Fat Americans

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gefd28

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 187

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Posted: 31 May 2011, 22:04
I was South America last week for business. One day of the trip was at a beach resort. While sitting at the poolside breakfast two morbidly obese women in beach cover-ups came to breakfast. Both had trouble walking.

As they were approaching I could hear more than one person say Americano. Even my host asked me why Americans are so fat. He knows I've lost a lot of weight, but he didn't think of me as "American Fat". When I asked what "American Fat" was he pointed unapologetically towards the two women.

I found it interesting that the reputation of Americans is not that we are fat, it's that we are obese.

Ironically, I saw the women later and they were from Europe. I was the only American in the hotel and I was comfortable enough with my new size to lay out by the pool shirtless while I worked (got to love poolside wifi!).
kstubblefiel...

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

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Posted: 31 May 2011, 22:29
This does not surprise me in the least. Even though the women were European, the US is capitalizing on obesity in a way no other country is doing. Look at all the reality shows & such focused on obesity. It's big business in America.

Congrats on the shirtless poolside websurfing! Wink

Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it: http://stubbysticks.wordpress.com/weight-loss-summary-by-month/
Mcastillo071...

Joined: May 11
Posts: 14

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Posted: 31 May 2011, 22:38
I am from South America, and before I moved here i was 130 lbs. Everyone in my family made me pinky swear I would not become a Fat American. 10 years later... I am FAT Sad

Between all the wonderful food and not staying active I gained a lot of weight. From experience I think happens in America because we have a sedentary lifestyle, lots of processed food, and HUMONGOUS portions in comparison to other countries.

I was amazed last time I went home and just by eating "normal" i dropped like 10 pounds in a month.

I hope all the current efforts are effective in the long run so that an obese person is not refered to as "American Fat"
gefd28

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 187

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Posted: 31 May 2011, 22:55
Mcastillo, funny I'd say the food in Colombia is wonderful... I could eat Sancocho, fried plantains or arroz con coco every day!
kstubblefiel...

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

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Posted: 31 May 2011, 23:55
Omg ditto on the fried plantains. They have this Latin fusion place called Brasa here that has wonderful food. NOM. @m, you're from here, have you been?

Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it: http://stubbysticks.wordpress.com/weight-loss-summary-by-month/
Hermiones...

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 401

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Posted: 01 Jun 2011, 00:02
My experience in Peru: Thank goodness for ceviche, the only low calorie high protein food in their repertoire. And lest we get too embarrassed about American obesity, note that diabetes and high blood pressure are rampant in Peru and Mexico -- from all the white rice and potatoes. Don't know how they fare in Colombia in this respect.
ferlengheti

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 200

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Posted: 01 Jun 2011, 02:17
Ceviche! Best thing ever. I went to Fiji last year with my Bionic Mother, and their equivalent was called kokonda. We were staying at a resort, and 80% of the food catered to unadventurous tourists, and all I wanted was pawpaw and kokonda.
I've never met a cheese I didn't like.
thqueenbe

Joined: Mar 09
Posts: 223

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Posted: 01 Jun 2011, 08:25
geft, it's noticeable the lack of obesity in other countries. I've been to Ireland, Scotland and Spain in the last year. It was hard to ignore the lack of obese folks there. In fact, I was hard pressed to find 'heavy' folks in all of those countries. Worse yet, I found the food in Spain to be disgustingly unhealthy. Pastries and bread and pastries and bread and ...well, you get the picture. Don't get me wrong, I was sort of excited the first few days, for a REASON to eat like crap. But I seriously was hungry pretty quickly on our trip and wished for some substance. I guess the difference is they eat less often, small portions, and walk/bike EVERYWHERE.
hkaruga

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 129

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Posted: 01 Jun 2011, 10:11
Perhaps it is sad but this is actually a percentage of the motivation I have to lose the excess weight I don't want to be 'that fat American'. I see picture of everyone in my husband's family and they are all naturally thin, I was boarderline obese at one point and now down to the larger side of normal weight. We have to figure something out it is truly sad that the problem has gotten that bad we over anyone else have gotten the reputation for being the fat ones.
nolechick

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 122

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Posted: 01 Jun 2011, 16:17
The hallmark of an industrialized, excessive society?? Not having been abroad in years... how much of a person's daily diet in, say, South America, is from highly processed foods? Also, how often do they eat "out" (whether on the go "fast food" or sit down meals)? I'd be willing to bet not near as much as a "fat American's" daily diet. Somehow my mind is wandering toward the old 70's gov't idea of "let's subsidize grain farming to make food cheap for Americans so they can spend money on other consumer goods". But that's a whole new topic...
"Mediocrity is climbing molehills without sweating..." - Icelandic proverb
nolechick

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 122

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Posted: 01 Jun 2011, 16:25
kstubblefield wrote:
the US is capitalizing on obesity in a way no other country is doing. Look at all the reality shows & such focused on obesity. It's big business in America.


Thank you. Your intelligence is always so refreshing to me.

Seen the movie Food Matters? There is a line in there in which they point out that "There is no money to be made in good health." From Big Ag, Big Food, Big Pharma, to our Gov't, no one is really interested in our health. Their bottom lines would shrink. The FDA is becoming a Juggernaut entity on the side of corporate greed. We are literaly on our own here. So far, I'm doing much better not listening to any of their "guidelines". Wink
"Mediocrity is climbing molehills without sweating..." - Icelandic proverb
Hermiones...

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 401

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Posted: 01 Jun 2011, 16:42
thequeenbe -- My family still laughs about my "European diet." I lost 12 pounds on a 2-week trip to Europe -- Belgium, Holland, and Spain. I simply could not eat the food. The national dishes of Belgium are mussels in garlic butter with French fries to soak up the butter and endive in cheese sauce. In Holland a sandwich consists of a paper thin slice of meat and cheese with about an inch of butter on really bad white bread. In Spain, the only thing I could get to eat that seemed halfway healthy was grilled calamari. I lived for 2 weeks on gelato and swiss cheese. I just kept losing weight. I couldn't figure out how the people were NOT obese eating what they did. The only explanation I could come up with was that they all ridebicycles a lot.
Mcastillo071...

Joined: May 11
Posts: 14

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Posted: 02 Jun 2011, 20:32
kstubblefield wrote:
Omg ditto on the fried plantains. They have this Latin fusion place called Brasa here that has wonderful food. NOM. @m, you're from here, have you been?


OMG CEVICHE IS THE BEST THING EVER INVENTED (ok maybe it isnt but it sounds SO good right now) Sancocho, Ajiaco, Fried plantains.. ahhh... all of that reminds me of home Sad.. I bet if i ate just that i wouldn't lose weight though. haha

@ kstubblefield: I am from Colombia, live in Minnesota...hmm.. Have I been?? where??? hahah

We have a Brasa here in St Paul MN too and I have heard it's delish!
kstubblefiel...

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

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Posted: 02 Jun 2011, 21:41
Lol @m I know you're from Colombia but I was referring to the fact that we're both in the Twin Cities. Smile The Brasa I'm talking about is the one in SE Mpls, is there another one in StP?

Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it: http://stubbysticks.wordpress.com/weight-loss-summary-by-month/
CherryPie

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 74

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Posted: 03 Jun 2011, 05:36
I think it is a culture thing. I live in France and there is HUGE cultural pressure not to be overweight. Someone who is my size (and I'd pass unnoticed in UK, Germany or anywhere north really) is considered very overweight in this society. There are few takeaways - out nearest is 40 km away. You can't buy a sandwich for lunch - if you want you can go and have a proper meal which will be salad, meat, bit of cheese, fresh fruit or yoghurt for not much money but it's actually quite hard to get hold of junk. For example our local cinema doesn't sell any food and popcorn is forbidden. The most you can have is a discreet pack of winegums. Only food shops can sell food - whenever I return to Uk the thing I notice is the huge piles of sweets and crisps just inside the door of many retail outlets.

This doesn't mean it's all good. French women smoke far to much, take diet supplements/pills (even dangerous ones) and are often quite frankly miserable. They are constantly at the doctor's for imaginary illnesses People do walk or bike but on the whole I'd say I'm a great deal healthier than most of my slimmer French friends. I recently went on a charity walk of only 8 km - I do that every day with my dogs and consider it no distance at all. There was a super slim woman wittering on about vitamins and the evils of carbs, yet at the end she nearly collapsed and said she'd never walked that far in her life. Pointless knowing all about nutrition and being unhealthyh

Sadly most the Americans I meet (I run a B & B) do fit the stereotype. The thing I notice most is that they are horrified by the small (delicious and elegant) portions in restaurants - they don't consider it good value unless they have a huge steaming portion of potatoes of some sort. There are exceptions and they tend to be richer people - is that because good food is a great deal more expensive in USA?
.
Feisty174

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 161

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Posted: 03 Jun 2011, 07:43
CherryPie, that is exactly what it is--healthy food is much more expensive here, while fat laden processed foods are always on sale and there are always coupons in the newspapers for them as well. I live in a very rural area with a high poverty level, and the percentage of obese people here is astounding. A lot of these people are living off of social security and government assistance, and when their $2 can either buy 5 apples or 6 Tostinos Party Pizzas, which choice do you think they are going to make? They can feed their whole family with those pizzas, as opposed to the apples. Walmart, a national discount chain here in the US where the majority of lower-income people shop, has started an initiative to change this. They plan to both decrease the cost and increase the selection of whole, unprocessed foods within the next 5 years in their stores. If they can succeed in making healthy choices affordable, it will have a huge impact on the condition of the average Fat American.
Feisty174

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 161

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Posted: 03 Jun 2011, 07:44
And in my observations, it is the poorer of us Americans that are the most obese. The wealthier tend to be better educated and know the dangers of an obese lifestyle.
LawMan4525

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 6

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Posted: 03 Jun 2011, 08:01
I travel all over the world for work. Yes Americans are fat, however, the UK and Germany are not far behind at all, in fact I think Mexico is up there as well. Where there is excess food there will be excess waist lines. It's simple cause and effect.

Heck, go on a cruise on any cruiseliner and you'll see it's not just Americans...seriously. Also keep in mind that America's numbers are a little skewed as America Samoa and Puerto Rico are among the "fattest" countries in the world but are considered part of the US. Maybe I'm a bit biased and a patriot, but definitley not a fan of anyone badmouthing the US.
CherryPie

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 74

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Posted: 03 Jun 2011, 08:54
Feisty174 - that is interesting. I've no idea what the average salary is in USA but I feel that probably people here spend a much greater proportion of their salaries on food. Food is considered important and I notice that people have many less consumer goods here than in USA.

1 pizza here - cheap one in supermarket - is about 3€ ($4.35) one from the pizzeria is 10€ (14.52$) so a pizza is a bit of a luxury, you might occasionally get a buy one get one free offer in supermarket. I too live in a poor rural area - average take home pay for those working is about 1000€ a month (1450$. Apples are currently 1.30€ a kilo (just about 2$ for 5) so it makes more sense for us to eat apples than pizzas.

I agree that UK is fast catching up. I was there last week and felt positively sylph like (a nice feeling as I'm always the fattest here!)compared with many people I saw.
LawMan4525

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 6

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Posted: 03 Jun 2011, 09:05
Cherry Pie: That's about the equivalent cost of things here in the US. With rising gas prices, a bad economy, etc a lot of foods are becoming a "luxury" if you think about it. So spending that $2 on apples is a lot easier to "stomach", than on processed pizza (no pun intended). So maybe in a horrible roundabout way, higher gas prices and a bad economy helps weight loss haha.



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