Why is America so fat???

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 30, 2008 3:53 PM GMT
    According to recent a Salon.com piece, the obesity rate is rising in spite of the increase in gas prices and food. Shouldn't this be having the opposite effect, forcing folks to walk more and eat less/better? WTF?!? What is it gonna take to tackle this epidemic and am I the only one who thinks there's something really wrong with this trend? Thoughts appreciated!

    Salon piece: http://www.salon.com/wires/ap/scitech/2008/04/07/D8VT9SK00_nyc_obesity_rate/index.html
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    Apr 30, 2008 4:11 PM GMT
    A few days ago I attended the funeral of a guy I worked with who took terrible care of himself - wouldn't exercise, wouldn't eat right, wouldn't quit smoking - so, he died early.

    Americans (and others) need to stay out of fast food joints, exercise, and take care of ourselves - or our bodies will "quit" us.
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    Apr 30, 2008 4:14 PM GMT
    [quote]Why is America so fat???[/quote]

    Portion sizes seem to be a big (if not the biggest) factor.
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Apr 30, 2008 4:14 PM GMT
    I don't think it's just you Jackal who thinks there's something really wrong with obesity levels. It's a big, big problem, and not just in the US, but in Europe too.

    People seem to be a lot lazier, and lot greedier than they were in previous generations. Probably due to things like fatty convenience foods and availability of labour saving devices.

    Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an easy answer to this problem and I think it's up to active health conscious people (like us) to keep banging on about how good they feel keeping fit.

    Lozx
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 30, 2008 4:22 PM GMT
    I agree with what has been posted above.

    I think fast food is so easy and most people don't perceive they have the time to put together a good meal at home, so many will merely run to McDonalds
    (icon_mad.gif) or some other means.

    I'm also amazed at the number of people who just don't make time for physical exercise, from walking to something as simple as push mowing your yard. Now I realize most people don't want to push mow a 2 acre property like I used to, but so many ways to improve ones fitness and exercise and slow the fattening....
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    Apr 30, 2008 4:30 PM GMT
    Jackal69 saidAccording to recent a Salon.com piece, the obesity rate is rising in spite of the increase in gas prices and food. Shouldn't this be having the opposite effect, forcing folks to walk more and eat less/better?


    Actually, I think the poorer a person is the worse it may be, because they are more apt to eat less healthy food and not take care of themselves.

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    Apr 30, 2008 4:31 PM GMT
    Simple: Quality food is expensive. High-quality protein is expensive. Vegetables are expensive. When prices increase, these things get even MORE expensive.

    The one thing that doesn't get more expensive? The Dollar Menu at every Fast Food restaurant, and the crappy processed food that's sold in grocery stores.

    Most of the overweight people I know eat fast food 3-5 times a week. I know. I used to as well. Why would I go spend $14 on three boneless, skinless chicken breasts, when I can get a double cheeseburger at McDonald's on the Dollar menu. And, at the time, the Burger tasted a hole hell of a lot better to me than a damn chicken breast.

    So, for a family of four, you could spend $30 at the grocery store buying chicken and vegetables, or you could outfit the whole family at McD's for $15.

    (Sadly, that outfit comes with Heart Disease, Diabetes, and a fat ass.)
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    Apr 30, 2008 4:35 PM GMT
    Several factors:

    - portion sizes;
    - processed foods that are higher in fat;
    - less exercising, more time watching TV, playing video games or being on the computer;
    - families eat out more and prepare less food at home;
    - every day life requires less expenditure of energy with the increase in technology.
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    Apr 30, 2008 4:38 PM GMT
    look_alive saidSimple: Quality food is expensive. High-quality protein is expensive. Vegetables are expensive. When prices increase, these things get even MORE expensive.

    The one thing that doesn't get more expensive? The Dollar Menu at every Fast Food restaurant, and the crappy processed food that's sold in grocery stores.

    Most of the overweight people I know eat fast food 3-5 times a week. I know. I used to as well. Why would I go spend $14 on three boneless, skinless chicken breasts, when I can get a double cheeseburger at McDonald's on the Dollar menu. And, at the time, the Burger tasted a hole hell of a lot better to me than a damn chicken breast.

    So, for a family of four, you could spend $30 at the grocery store buying chicken and vegetables, or you could outfit the whole family at McD's for $15.

    (Sadly, that outfit comes with Heart Disease, Diabetes, and a fat ass.)


    And try buying it all organic! But I look at it as if I die I dont need the money, if I live, I need the body.

    But I also have plenty of money. Think of people who have to work 2 or more jobs just to make ends meet. They arent going to be exercising properly and taking time to fix a proper meal.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 30, 2008 4:40 PM GMT
    Caslon saidBut I also have plenty of money.


    icon_wink.gif

    In best Joey imitation: "So, Caslon, how YOU doin'?"
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 30, 2008 4:46 PM GMT
    look_alive said[quote][cite]Caslon said[/cite]But I also have plenty of money.


    icon_wink.gif

    In best Joey imitation: "So, Caslon, how YOU doin'?"
    [/quote]

    Handsome face, but you're too tall. .....Besides, my ex cost me a quarter of a million, so I have learned not to do THAT again. ....Now, it's "what? you dont have any money, ... icon_eek.gif .... what the hell am I talking to you for?" .... icon_rolleyes.gif .....then I go home and take a bath in a tub of currency to get the smell of poverty off me! ..... icon_lol.gificon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 30, 2008 5:16 PM GMT
    You would think that increased gas prices would cause people to eat less but it isn't so simple sadly.

    Farm bills, passed by both Dems and Repubs, subsidize two crops heavily: corn and soy. Both are now in every processed food you eat. Corn is turned into sugar. Look at a package of food. It will probably contain high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, glucose and likely more than one of those. The government, over the last two decades has made corn based sugars so incredibly cheap the food industry would be stupid to not put them in.

    So, the most unhealthy things in food are the most heavily subsidized. Corn sugar, corn oil, soy oil, are empty calories that will balloon your ass. But since they are cheap, cheap food has them as an ingredient.

    Of course, watch your political party try and 86 farm subsidies and you will watch their opponents get elected.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Apr 30, 2008 6:14 PM GMT
    According to the Oprah of the day, obesity stems from overall clutter within one's home; an overabundance of items will result in the owner gaining weight.

    Here I thought an increase in body weight came from a positive caloric intake / "burned" ratio. Silly me...when I weighed 125 lbs and had a continuous pigsty room, I must have really been overweight with a skinny appearance.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 30, 2008 6:25 PM GMT
    There is a pyschological aspect to clutter. I read this book recently to help me declutter my house. (Hey I have had a lot of years to accumulate crap).

    ItsAllTooMuch.jpg

    I got this book because it isn't about "organizing" and buying plastic containers to put things in. It's about how to psychologically let go of stuff. I was just going crazy just seeing clutter. So I can understand how that kind of psychological strain and drain could be a factor in comfort eating, which would result in weight gain.

    The book, btw, is great. I highly recommend it.
  • olden

    Posts: 194

    Apr 30, 2008 10:04 PM GMT
    I think the problem started with the two-income family, where the "Mother" doesn't have time to cook all the meals from scratch. This led to the frozen dinner, of dubious nutritional character and eating out. The trade-off became one of time vs money.

    I can cook a great dinner from scratch for half to 2/3's of the cost of a frozen dinner and it is much healthier. But, and here is the big but (not butt)I have the time, being a consultant, to do the cooking. And I enjoy cooking. It is also the only way I can keep my portion size in check, so I can continue to lose weight.

    IMHO it is going to take a revolution in thought and expectations before we can ever hope to solve the problem.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 30, 2008 10:16 PM GMT
    The City of Melbourne, that I now call home. Is the best city in Oz, and maybe the world to eat in. Good quality food, and you don't have too pay though your nose to eat it.

    I have also eaten in America. OMG. Low grade food, poor quality too. Pulse not only have you polluted your own country with your saturated fat outlets, that has helped turn American into beach balls, but you are also polluting the rest of the world, with your saturated fat out lets. Thus help turn the rest of the world into clone Americans, fat!

    Will we be able to send you the medical bill?

    So U R what you eat.
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    Apr 30, 2008 10:18 PM GMT
    As the posters above have noted, it's occurring because of a nutritional paradox in which prices rise more quickly on the better food than the worse food. While vegetables might rise in price by 50%, that pack of Ramen might rise 10%, if at all. So people are forced to buy food that is worse for them because it's what they can afford, which in turn leads to higher obesity rates.

    The same sort of phenomenon driving higher obesity rates with increased food prices drives overpopulation in developing countries. The poorer people are, the more children they're likely to have. Though you would think that poverty would lead to people wanting to have less children in order to provide more for a few, in the calculus of the poor it's actually better odds to have more children, some of whom will die and some of whom will live, in order to have more labor to create more food, but more importantly to increase the odds that one or two will live long enough to provide for you in your old age.
  • Squarejaw

    Posts: 1035

    Apr 30, 2008 10:23 PM GMT
    Pattison saidyou are also polluting the rest of the world, with your saturated fat out lets. Thus help turn the rest of the world into clone Americans, fat!

    Will we be able to send you the medical bill?
    We couldn't sell it if you didn't buy it. icon_smile.gif
  • irishkcguy

    Posts: 780

    Apr 30, 2008 10:51 PM GMT
    The obvious answer to the question is Americans eat poorly and don't get enough exercise.

    I think the more complex answer is we haver really become a bunch of pussies who can't do anything that requires concerted, long term effort. Everybody wants a gimmick or a quick fix of some sort, especially when it relates to weight loss. The End.
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    Apr 30, 2008 10:52 PM GMT
    Australia's fast-food addiction

    December 19, 2007 12:00am

    TELLING people to give up takeaway food is a waste of time, a nutrition researcher says.

    University of Adelaide and CSIRO Human Nutrition researcher Emily Brindal said Australia's fast-food addiction was here to stay, and doctors and other health professionals should focus on encouraging people to choose healthier takeaway options.

    Ms Brindal surveyed more than 500 South Australians about their takeaway food habits.

    She found they ate 3.4 times a month on average at one of the major fast-food chains, such as McDonald's, Hungry Jacks or Burger King, KFC, Domino's and Red Rooster.

    The most common reason given for buying fast-food was convenience, with more than one-third of people surveyed saying they were in a hurry or did not have time to cook.

    About 17 per cent bought fast-food while out shopping or buying groceries, and about 29 per cent bought it while commuting.

    "It is clear that despite repeated messages about fatty foods and the risks associated with obesity, people will continue to eat fast foods," Ms Brindal said.

    "Promoting healthy fast-food consumption might be the best option to adopt.

    "This could be targeted at fast-food consumers who have the most frequent weight gain behaviour."

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    Apr 30, 2008 11:28 PM GMT
    I don't know why Americans are so fat. But I do know why I'm overweight. Its a combination of my genes and lifestyle. The people on both sides of my family are big people, and I don't necessarily mean fat. I mean we usually come out mesomorphs or endomorphs. And not to knock my black kin but the black community has terrible eating habits...we usually don't care though, we typically favor a nice big body.

    My eating habits as a child was atrocious. No one bothered to tell me what my problem was unless 5 years of "Your a fatass", "haha, Cartman", "damn, you need to lose weight man!" was just people's way of saying cut the fast food, eat less, and exercise.

    I eventually grew into my big body but I still have poor habits such as hardly eating. When I do, its usually fast food, or just something non-nutritious and essentially meaningless. I like walking but any other kind of exercising exercises my patience.

    __________________________________________________

    As for most Americans, I believe it has much to do with our fast paced society, fast-food franchises on every corner, negligence of watching what we're eating, television, cars, shitty processed genetically modified foods, etc.

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    May 01, 2008 1:11 AM GMT
    Have to agree somewhat with that last submitter. Genes do play a part, but we Americans are an inactive group. I broke my leg last August, took the top of the tibia off. In a Wheel chair for 10 weeks hated it. Got a HP Placard that is good for 2 yrs, once out of Wheel chair did not use placard except for wet cold days. Knee did act up. My roommates would steal it so they could park closer to the stores. Another thing that is big in Texas ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFETS. The majority of the people by pass (no pun intended) the good protein stuff and go to the Fried stuff
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    May 01, 2008 1:18 AM GMT
    Fast food + cheap VALUE meals = fat bodies.
    Wait until McDonald's grasp is felt in Europe....it won't be long before they too are porking up.
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    May 01, 2008 1:26 AM GMT
    VineyardHmo saidFast food + cheap VALUE meals = fat bodies.
    Wait until McDonald's grasp is felt in Europe....it won't be long before they too are porking up.


    They are already porking up. We went thru this a few months back. It just is a favorite thread theme to diss americans and their obesity problem...like the rest of the world has to worry about falling thru grates.
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    May 01, 2008 1:33 AM GMT
    I totally understand, Caslon. Unfortunately, everyone outside of the US seems to love riding the band-wagon of complaining about everything US, so I thought I'd chime in and show it's not just the US.

    Here's proof. The following is in an article in the International Herald Tribune in which they were initially talking about McDonald's "new" changes to the look of their "restaurants":

    "So far, the changes appear to be paying off. Sales in Europe are ahead of those in the United States. In the first half of this year, combined sales at Europe's 6,400 restaurants rose 15 percent to $4.1 billion, compared to a 6 percent increase in America, where McDonald's has 13,800 restaurants and sales were $3.9 billion. The strength of European currencies helped, but even without the lagging U.S. dollar, European revenue is rising faster in real terms than revenue in the United States."

    Ahem.....excuse me, that's 6,400 restaurants in Europe compared to 13,800 in the US with Europe's market making $200,000,000 more than the US market! Do I see Europe's waist-line getting bigger?

    China's next.....