Obesity in America

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Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 232

Posted: 15 Jul 2010, 11:48
Continues to rise:


What do You think are the reasons?

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Posted: 15 Jul 2010, 11:49
It's so sad. I think #1 is sedentary lifestyles.
~ I think I just ate my willpower. ~

Joined: Dec 09
Posts: 35

Posted: 15 Jul 2010, 12:01
I think part of the reason are the super palatable foods that are developed to addict people. Studies have been done that show that the brain responds to some of these foods the same way as it does to heroin. That's scary!
Lily Rose

Joined: Jul 09
Posts: 308

Posted: 15 Jul 2010, 12:05
It could be a 'perfect storm' situation, where many factors come together in one big tidal wave:

1) Lack of physical and nutrition education in schools;

2) Fast food 'seems' cheaper (but it's more expensive really, in the long run) - and it's EVERYWHERE!

3) People have been cocooning over the years, staying in and watching movies or playing video games rather than going out for their nightly entertainment. This spills over to the kids too, as parents are more afraid to let their kids play outside like they once did just 30 years ago (remember playing 'hide and seek' or 'tag', if you're from those days?)

4) This is probably controversial, but constant snacking. While it's good to have a piece of fruit or a small snack between meals, people have supersized these snacks so they're eating close to 5 or 6 full meals a day.

5) Speaking of supersizing, wow - restaurants have increased serving sizes by crazy amounts over the years. And seeing as your paying for the meal, it feels like a waste to not eat the whole serving.

6) More cubicle style jobs with little or no need to get up and move about. Once people had to travel from office to office to talk to people rather than being a dweeb and calling them on the internal phones. Now with emails, etc - even this small amount of movement has been eliminated.

There are probably many MANY more reasons, but I think what's caused this problem is the fact that there ARE many reasons.

Funny old world.

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VINCENT PRICE:.."No...we don't keep those things in this house.....we're vegetarians!!"
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Posted: 15 Jul 2010, 12:14
I agree with obakemono's list and I'd add to it a culture where personal responsibility is largely taken out of the equation. Yeah, McDonalds is fast and easy and possibly somewhat addictive, but you do CHOOSE to eat it and how often. Yeah, commercials make greasy, sugary foods look great, but you CHOOSE to eat them. Yeah, restaurants serve huge portions, but no one is holding a gun to our heads and making us eat them. It's this idea that we DESERVE a 2000 calorie dessert and not having it is deprivation that gets us into a really sticky mental situation.

I'd go with lack of physical activity as the #1 reason. So sad, schools don't even have phys ed a lot of the time because their budgets are so tight. Kids play video games instead of running outside. And so many jobs are just sitting in front of a computer.

And I'd also put a lot of blame on the diet industry. That might seem counter-intuitive, but so many diets are based on ideas that "you can eat as much as you want as long as you don't eat X" and X can be fat or carbs or whatever the evil food of the year is. The truth is, you can't eat as much as you want of anything. But there are two words Americans really don't seem to like: Moderation and Exercise. Those are the two words that could help us get out of this mess.
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Posted: 15 Jul 2010, 12:32
The reason for rising rates of obesity in America is a lack of discipline. Pure and simple.

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Posted: 15 Jul 2010, 12:36
The problem is in our super-sized, eat-all-you-want culture. I think portion sizes for typical foods have grown so much, that people are conditioned to feel deprived unless they eat a monster portion of everything.

Fast foods play their role, but even healthy foods can make you fat - if you just plain eat too much. If a loaf of bread says "organic" but you eat the whole loaf, you're going to get fat.

I couldn't understand why, after eating nothing but highly nutritious, anti-oxidant-rich foods, I still could not lose weight. Then I counted the calories on a "typical" days food that I ate - it was between 3000-3500 calories. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why I was fat.

This is why I developed the don't-eat-so-damn-much diet. I think this diet will work for everyone, whether you are vegetarian or high protein dieter. Just cut back your calories to a *moderately* restricted level.

Have you ever actually read the "serving size" on the nutritional information on a package of food? A lot of people get fat on that package because they eat 8-10 servings!

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Posted: 15 Jul 2010, 12:57
People do what's easier, not what's better. Lazyness.
"Going to war without France, is like going deer hunting without your accordion." -Norman Schwarzkopf

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Posts: 134

Posted: 15 Jul 2010, 16:21
I think everyone here has nailed it. We (I) drive hours back and forth to work, sit in front of a computer all day and when we get home, we are tired. It's easy to stop at a fast food place and pick something up for dinner rather than going home and cooking. We feed our desires rather than our bodies. I don't know how many times I have said "I'm full but I still want more it's so good!".

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Posted: 15 Jul 2010, 19:14
The reason for obesity in America?

Fat Americans?

I seriously believe that we, as consumers (individually and as a group), are 100% at fault.

Buy the twinkies, they make the twinkies. Don't buy the twinkies, no more twinkies.

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Posts: 98

Posted: 16 Jul 2010, 06:35
I totally agree with obakemono. Its way too easy to just blame society though. I did that for years. I also blamed my parents for making me eat everything on my plate when I was growing up. I do think that we need to take responsibility for our actions. But in order to get this, we need to be properly educated in the first place. I don't really remember what/if I was taught in school about nutrition other than the 4 basic food groups... The problem with this is there are too many cheifs and not enough indians. Too many people have their own idea of what we should or should not eat.
My start weight was 336. This was taken on 5/14/10. Unfortunately I can't get this to correct itself.

I know "Foodisevil" was not the brightest choice for a name, but I was grasping for straws when most everything else I tried was taken. I know that not all food is evil, just chocolate and McDonald's, lol!

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Posted: 16 Jul 2010, 07:13
Survival is too easy. I think about wildlife sometimes and how all of their time is consumed with finding food. I might spend two hours a day preparing and eating food where my family spends half that eating it.

We're busy, but we're not active. And, we've redefined play to include sedentary activities.

Maybe we've become too successful as a species over all. Maybe the obesity epidemic will be the thing that prevents a population explosion. Although I think I need to do more active work to live, I still watch too much TV and sit in front of the computer all day. And, don't make my kids go outside enough. So, I think personal responsibility is certainly a part of it. It's most of it. But, it is what it is. Life, for me, is mostly good. That's hard to change.
DISCLAIMER: I expect to lose this weight over the next 6 months to 5 years. I'm not going to feel like a failure if it takes an entire month to lose 1 pound. I'm going to feel like a success when that happens! I may offer advice that I'm currently not taking myself. Feel free to call me on that!

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Posted: 16 Jul 2010, 10:09
I think another reason is that the most convenient and the most advertised foods are the most fattening.

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Posted: 16 Jul 2010, 10:38
I agree, with everyone to a degree Smile I know I spend way more time planning and cooking now. The world has gotten busier and we grab whats easist.... most the time its processed crap or fast food.

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Posted: 16 Jul 2010, 13:27
I've heard a few people mention not enough time is spent in schools educating about nutrition and exercise. I don't know enough about the curriculum in America to comment on that, but it makes me wonder. If children are educated now about nutrition and physical health, and they are part of the curriculum, will that help the next generation maintain a healthy life style and pass it on to their children?
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Posted: 16 Jul 2010, 16:28
I go with everything everyone said above, I completely agree that all factors play a part, and there is NO simple solution, nor mass blanket... its a personal responsibility that every one will have to take in all areas of their lives to fix... but my personal favorites are...

Lack of proper nutritional education - even in my day, they showed us a food pyramid one day in health, they spent at least 2 weeks on drug prevention. (Yes, we should prevent drugs, but we should also learn nutrtition - coupled with horrible school food programs, and parents who also don't know much about good nutrition (hey, I am a parent, and until a year ago, I really didn't!) --- what we learn is what we teach.

Instant gratification. Yup. I said it. Speaking from an "I" perspective, most of my life the reason I stayed obese (and I've been obese the majority of my life!) was because working out and eating less took a "long" (perspective) time to give me results, and sitting on my computer chatting while eating pizza and mozzarella sticks gave me results RIGHT THEN.

And, society's focus on weight. Lets be honest, 50 years ago, it was perfectly fine to weigh whatever you weighed. Marilyn Monroe was a size 16... or at least, that's what I've been told MY entire life. And she's STILL gorgeous. But there is so much pressure to be a certain size, and emphasis on "If you aren't (insert whatever) - then you're a failure, you're less than, you don't fit in, you aren't wanted, you aren't good enough" etc etc etc etc etc. Which leads to a personal cycle of self-deprecation and eventually self-loathing. (Yup, it all comes back to self... I don't care where you learned it or how it got reinforced, each one of us is eventually responsible for what we choose to tell ourselves about ourselves.)

And, finally, the fact that it IS a perfect world for blaming someone else. It wasn't MY fault I didn't lose weight, the pills didn't actually stop me from absorbing weight, or the no-carb-diet was sabotaged by my family cooking spaghetti, or or or or or or. When it's McDonald's fault for making their coffee hot, instead of my fault for spilling it on myself, then I can stay COMFORTABLE in what I know, instead of making myself uncomfortable trying something new. Because, after all, it's not MY fault I didn't change. =)

And, I'll repeat my disclaimer... these are only MY favorite reasons for why *I* stayed the way I did, and the ones I most constantly have to battle against to keep myself and my children from continuing on the way we're going. To be honest, I really don't want my daughter to have to join a weight loss forum in 20 years... I want her to know how to be healthy. (And THAT is what its about... HEALTH, not appearance!)

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