WASHINGTON DC, APRIL 1--
Alarmed by a growing obesity rate across the country over the last decade, the United States Government has instituted sweeping changes in its system of measurements and weights.
The most significant change involves increasing the value of the pound. One current pound will be valued as 1.1 pounds under the new system. What does this mean? Fewer pounds per person. For example, a person who previously weighed 167 pounds would now weigh just 152 pounds.
"We think these changes will help the country solve its obesity problem," said April Wahn, Community Director of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). "When eating right and exercising don’t work, these new standards can help people reach a healthier weight. It’s not the only answer, but it’s a start."
To underscore this point, Wahn estimates that this change alone would bring the number of overweight Americans down dramatically, from 63% to 49%.
To help people adjust, the US Office of Weights and Standards will make available scale calibration kits that can be used to bring any scale in line with the new standards. You can call 1-800-000-0401 to receive your free kit.
Consumer groups are responding to this change with enthusiasm. One local news editorial claimed, "It’s about time the government stepped in and did something about the country’s weight problem. It needs to be fixed – and quick." 10,000 scale calibration kits have already been distributed. But the biggest challenges in retail packaging, fishing regulations, and newborn weighing still remain.
"This isn’t going to be something we can incorporate overnight," continued Wahn. "It could take years and millions and millions of dollars. But in the face of unhealthy weight levels, we’re running out of options."
Wahn refused to comment on the growing opinion that numbers on the scale are becoming increasingly unimportant in the creation of a healthy lifestyle.
In related news, Happy April Fool's Day!
-- By Mike Kramer, SparkPeople Contributor