280 lbs. I now weigh 220. How? I changed my eating habits and I exercise three or four days a week. I went from a 52 suit to a 46 and 44 inch pants to 36.


Just starving yourself won't do it. You need to move. Get the heart rate going. Build muscle.


There's a fellow at my gym who went from 350 lbs to 200 lbs by watching what he ate and exercising.


Maybe will power isn't the right term but it takes determination.



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Yeah, I burn the candle at both ends. Through my teens and twenties, I couldn't keep weight on. Eat whatever I wanted and as much as I could, still couldn't gain weight. I'd just burn it off. But late in my thirties, Something changed. I become more sedentary, and I started gaining weight. Not a lot, but my pants wouldn't fit anymore. Then my son became a scout, and dad got off his duff. Started hiking, cycling and backpacking again. Canoe Base. Philmont. Back in the black baby. Got back into those pants. Feel good. Look better.


It's all physics. Burn more than you take in, and you will lose weight.

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I think it's an interesting topic.


Most overweight people are already *very* aware that they are overweight. Certainly they already have a lot of motivation to be thinner. It's not clear that there's too much that the Scout program can do to effectively increase that motivation (although an upcoming trek can certainly be a help).


But I do agree that there are a lot of overweight Scouters in our area. I don't know how it compares to the overall population - there are a lot of overweight people there, too. And perhaps the Scout uniform has something about it that doesn't flatter the overweight.


I do think it's an interesting idea that Scouts would try to focus on the healthy aspects of food, though. I agree that a lot of the time, we focus on eating well, more so than eating healthy.


Would changing the focus help? I don't know. There's a lot of evidence that not much helps. People are getting fatter everywhere, despite a huge range of diet aids and the fact that most people are trying to lose weight. But it does seem like it would be a good symbolic idea to get out the message that we should do what we can to eat healthier.

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I will have to admit I have an ongoing "Battle of the Bulge".

I went to Philmont in 2006...weighed in at 204lbs,5'10". In the fall of 2004 when we got our spot to go I weighed 267lbs and was in poor shape.


I spent 2005 hiking ,biking and eating better and less at night after 8pm. Broke my ankle in april '05 and still trained every week till the snow flew.


Got back to training in spring of '06...had more energy and felt and looked much better. Am I a better person for losing weight? I dont know. I am understanding of those fellow scouters who are ample in build...all have something to bring to the Movement...while I can hike at Philmont, someone else maybe more than capable in an area I am less than competent in...doesnt make anyone better than the other.


Knight, I understand where you are coming from with regard to how the youth members of the Movement see us...but size is not the battle you want to fight among the members of this campfire.


I am at present 215lbs and on-line to trek(again) at Philmont in 2009...I hope to drop to 190 this time.

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Knight --


I don't necessarily disagree that water could replace sodas and that cracker barrels could involve some healthy alternatives. However, I think you are missing the bigger picture. People don't gain most of their weight at roundtables or campouts.


Where do you draw the line? My son's troop held its annual spaghetti dinner Saturday and served Ranch dressing with the salad. They also had a dessert table. Is that OK in your book? Also, I tend to drink a lot of coffee, even though some health professionals claim it's bad for me.


I'm one of the lucky ones. . . My beer gut comes from . . . beer. I'm also a sucker for a bowl of fried okra. Bacon is pretty good too.


Thank goodness the BSA sells official pants in my size.


a(This message has been edited by SR751Fox)

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Look at pictures of Americans over the past 30 years and you can see the general increase in average weight. It has been documented by innumerable studies. Go to your local council and look at pictures of Wood Badge classes over the past three decades. The increase in sizes is right there.


My observation comes from when I go to roundtables or large gatherings of Scout leaders. There, I see lots of very overweight people. I really don't perceive this to be as much of an issue in my individual local units - I perceive there is a wide mix of individual body types there. My perception of overweight body types really comes from when I see many scouters together at once.


Of course there are individual cases and individual physiques - as any reasonable person expects there to be. But as a whole, the population of Scouters and the general US population is overweight. We Scouters are supposed to be leaders. Childhood diabetes and obesity are increasing in frequency. We should be leading and setting good examples. Again, there is no panacea answer. But that does mean we should not make an effort to improve our physical well-being? Does that mean obesity and diabetes should just be accepted as inevitable? I say no. I believe we can be better leaders by, for example, not eating cookies and not drinking sugary beverages. We don't need to have cookies, cakes, chips, sodas and juices at every den, pack or troop meeting. IMHO, I see no reason ever to have them at at leaders meetings.


No, we are not going to solve this problem by being do-gooders - but we can take common sense steps to address the issue straight on. It is right in front of us in the mirror every day.


For those who get upset, I'm sorry to upset you. This is an issue that is facing plenty of people; I'm not addressing any individual person or persons. I'm addressing the Scouter population as a whole.


And Buffalo, my expression is "kicking the wasp's nest." Yes, I did want to kick this wasp's nest. I hope to get Scout leaders thinking about the topic in councils, districts and units everywhere. We have a duty to ourselves and to our children to try to do something.


"God has given you a body - no, He has lent it to you - to make the best use of; not to soak it in drink, not to make it limp and weak with debauchery, but to take care of, to strengthen and build up..." - Robert Baden-Powell

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Yes, I agree that there is a weight problem. Mostly due to overindulgence. Some absolutly cannot be reduced without starvation. [A friend has an abnormallity in their famioy that does not allow a normal weight. They were studied at Bethesda Hosp because of it]

We, as adults need to supply good foods at functions - true. But do not look down your nose at those with excess weight. Many times that can add to the excess eating (eating is emotional). Be kind and helpful (now where have I heard that?) and encourage any small effort one makes.

Being too skinny is not healthy either. That needs to be watched for also.

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Certainly there is a certain amount of reasonable expectation here as far as setting example goes. I know that I fall into the category noted, and am frustrated at times about not seeming to be able to make myself lose. What is more frustrating is that I actually eat less than at one time.


In our council and my district, there are many similar to me. But, the younger scouters appear to be mostly fairly fit and healthy; a few are actually above average runners or athletes of varous sorts.


There are two realities with me. One is genetics; three doctors have point blank told me that my metabolism is such that as I grow older, it will slow down. So, even if I eat less, I also burn fewer calories even with the same levels of activity.


On the other hand, I have had various injuries to muscles, joints, and ligaments starting in my teens. Now, as I have gotten older, it is much more mentally difficult to do some types of activity, due to pain from age related deterioration.


Last year, I finally decided that longer hikes were a thing of the past. Always a plodder who would just keep going, it is now much harder, and mentally, I have trouble walking through it like I once did. Recovery was quick 20 years ago, and I would be day hiking to the nearest ridge or peak; now I just want to sit, observe, and relax. Harder to get up in the mornings too. Still, last summer I did my 23rd official scout camp mile swim, hope to do number 24 this summer. But it takes me over an hour now.


At over 60 though, some elements that drove me before no longer really matter. I do not particularly worry about how I appear to the opposite gender, as she and I are comfortable with each other, and rarely judgemental; this happens often it seems beyond 50. I don't smoke, and never have; I seldom drink, and even in my younger years, rarely drank to excess, and never when I was underage; I take cholesterol meds and manage to keep it around 200 or a bit under most of the time. Still, I could do better. And, if I did, I might again be able to play one on one for more than two minutes.


Ultimately, I must decide for myself. Meanwhile, I still can encourage the scouts to do whatever they can to live up to the physically fit element, reminding them that at their age, I was, but that now I have 50+ years on them.



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Hey guys, I'm sure you're just getting physics mixed up with 'physiology' or something. But if you really do mean 'mass' without regard to anything else, there really is a lot more to it and Gern mentioned one factor, Skeptic also: our metabolism varies both from person to person AND with age for most persons.

There IS a genetic component to metabolism. But while I agree that prejudice is hurtful, I also think the genetic component is unimportant to the question of 'physically strong'.


Case in point:

I'm 6'2" at my 6th decade and I'm just under 200# (34-35" waist). I have always eaten pretty much anything and as much as I want. I know SMs who are the same height, same eating habits approximately, and are twice my weight. Activity isn't the only factor explaining the difference.


I suspect that if we did the study, a lot more of what I take in...how to say it...also comes back out - compared to those other guys. (This isn't necessarily in solid form, but also in water or carbon dioxide) But those other guys who tend to gain, they're more efficient than I am at converting biomass into more of themselves.

Evolutionarily, they'd have the advantage over me if we were all attempting to reproduce while competing for the same limited food sources. However, thanks to technology and fossil energy sources, these limitations have been relaxed and we are free to conspicuously consume and procreate/recreate as much as we decide to. Eeeehaaaa! As a result, we are now confronted with decisions that have only arisen recently in our evolutionary history.


I grant that if you eat less, you'll have less to incorporate into biomass. But the same is true if your body merely 'ignores' part of what you take in or if your body burns it at a greater rate.

Of course, if not burned or incorporated, it will be accounted for in the 'end', heh, heh. When I eat as much as a guy twice my weight, the difference in our weight, however, may be more than the difference in how much we, repectively, 'burn'.:)


But there will always be such differences and none of this addresses the question of 'physically strong'. It merely is a biological restatement of the fact that life is not fair.;)


Edited part: Oops, hit that send button too soon.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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