Monday, June 9, 2014

What being a global citizen means

Being a global citizen is something I understand a little bit more after my trip abroad. Before going abroad, I didn't quite understand the importance of global citizenship, and how big of an impact global citizens can have. When I began doing my research for this blog, I simply looked up the definition of "global citizen". What I found was that a global citizen is someone who identifies with being part of an emerging world community and whose actions contribute  to building that community's values and practices. We as humans form communities based on shared identities. These identities come from the needs we have, such as economic, political, religious, and social needs. Modern technology and information made available to us is in large part the reason that global citizenship is so huge today. Increasing strength of technologies are enabling global citizens to connect to the rest of the world more easily. Being a global citizen does not mean that you are abandoning your other identities, such as allegiances to your country, ethnicity, or political beliefs. Being a global citizen gives meaning to our lives, and also adds an additional layer of responsibility. We are all responsible for helping in the building of a sustainable values-based world community. These values may include human rights, environmental protection, religious pluralism, gender equity, sustainable world wide economic growth, poverty alleviation, elimination of war and mass destruction, and more. 

Being a global citizen means you could participate in things such as advocating for policy and programmatic solutions that address global problems, participating in the decision making processes, adopting and promoting changes that help protect the earth's environment, and organizing events to celebrate the world's diversity. After traveling abroad, I now feel more connected to my global identity, and am going to strive to improve the world in any way I can. This could even be possible by improving my own knowledge of other cultures! 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Social Responsibility

What is social responsibility? Well it is defined as an ethical theory that an entity, be it an organization or an individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large.  Social responsibility is a duty everyone has to help maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystems.  As a nation, I think America has a social responsibility to not only focus on our success, but the success of other nations around the world.  It is also the other nation's job to help us become successful and stay that way.  I believe that is one of the reasons that America has gotten involved and helped when other countries have been in need around the globe.  It is our job, and social responsibility, to better other societies around us.  It was our social responsibility as students traveling abroad to act in a way that made not just our town and our college look good, but America as a whole also.  There have been many of my classmates blog about the bad reputations that us as Americans have while traveling abroad, and i believe that the people that got us those reputations failed to do fulfill their social responsibility.  Instead of going into a foreign country and making it better and giving them a better view of America, they gave a bad reputation to American tourists and caused those that come after them problems.  One of the social responsibilities I found people of London to be lacking in was the smoking area. While abroad I really noticed that people smoked everywhere! And this damages their social responsibility in the way that by buying the tobacco products, they are promoting them, and as we know tobacco damages our environment an also the people who use it. 
After returning home, I now understand that we all have a social responsibility while traveling and while at home. Depending on what you're in support of, you can buy products made it other countries or only made in America, smoke tobacco products, or protest against them. Either way, we each have a responsibility to support the economy and ecosystems we are in support of, and by doing so to the best of our abilities, we will create the world we wish to live in. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Day #10- PARIS!

Today was the day we got to take a day trip to Paris. It turned out to be a great day, but I was a bit skeptical in the beginning. To start the day off, we woke up at 3:30 a.m., yes I said a.m., and got in a cab at 4:30 a.m. to catch our train to Paris. When we arrived there, it was raining. We got soaked, I ended up having to stick my feet under a hand dryer at a restaurant we ate lunch at to try and dry my shoes a little. After that tho, it got better.  We ate some amazing crepes at the restaurant I dryed my feet in, and then the sun came out! We got to see The Louvre, which is where art such as the Mona Lisa is held, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, the Pont des Arts, also known as the Lock Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, and we got to walk down the Champs-Élysées! Everything was absolutely beautifulIt! The Eiffel Tower and Lock Bridge were my favorite. It was such a good experience, and I am now able to say I have been to Paris :). 
The HUGE Louvre.
The Lock Bridge!
The lock that Nick and I put on the Lock Bridge :). (Thanks Nobiling for talking us into it!)
Notre Dame
Delicious ham, egg and cheese crepe!
Walking down the Champs-Élysées!
The Arc de Triomphe (minus the construction) 
Eiffel Tower! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day #9- Supreme Court, nap time :)

Today was a pretty calm day, for me anyway.  First thing in the morning we got up and met our guide Maria at the Supreme Court building. We were taken inside and given a tour of the fairly new building. London's Supreme Court is fairly new, being incorporated into the system only in 2009.  Before they brought in a Supreme Court, the higher cases were taken to the House of Lords in the Houses of Parliament. 
After our tour of the Supreme Court, we went to lunch and then there was the legal walk. Because I am not a Criminal Justice major, and I have learned more about the subject in the last two weeks than I ever would have anywhere else, Professor Nobiling gave me an out. Soooo what do I choose to do all by myself with an afternoon in London?! Take a nap...duh! Best 4 hour nap ever, and just in time for Paris the next day. 
The Supreme Court building.
Beautiful carvings on the Supreme Court building, all the buildings here are so pretty!

Day #8- Trooping of the Color

Today we got the special treat of watching the Trooping of the Color practice. For those of you that don't know, Trooping of the Color is an annual event that is done to celebrate the Queen's birthday and has been done every year since the 1700's, but is always held in June (even though the Queen's birthday is not in June). Most people don't get to watch within the area of practice, but Constable Watson was nice enough to get us up close and personal! It was a very cool process, and the soldiers are very impressive in their discipline. One guy fainted due to the heat and excessive amounts of clothing involved in their uniforms, but Constable Watson informed us that it is not uncommon for 3-4 men to faint during the actual event. After the Trooping of the Color we went to the Metropolitan Police museum, it wasn't very big but was very cool! The man giving us information informed us that there used to be around 200 offenses that someone could be hung for in London.  The youngest person to be hung on record was a 10 year old boy, who was hung for stealing a handkerchief. 
One of the bands coming in for practicing the Trooping of the Color.
These soldiers has so much discipline! Very impressive, and there were a ton of them! 
The old uniforms of the Metropolitan Police.

Day #7

Day number seven we took a day trip to Stone Henge and the Roman Baths, they were amazing! Stone Henge is unbelievable, and I still can't quite wrap my head around how they built that so many years ago. Our tour guide, Sarah, told us that it was built around 4-5 thousand years ago. The holes that the stones are sat up in were dug with antler pics and cow shoulder blades! How is that even possible? After Stone Henge we moved onto the Roman Baths, which were also beautiful! The water in the Roman Bath is said to have healing powers and people used to bath in it and also drink it. We actually drank some, and no not the water people bathed in. There is still a hot spring flowing into it, and they had a convenient little water fountain with the spring water available to drink! It was actually really good, and very warm. After the wandering through the Roman Bath museum we were able to look around the town of Bath, but we were tired and took a nap on a little patch of grass in the middle of town instead :).
Stone henge! 
The Roman Bath, no we did not drink the green water.
Nick and I at the Roman Bath!
Drinking the healing water.
Nap in Bath, apparently I look like a pillow or something...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Random Photos of our time in London!

This is the awesome Tower Bridge!  
Nick and I on our way to the Tower of London.
My roommates Mary and Jessica also on the way to the Tower of London.
A cute little flower Nick picked off of some random flower pot for me after I commented on how beautiful they are! 
We found Pepsi for the first time since we have been here!!! It really is the little things in life...

Day #6- House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Tower of London!

Today was another crazy and busy day.  First we went to the Houses of Parliament, which is actually the Westminster Palace but is now known as the House of Parliament because that is where all of the government meetings are held.  The building was another work of art, not quite as magnificant as Windsor Castle, but still beautiful.  Our tour guide explained all of the technical things that happen within the building, but i'm gona be honest, I was super bored.  Parliament just isn't my thing.  But, the next place we went, which was Westminster Abbey, was my absolute favorite place that we have visited so far, and I am so disappointed that we weren't able to take pictures and share them with all of you.  The outside, again like all the others, was stunning.  The inside was even more beautiful though.  I am so disappointed that we were unable to take pictures and share with all of you, because it would have blown you away.  For those that don't know, an abbey is another name for a church, so Westminster Abbey is the royal family's church.  It is a building of great, great significance.  It was built in the 1000s and most of the original architecture is still standing, if you can believe that.   The building that I wrote about previous to this, the House of Parliament, or in this case the Westminster Palace, was built just so King Henry the 3rd could watch Westminster Abbey being built from his tower. he didn't get to see it get finished though because it took around 500 years to build from start to finish.  Westminster Abbey is a gothic themed architecture with tall points at the top of each arch.  The art in this building is unbelievable, and I can't quite wrap my head around how they carved these intricate designs out of wood and stone in that era.  Aside from the beautiful architecture, this building has a much greater meaning to it.  There are some 3,000 people burried beneath and in tombs within the Westminster Abbey, and some of them are amongst the most important in London's history.  The four most important burrials that our guide went over with us was first the tomb of the unknown soldier.  This signifies the men that gave their lives for their country and were never identified during World War One.  On his tomb, it reads that the man that lies there had done good towards god and towards his home, and he holds high honor in Westminster Abbey.  His tomb is surrounded by poppys to symbolize rememberance. This unknown soldier was the last individual burried in Westminster Abbey in the year of 1920.  The other important people burried inside include Issac Newton, who was burried there in 1727, Charles Darwin, and Charles Dickens.  People that come to Westminster Abbey stand on the black slab above Issac Newton's grave to feel his greatness, which I think is very cool.  Many kings and queens are also burried in the building, many of them have had coronation there.  Royal weddings, funerals, and important acts such as those have took place at Westminster Abbey as well.  The building held a lot of history and was a very significant part of this trip.  I feel extrememly privelaged to be able to say that I went inside and learned a little about their history.  I enjoyed it very much! 
After we left Westminster Abbey, Nick, Jessica, Mary and I booked it to the Tower of London to tour that.  It was interesting, but I didn't have nearly as good of time there as I did at Westminster Abbey.  However, we did get to see the Crown Jewels, and they were so pretty!  Unfortunately, again, we couldn't take pictures of that part.  Another cool part of the towers was the torture tower, where we got to see the instruements and tools they actually used to torture people years back!
The front of the House of Parliament
This is the front of the beautiful Westminster Abbey.
Also the front of Westminster Abbey, but zoomed in.  I found this part very cool becasue one of the 3rd statue from the left is of Martin Luther King Jr.! One of our own made it onto this important piece of history.  
This is just one section of the Tower of London, but a very cool looking picture I thought!
This is the perfect picture to portray how we are feeling after our first week of constant going. Any chance we get to sit down we take it!  

Day #5- Natural History Museum and Hyde Park

Due to the activities of the night before (pub crawl) we didn't get up until about 12:30.  I know, I know, we are in London and sleeping in is something we can do when we get back to America, but we really needed the extra sleep and we are so glad we got it!  After we finally got our lazy butts out of bed we decided to go to the Natural History Museum to fulfill the history part of our assignment.  I really enjoyed that museum!  Because it is natural history, it had biology, geography, zoology, dinosaurs, etc. type things inside of it.  The building itself is a piece of art, absolutely beautiful and ginormous also. We only went through the dinosaur, mammal, and aquarium parts of the museum and we were there for about 2 hours.  We plan on going back if we have time because it was so full of good information and interesting artifacts we want to finish the rest of it.  
After we went to the museum, we decided to stop by Hyde Park and look around because touring a park is also a part of our assignment for the trip.  Hyde Park is the biggest and most beautiful park I have ever seen.  It has so many beautiful plants and lovely walk ways.  There are also a ton of really awesome trees, one grows with the limbs down toward the ground instead of toward the sky and forms a very cool little dome underneath!  
After we toured the park we went to eat and went back to the room where we stayed up until 2:00 a.m. talking, like we do every single night.  We are tired, sore, a little hung over, but still having an absolutely amazing time! Pictures of this day will have to be uploaded later.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Day #4- Special Operations, Dojo training, and Pub Crawl!

Day number five was our craziest day by far.  Our day started out at 9:15 when we went to tour the S.O.R (Special Operations Room).  This is basically where all of the big events in London are monitored and controlled from.  We got to meet Sergeant Matt Andrews who explained to us the importance of S.O.R, a little of what they do, what their goals are, and we also got a tour at the end.  The S.O.R is a very important aspect of the police force here in London. When events such as royal birthdays, a big circus, bombings, fires, riots, etc. happen the S.O.R sends officers out to help contain situations and prevent them from going badly or getting worse.  The room that is called the special operations room is basically their command center where they can keep in contact with all of the officers and let them know that someone has their back.  Sergeant Andrews said that their goal was to remain calm, controlled, and professional through any type of situation.  In the S.O.R they can also monitor all of the CCTV cameras around London, and there are over 20,000 of them!  Sergeant Andrews also mentioned how Londoners have gotten used to the idea that they are on camera everywhere they go, and we Americans are still not ok with the idea.  He predicted that within 20 years America will have the CCTV system that London does now.  
After the tour of the S.O.R, we went to do what is called dojo training.  Dojo is the training that London officers have to take two times per year to keep up to date in requirements of the force.  This part of the trip was extremely cool, and fun!  There were two officers that worked with us and showed us how everything works, and they were both very nice and taught us a lot.  We learned the basics of a defensive stance, tactics that would be done in the case of someone trying to attack an officer and how to approach someone when stopping them or questioning them.  We got into groups of two and got to practice using the weapons the officers on the field use, such as CS spray and a baton.  Their CS spray is similar to our pepper spray, but pepper spray is oil based so it sticks on the skin and in the eyes longer where CS spray is crystal based and can be blown off with a light breeze that will deminish the effects after doing the initial stunning of the individual.  
Pretty much directly after the dojo training Nick, Mary, Jessica and I went to the hotel room to get ready for our night out in the Pub Crawl!  The Pub Crawl is basically a night out with a guide that takes a group of people to 5 different clubs in the Soho area of London. When you buy the tickets it includes free admission to all the clubs, a free shot at every club, and discounted drinks at every club.  It was a freaking blast!  We met a ton of awesome people from all over the world.  Places like Brazil, Italy, Australia, Belgium, and even Texas!  After the pub crawl we stayed at the last club for quite a while, and then proceeded to make way back to our hotel.  We ended up getting lost for two hours and making it back at about 4 o'clock the next morning, but it was still so much fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat! 

Day #3- Magistrate Court, National Gallery, and M&M World!!

Since my last post about the Met Police Station and the London Eye we have been very, very busy!  On Wednesday we woke up and went and toured the Magistrate Court and watched some cases.  After that we had the rest of the afternoon to do what we want, so Nick, Jessica, Mary and I all decided we were going to go to the National Gallery museum and M&M world.  The National Gallery was very interesting, it had a TON of beautiful paintings done by famous artists of the past.  A couple of my favorites were first the Washerwomen painting done in 1886 by Paul Signac, I found that one interesting because the artist painted it using the pointillist style of painting, which is basically putting a ton of dots on a piece of paper until you get the picture you want.  The other one that really stood out to me was the Avenue at Chantilly done in 1888 by Paul Cezanne.  This painting was sketched in pencil first, and then the artist put random color patches all over the sketch until it made the look of a lane of beautifully colored trees.  All of the paintings were very impressive and crafted in a unique way.  After the museum we decided to walk around for a while before going to M&M world, and right outside of the hotel were dancers with a stereo trying to make some money and there were tons of people standing around admiring them.  It is amazing to me how different paced London and Nebraska are.  Everyone in London is constantly moving in highspeed, but yet they all still have time to stop and appreciate artists along the way, whereas Nebraska seems to be much more slow paced, and may miss out on a lot of the arts because of the isolation we are used to.  Also, because of the isolation, it seems that we have much less respect for the arts than Londoners do.  
M&M world was after the museum, and it was seriously cool!  There are 4 levels to it, and each level has cute statues of different colored M&Ms posing different ways.  They had everything you could possibly imagine with the M&M logo on it.  Coffee cups, key chains, Christmas orniments, pajamas, and the list goes on and on.  The best part about the whole thing, though, was the fact that when you walked in it smelled like you stepped into a giant M&M.  It smelt SO GOOD! We all 4 got onto a machine that gave us our M&M color, I was purple, Jessica was orange, Mary was red, and Nick was black (werid I know).  Another post will be done soon about days 4, 5, and 6!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Day #2- Metropolitan Police Station and the London Eye

On day number two we went to the Metropolitan Police Station in Central London and talked with Constable Watson.  He gave us a short tour of the holding facility within the station and talked to us about the crime in London, weapons and method of the police here, and the goal of the force.  It was all very interesting, especially the weapons!  The police here do not carry guns, unless they are part of a specific force within the city that is trained in gun handling and use.  I found that to be very odd, considering that America's police force carries guns on a regular basis, and have to use them quite frequently really.  The laws against guns and knives are also very strict here, and we think they are in America!
After the police station, Dr. Nobiling, Jessica, Mary, Nick and I went to lunch at the Sherlock Holmes Pub before going to the London Eye! For those of you that don't know, the London Eye is a HUGE Ferris wheel that has glass pods attached that you can ride in.  At the top you can see a great majority of London, and it is so awesome!  After that we went to supper at a little pizza place called IL Fornello, and it was really really good! A picture of London Eye will be posted below, everything else will come later!

Me with Big Ben Clock Tower in the background while riding the London Eye

Airport Pictures!

I lied when I said I had no pictures from the first day.  Here are a couple pictures from the airport in Denver, patiently awaiting the long flight we had ahead.

Nick and I

My two roommates Mary and Jessica

Day #1-Arrival in London!

Hello everyone! I am sorry I have not kept up on my blog postings, the wifi in our hotel is kind of sketchy and doesn't always work the way we want.  So, to begin the catching up I'll tell you about my first day in London!  The flight over went well, especially for being my first flight ever.  We had some turbulence for a few hours, but I didn't throw up so it worked out!  Once we arrived in London, we went directly to the Windsor Castle, which was beautiful! The cathedral inside was my favorite part of the whole thing, I had never seen anything that had that much history in such a form that this history was in.  It really is hard to put into words how impressive it was, and unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures, but if anyone ever has a chance to go you better go, you won't regret it.
After the castle we went back to the hotel and checked in.  The hotel is fairly nice, except for the stupid toilets and the stupid wifi.   The toilets don't flush right, and that sounds odd but it seriously took my two roommates and I the first two days to figure it out, and it still doesn't always work! Other than those two issues, the hotel is fine, and located in a good area of London with a tube stop very close.  After checking into the hotel we went to a restaurant called the Giraffe, and had some yummy food and our first alcoholic beverages of the trip!  It is still weird to me that being under 21 is legal here, but hey I'm not complaining.  Due to the fact that all of the pictures I took the first day are on my camera, I won't be able to share until getting home, but I have some for the next few days so keep watching for them!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Good and Bad of Globalization

Globalization is a modern concept referring to the development of a particular commodity, to make possible international influence or operation.  This can be seen in either a positive or negative way. 

One of the positives of globalization is that it allows developing countries a greater opportunity to economically succeed and increase their standard of living.  There is also an increase in competition amongst globalization.  This forces companies to lower their prices, benefiting the end consumers.  Increased media coverage draws attention the human right violations, and therefore there is an improvement in human rights.  Global competition also encourages creativity and innovation and keeps prices for commodities and services in check.  Developing countries are able to reap the benefits of current technology through globalization without undergoing many of the pains associated with development of these technologies.  Governments are also able to better work together towards a common goal now that there is an advantage in cooperation, an improved ability to interact and coordinate, and a global awareness of issues.  Lastly, there is a greater access to foreign culture in the form of movies, music, food, clothing, etc.  The world has much more choices. 

Along with advantages, there are disadvantages.  These include things such as the rich getting richer and the poor becoming poorer.  Outsourcing, even though it provides jobs to a population in one country, can take away those jobs from another country, leaving many without opportunities.  Different cultures are able to interact and share their ideas and innovations, but everything is beginning to meld, and there is now a greater loss of tradition and culture.  There is also a greater chance that disease will spread worldwide, as well as invasive species that could be devastating in non-native ecosystems.  Another big negative is that there is little international regulation, which is an unfortunate fact that could have dire consequences on the safety of people and the environment.  Fast food chains, like McDonalds and Burger King, are spreading to the developing world.  This means that there is more consumption of junk foods, and this results in an adverse impact on people's health and a rise in chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. 
Globalization, just like everything else in the world, has its positives and its negatives.  I believe that globalization is important in this modern day we live in, and that the advantages of it outweigh the disadvantages.  I hope that stands true years from now.



In preparation...or should I say procrastination

Well, London is about 4 days away now!  I am beginning to get increasingly excited, especially since I just completed one of my very last finals for this semester! 
Even though I am extremely excited, I am letting procrastination get the best of me.  I have no idea what I am going to take to London except for this lovely pair of shoes...
Luckily I only have two more tests and I am completely done, so that should give me plenty of time to throw some stuff together and get my butt to Denver! 
I can't explain how lucky I feel to be able to partake in this trip.  When Nick first told me that I could go to London also, even though I wasn't a Criminal Justice major, I freaked!  I never thought it would get here, and now I feel like I don't have enough time.  Seems like that's the way everything goes. 
I better go figure out what in the heck I am going to wear for the next two weeks before I really do run out of time!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Common Stereotypes of Americans

As we all know, different places in the world see Americans differently, and we Americans see cultures outside of our own different also.  In preparation for our trip, I did a little bit of research to see what kinds of stereotypes we will be walking into upon arrival in London.  Some of the stereotypes were good, some not so much.

When I first found the common stereotypes, I was happy to see that there were some positives!  I have heard nothing but bad things about how other countries treat Americans, and it had me a little worried.  One of the first good ones I found was generosity.  America gets this stereotype because of the aid and supplies we send countries all over the world.  Generosity is a good stereotype to be put into, but it could also lead to the stereotype of being a sucker, which I have also heard of Americans being categorized in.  Another positive stereotype associated with Americans was being optimistic.  On the website I found this, it stated that "Optimism is seen as the driving force behind achievement of the American Dream. Europeans are “trained” to be more down to earth realists, and optimism is seen as foolishness."  I believe that optimism is a great thing, and it probably is the driving force behind the "American dream".  Perhaps more countries would be as successful as America if they were as optimistic.

The bad stereotypes of Americans far outweighed the good ones, sadly.  One of the first ones I found was being materialistic.  Apparently other countries tend to view Americans as caring about nothing but money, judging everything by its economic value, and disrespecting those countries with a lower socioeconomic status.  This one I can maybe see simply because we do have so much more economic status than a lot of other countries, and by providing aid we may step on toes and maybe make them feel inadequate rather than them realizing we are simply trying to help.  The last stereotype that I want to share is gun loving and violent culture. It is true that we have a long historical fondness of guns, and that is definitely portrayed in our media, but are we a violent culture?  I don't think any of us like to think so, but we do have some of the highest death rates caused by firearms in the developed world.  And it doesn't help that the international media often reports on American mass shootings, making the incidents well known throughout the globe.  Never mind the fact that those kinds of killings account for a very small amount of firearm deaths.  Along with the international media portraying our "love for violence", America is also ranked number 1 in gun ownership.  That statistic seems to backup the "gun loving" side of the stereotype.  So maybe we are "gun loving" as a whole, but I choose to disagree with the stereotype that we are a violent culture.  We definitely have a lot of violence, but we also have a lot more peace than many countries in other parts of the world do, and that's got to count for something. 

After doing a little bit of research, I'm not sure I feel better about going as an American or worse.  I think that it's common for any country to have good and bad feelings about foreigners, and the good news is that everyone has their own opinion.  All we can do is spend the next two weeks showing off the good parts of America, and maybe we will change someones mind about our country. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Global Issues: Obesity Worldwide

As we are nearing our trip to London, I am beginning to get increasingly excited but nervous! As someone who has barely traveled anywhere, ever, it's a little intimidating to me that I am going so far away from home for such an extended period of time.  I do, though, feel privileged to be able to go with fellow classmates on this adventure and I hope we all return with great memories and a desire to see more of the world!

With that being said, it is time to start looking into things that differ from our part of the world to other parts, specifically the United Kingdom.  As a nutrition major, I am obviously very interested in the health of the world  through nutrition and exercise.  This interest got me to looking into the obesity epidemic, and I began to wonder if it is as bad in the UK as it is here in the USA.  Unfortunately, the rates of obesity in the United Kingdom are not far behind where America is standing right now.  According to the University of Birmingham, the UK has the highest rates of obesity in Europe with 20% of their population overweight or obese.  Obesity costs the UK around 3 billion every year!  As if costing the economy a ton of money each year in health costs isn't enough, obesity also decreases the life expectancy of those who are by nearly 10 YEARS.  Obesity also puts people at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease.  In the article written by the University of Birmingham I also found that studies suggest obesity could become a leading cause of liver failure and cancer all over the world. 

 In the midst of my search for information regarding obesity in the UK, I found a video showing how severe obesity can really get.  In a article written along with the video, I read something that really disturbed me.  I read that the medical professionals of the UK are using the obesity rates of America to help their obese population wake up and lose weight.  I am going to post the video below for all of you to watch.  It is pretty long, about 15 minutes or so, but I encourage you to watch the first 8 minutes at least just to see how bad it really is.  It pretty much tells the story of two women, one from the UK who is obese, and one from America who is morbidly obese.  The UK woman's doctor sends her to America to meet the morbidly obese woman, basically to scare her into straightening out her life.  I found it so sad that our country is so sick that other countries are using us as an example of what not to do.  The video also states that one third of America was considered "super sized" by February of last year and half of America is estimated to be obese in just a few years.  By 2020, one third of the UK will be considered obese, also.

When I began doing research on the topic for this post, I was really hoping that the UK would not have the ratings of obesity that America does.  Sadly, even though their ratings are slightly lower than ours, they are still on their way to being just as unhealthy as we are.  Even though I will only be in London for two weeks, I feel that knowing the obesity ratings of that part of the world will be beneficial to me in the way that I will maybe be able to give someone I meet over there knowledge regarding nutrition and wellness they need to keep themselves healthy, and possibly others in their life.  Finding this information does not make me any less excited to go, but it is good to know the health status of my home from May 11th- May 25th.  

Obesity in the UK. (n.d.). University of Birmingham. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from 
Skinny Fiber & Weight Loss Support. (n.d.). Obesity Epidemic In America vs UK. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from