'Seeing' the Impacts of a Healthy Lifestyle: Body Worlds Vital
Unhealthy lifestyles are difficult to talk about. We ask ourselves, “How do we speak to our children, our parents or our friends about obesity, smoking and other detrimental lifestyle habits?”
Thirty-four percent of adults and seventeen percent of children and adolescents in the United States of America are obese. These are the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One out of ever three adults in our country is heading towards, if they are not already there, a life of higher medical costs, shorter lifespan and ultimately, influencing the next generation to live by their example. According to the CDC, the leading cause of preventable mor¬bidity and mortality in the United States is cigarette smoking.
Change begins with ‘seeing’ the affects of an unhealthy lifestyle on the human body. The best place to view the human body, inside and out is to visit the traveling exhibit, Body Worlds Vital.
The San Jose Tech Museum offers a limited engagement of the exhibit, which shows the human body in good health, distress and disease.
It is a profound insight into the human anatomy and how our lifestyles, for better or worse, impact our bodies. Adults and children from a broad spectrum of ages and ethnicities meandered through the exhibit displays that used authentic human bodies in motion.
Comparisons of an obese body to a person of a healthier weight, smoker’s lungs and entire bodies compared to healthy non-smokers, heavy drinkers to moderate drinkers, regular exercise versus sedentary and on and on. I sat there and listened as children asked question after question of their parent or guardian.
There was no ‘shock value’ to the exhibit, no scare tactic. There was an honesty and elegance to the displays that were respectful and enriching.
Body Worlds Vital may not be for everyone. It is confronting to all of humanity because it is unbiased in showing the cause and effect of our lifestyle choices, choices that we freely make every day.
The hope of a healthier American society was fostered in the interactions between everyone at the exhibit, young children and senior citizens. It was beautiful to see the potential of the human body and the strength and power that is inherent in its form when taken care of.
Body Worlds Vital started a dialogue among those viewing the exhibit about obesity and other unhealthy lifestyle issues that often remain taboo in our society.