Dec

4

Why Americans are Obese

By admin

It is no secret to the entire world that Americans are a bunch of fat slobs. At least, that seems to be our image in general. While traveling in Europe I didn’t see a lot of fat people, but the ones I did notice always turned out to be American tourists. Natives and tourists from other areas of the world were all pretty slim. At least they weren’t noticeably overweight. It’s gotten to the point that when a fat person is spotted in Europe everyone assumes it is an American tourist.

Back home in the states, slim people in public places seem to be a minority. This is not to say that everyone in America is obese, but most people in America are overweight. The trim ones are a minority. This trend transcends income levels, so it’s not like the middle ages when only rich people could afford to get fat. Quite the contrary – it seems that these days the less expensive food is the culprit for unwanted weight gain.

The 2004 movie Super Size Me was a humorous documentary which depicted the adventures of a person who committed to only eating at McDonalds for an entire month. He wasn’t restricted to greasy burgers on this quest, and in fact opted for grilled chicken sandwiches and the salads on the menu regularly. However whenever he was asked if he wanted to super size his meal he always had to say yes as part of the experiment. The results were not pretty. Not only did he gain an incredible amount of weight, but his doctor about went through the roof when reading the results of his blood test at the end of the month. Cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, all the important stuff had taken a sharp turn for the worse.

Fast food is inexpensive food. Apparently fast food makes you fat, even while attempting to stay on the good side of the menu. So is being overweight and unhealthy now the plight of the poor? Unfortunately that simple hypothesis doesn’t go very far. Middle and upper-middle income America are just as overweight as the lower-income class. Of course, fast food restaurants are not restricted to those on the lower end of the income scale. They are on every corner and are frequented by every facet of society. Even Hummer limousines can regularly be seen parked in front of Taco Bell where I live.

This brings up another point. In Europe, there are McDonalds everywhere. They are usually pretty busy inside. And yet Europeans are not fat. Moreover, most of the people inside the McDonalds in Europe are not fat (except for the few American tourists that are inexplicably wasting their vacation not dining on wonderful local fare). So one cannot conclude that the mere existence of fast food joints is the culprit for being overweight and unhealthy.

Papa Riah almost never eats fast food. It’s garbage. I don’t waste my precious minutes on this earth eating garbage. Yet I do struggle with my weight now and again, even though I jog at least a mile every day and eat healthy more than 75% of the time. (My problem is my affinity for good ale.)

You know who loves to eat? Asians. Man those folks can really put the food away at dinner time. But they are all thin as a rail. Now how do you explain that? Perhaps heredity plays a part, but I think you have to take a serious look at what they are eating. Steamed rice, raw fish, and sautéed meats and vegetables. Lots of lean meats and only a little of the fatty stuff.

It’s time to draw a conclusion. The answer is obvious: Americans are obese because we are gluttons. We are gluttons for anything that tastes good to us. And what tastes good to us is fatty, flavorful food. Even food that otherwise would be healthy is cooked in a way that turns it into fatty food. We are not satisfied with a reasonable size portion; we must eat until we feel full. And by that time, of course, we have over-eaten.

The drug companies in America depend on us. Indigestion drugs are such a huge business here it’s incredible. The antacid aisle of the drug stores and supermarkets are so big that some stores need two aisles for them. That really tells you something.

It’s not our fault! We are raised this way! If we don’t feel full after meal time we feel ripped off. And one thing Americans will not put up with is being ripped off.

Papa Riah

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