Friday, September 24, 2010

Going Soft - Continued from "75% American's Fat??"

American's are Fat.  Even folks that aren't "Fat" are, for the most part, portly or hippy.  I mentioned this study in my previous article which concluded that by 2020, 75% of Americans will be "Fat".

To be fair, most of my professional associates in New York City are not Fat. They compete in marathons and triathalons, rock climb, ski every winter... My neighbors in Tennessee?  Most of these folks are so large they could qualify for their own zip codes.  If we ever went back to lamp oil, these folks could be farmed and rendered - "Nuke the Whales" my A$$.  Leave those whales alone; we have plenty of blubber right here.  If I may use the dreaded generalization... It has been my experience that folks in Colorado are thin, while folks in Mississippi are not.  Lifestyle, regionalism, and peer pressure seem to play a significant role.

What do the Fat do for a living?  Click that link above.  Look at the woman in the picture.  What does she do for a living?  If she does work, she is limited to Low level government employment, i.e., the Department of Motor Vehicles et al.  My bet is she DOES NOT work, ergo she is either on government assistance or being supported by her family.  How much of a contribution can this individual make to a her family?  Is she home cooking healthy meals for the family?  Seems doubtful. Statistically speaking, people of this girth are functionally disabled, certainly by the time they hit 40.

What does this mean for society?  Besides employment, what about the other portion of being a productive member of our society? How does this affect their family? Will the children view this as "normal"? What if the spouse is not Fat?  Any chance spousal obesity is a "deal breaker"?  What about the medical consequences? i.e. diabetes, depression, etc...

This issue would seem to dwarf Peak Oil and U.S. aggregate debt, making those issues seem puny and looking wan (pun intended).

More soon.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I immigrated to Canada in 2002. Size 38 pants size L shirt. In 2008 I was size 48+ stretch pants and xxxl shirt. I consider myself a very determined man, but I could not lose weight by following the conventional wisdom.
I felt lethargic, sleepy, could not wake up in the mornings.
I started reading on why. You would not believe it but for me (and my wife and few close friends who are in the same situation) eating the "pig roast" did the trick. Now I only have to avoid grains, sugar and vegetable oils.

Amazing nutritional mess. In addition to the economic mess.

Size 36 now, more energy than ever.
Only exercise I do is lift weghts once a week for 15 mins very intense.

I'm very touchy about this, being one of the ex-fatties ;) It's not as simple as eating less and exercising more. We are literally being pushed to being fat and sick intentionally or not.

Paul

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Paul:

Me thinks this is something each of us must solve ourselves.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Calories in vs. Calories burnt is the basic computation for one gaining/losing/maintaining weight. Sugars/starches tend to be the deal breaker for most people/children, since very few people eat enough high fat meats to get their calories through the roof.

I would agree with paul its not a matter of purely "eating less" although for a majority of folks this is still the key--but what you eat certainly matters, not just how much.

Physical activity is a HUGE factor in our obesity problem in this country, the high fructose and other crap that makes up alot of our "food" certainly just makes this worse. I live by alot of Amish/Mennonites--and I never see any of them looking obese--ever. As long as we have a sedentary society with food that our ancestors would never have eaten--people are going to be overweight or worse. Our biological makeups remain hunter-gatherer types regardless of cultural/societal changes--if you eat something close to a paleolithic diet and exercise--you won't be morbidly obese--period.

Hey people don't have to move anymore---Anyone see Wall-E the pixar movie? The way humans were in the movie--seems to be the sad trend. All these diets are mostly garbage, you can't escape thermodynamics, study after study has shown that only a very small percentage of people 1%-2% have serious Thyroid issues and other issues that make them heavier. But you can't break the laws of physics, you can't spontaneously generate fat from nothing--not many fat kenyan's or Sudanese eh?
-Meiyo

Greg T. Jeffers said...

I've been to the 40 waist size... back to 36...

Long hours on a desk, entertaining clients at night with all of the temptations NYC has to offer did nothing good for my health...

But the decision was MINE.

Anonymous said...

It is certainly for each of us to solve. I lost 27lbs and got my cholesterol from 257 to 190 with nothing but diet and exercise. No one is forcing us to overeat, eat junk food, or eat at restaurants. I don't think it is possible to eat out a lot and remain healthy.

I will agree that it is not as simple as eating less. It is also what you eat.

In any case, my wife works for an insurance company. It is their estimate that 80% of their expense for chronic illness could be eliminate through diet and exercise. My take on that is when people with bad habits get hit in the wallet, things will change.

Regards,

Coal Guy

DaShui said...

In the grocery store check out what people next to u r buying. I doubt Amish eat processed food, but eat well neither the less.

Stephen B. said...

The Amish are also very busy. I'm not Amish, but my house and work keeps me doing outdoor, homestead, or other physical activity 10 hours a day anyhow. I walk or bike the 1.5 miles to work and back 4 days out of 5. I just don't have the time to sit and eat lots of junk even if the activities I'm doing aren't particularly strenuous.

I stay out of the convenience stores. I eat out a couple of times a month, max. TV? What's TV? Seriously, I do tune into the local news at night, 15 minutes into the show, just to catch the local weather...but nothing else. TV is death I think.

I've always been a small person.....5'6".....31 waist in late high school.....31 or 32 waist nowadays (depending on whether it's Levis or Carhartts doing the measuring, lol.) 145 back senior year, 160ish now.

Computer use has gone up some and I think I can actually feel a bit of fat around the waist now at 48 years, but I'm watching it closely.

All in all, this obesity thing hasn't exactly been rocket science for me and it shouldn't be for the rest of the US either.

Stephen B. said...

Oh, how could I forget? My late father was a Burger King Franchisee, and I was a general manager for four years. I was in my early 20s at the time and in that business a good manager barely ever sits. Maybe that's how my waistline survived that.

But I'd hate to see myself now had I stayed in that business.

Anonymous said...

@Meiyo
> But you can't break the laws of physics, you can't spontaneously generate fat from nothing--not many fat kenyan's or Sudanese eh?

No, but the fact that malnourished people are skinny does not mean one should starve him/her self to be skinny. Or that we should *consciously* regulate our food intake. Our hormonal system should decide what to put aside(belly) and what to use for fuel(do stuff), all by itself, hunter-gatherer-style ;)

Maybe this guy sums it up best:
http://vimeo.com/10705698

Regards,
Paul

tweell said...

"Hi, my name is tweell and I'm fat." "Hi, tweell!"
I donated my knees to the military, not being able to run or even bicycle much has made it difficult to lose weight. My father has had his knees and a hip joint replaced, I'd rather not do that until I absolutely have to. I actually was still doing okay until my wife died. After that I didn't care for a long time, and ate crud - ice cream, cookies, candy. The current diet has dropped over 20 pounds, but there's much more to take off.

Anonymous said...

Cause of the hog people: advertising.
The reason so much money is spent on advertising in America is that it works. Duh. The salt, sugar, grease corporations wouldn't spend it if it didn't work.
'The groups found that food, beverage, candy and restaurant advertising hit $11.26 billion in 2004, compared to a mere $9.55 million to advertise the Five A Day campaign, which promotes eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily.'
That's 1100 times more spent on the hog food advertising.
Brainwashing works!
Just lay back in that barca lounger and look at the pictures of all those beautiful people eatin all that crap. You don't see hog people advertising Coke or burgers or the other crap.
No TeeVee

Greg T. Jeffers said...

I thank you all for your comments. Most of us, well most of us of a certain age, have had a couple of battles with "the Bulge".

I have border on huge. 6'5" and stoutly built, maybe a chromosome or 2 from Neanderthal, Brad Pitt I am not... we have no options in some things... Always kept in shape through vigorous exercise... but when I took my eye off the ball for a few moments back in the 90's... boy did I pack on some weight. It was only for a year or so, but it was humbling.

It is one thing for some of us to go ferrel for a couple of years... it is quite something else for 75% of society to be permanently disabled due to our obesity.

Anonymous said...

The point I was trying to make was not that starving is somehow a good diet?! But rather, that obesity doesn't magically happen without the lack of food--regardless of genetic make-ups/variances.

And I strongly disagree with you Paul about "conscious" eating, I believe we should eat consciously and make choices and use our frontal cortex rather than rely on base instincts only. This is what separates us from other animals, we don't have to be slaves to our limbic system and endocrine urges at all time, we can choose to fight urges and in this type of food-culture that is often a key component to maintaining some semblance of a healthy diet/weight.

I want to eat cheesecake whenever I see it, and I have a whole host of impulses that are driven by hormones and the like--but if I gave into them all, I would be in sorry shape or in prison or both.

Obesity is largely just a symptom of our dysfunctional culture/society--lousy high sugar/chemical foods, sedentary lifestyles, and for some psychological stress induced eating to fill unmet needs. Food is one of the few primary motivators--so clearly, like rats in the labs, there is an urge to hit the food pellet button often--especially if your bored and have easy access to such things. I think peak oil/peak phosphorous will likely help reduce obesity--but who knows maybe the government will come out with soylent green?
-Meiyo

Dan said...

“How does this affect their family? ... What if the spouse is not Fat?”

It’s simple Gregg, they nag. Though, to be fair the misses got paid to nag people about their health for many years so I consider it an occupational hazard. I’m constantly hearing “If you want to die by the time you’re X” Where X is always twenty years in the future. I suppose as long as it’s an infinite series I’m cool with it, but I digress.

I’ve always considered my fitness to be totally adequate if I can do what I want to do without wheezing too much. I don’t want to waste what little time I have on earth at a gym, or running marathons to nowhere. I can jut as easily walk to the park, and climb on the toys with the boys; or walk down a trail, or go hunting, fishing, etc, etc... I don’t see anything wrong with carrying around a little spare tire, smoking, drinking, or any of the other “dirty” things I like to do.

Dan said...

BTW, do you have to beat the women off with a stick when you take the kids to the pool, park, etc. or is it just me?

Anonymous said...

Dan,

I don't care what you do as long as my insurance rate is not increased by your future need for insulin, knee replacements or oxygen bottles. Rates should reflect lifestyle.

Regards,

Coal Guy.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Dan:

Coal Guy has my point. Do what you will. Its your choice but should also be YOUR responsibility.

As for beating women off with a stick... , well, nobody needs me in the movies... that's not the point. Life is to LIVE - and the amount of living one can do at 25, 50, 100, 150 lbs overweight is severely curtailed, and it is sooo insidious and gradual that you don't even notice your life slipping away to the ball and chain too many folks are walking around with.

PioneerPreppy said...

I will take a different course from you guys today.

While there are foods out there that make you gain weight faster those foods have been around for decades and they didn't cause nearly as much trouble in the 70's and 80's and even the 90's. Although it did start getting bad int he 90's.

What is happening is a splinter group empowered by feminist (ya knew I would work them into this didn't ya) have been on the fat is fabulous kick and finally convinced women that being skinny is to submit to male dominance. How many articles, shows, pageants etc stress the female need to be overweight and still insist they are sexy?

This mind set has slowly worked its way into dominance that now women who would have been shunned 30 years ago as fat are the best looking chicks around. Depending on area of course.

Thirty years ago the few fat people around would have never dressed in the clothes they dress in today.

Essentially the same PCness (always championed by feminist) that infects Western Society has finally worked it's way into our health and physical form.

As for health care you can bet your ass that if the insurance companies go very far with weight limit pricing the feminist groups will attack with foaming mouths like they did for office visits.

Ever notice that women under age 55 have almost 3 times the medical expenses as men but by LAW pay the same rate? That is fair yet men still must pay more for car and life insurance.

Dan said...

As long as I keep on as I have been there will be no need for insulin, diabetes requires a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, I have neither, however I do have a bit of a spare tire. Call it too much of a good thing. Like I said I gauge my health by how well I can do what I want to do. Well within reason anyway. E.g. If I have trouble walking a few miles into the woods, I would consider that bad and the solution is to do more of it. However, if I get exhausted and my muscles are on fire from carrying/dragging the 150lbs deer back to the truck, that is to be expected. Same goes for getting winded at altitude.

As for you paying for my care; talk to your politicians, they came up with this crap. I don’t support it nor the nanny state it will necessarily create.

On the women at the park I was making light of what I consider to be a serious issue. They are not lusting after my body, no matter how much I might like to delude myself. When I take the boys to the park, and the weather is nice, there are usually 10 to 15 women there with their kids and almost never any men save me. Every now and again you will see a couple plying with their kids, and usually an older couple or two out walking. Basically what is making the womenfolk flirtatious, and occasionally downright aggressive, is the sight of a man out taking care of his kids. That this is so rare it elicits such a strong response speaks volumes- none of it good.

Stephen B. said...

Returning to Peak Oil for a moment... How many of you all think that our way cheap, unhealthy food availability has its genesis in the availability of cheap oil and gas to power the industrial food machine, and given Peak Oil, how many out there think that Peak Oil and gas is ultimately going to drive the obesity numbers down again at some point?

Anonymous said...

The end of cheap energy will force people to go out and actually do work instead of having machines do it for them. So I think people will become more healthier. Though should we perfect the fusion reactor then all hope is lost for a healthier society.

PioneerPreppy said...

I would imagine once transportation costs make shipping food stuffs too expensive it would have that effect.

A more localized food economy is going to be more wholesome but if the prices rise too fast we would see mass starvation which would have the same effect on eliminating obesity.

The real question is what form would it take? Will we actually bring shortages on ourselves fighting over the oil before it gets that expensive as some say we are already doing?

PioneerPreppy said...

As an addition to my PCness/feminist theory I just came back from visiting my GF who had on a new show about wedding dresses for PLUS sized women. One comment was even made about how plus sized women were every bit as sexy as skinny ones.

Go figure...

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Just as sexy?

Says who?

You gotta love the media...

Anonymous said...

@Meiyo
I guess you did not have the curiosity to watch the video and the related videos. Well, in a true libertarian way I can say:

"Me thinks this is something each of us must solve ourselves."

The problem is that even when given the string to pull, people will just push on it or drop it. SAD. Yes, peak oil will make this a non issue, but we (as a species) had a chance to figure this out scientifically (insulin) and not biblical(gluttony and sloth). We chose the biblical way.

"Cannibals and kings" forever

Regards,
Paul

Anonymous said...

@Paul,

Actually your wrong I did watch most of the video. This is not new information to me.

You make a false dichotomy, there is no scientific way vs. Biblical way. That is a false and demeaning statement. All the research in physical/mental health points to biopsychosocial model of health. There is NO insulin sensitivity only in a vacuum, both gluttony & sloth interact with biological systems. Insulin sensitivity variances is not fatalism. Sure its harder for some people to lose weight/stay skinny and easier for others to gain weight/stay overweight.

Insulin sensitivity isn't static either, it changes based on lifestyle not just genetic predisposition.

How about a 2 pronged approach rather then some bullshit nature vs. nurture debate that doesn't stand up to reality/science. Scientists continue to work on genetic interventions for obesity--it would help some people become very rich I'm sure. But my point remains valid, you cannot become obese purely based on you insulin sensitivity--you must put too much food in your mouth, usually lots of high glycemic index food and one must not move around much.

NO ONE weights 400lbs just based on poor insulin response--you MUST eat a massive amount of calories to get to that point, and you can't be exercising much.

Pure biological reductionism in the arena of obesity doesn't exist, behavior accounts for much of our individual biologies. Biology is not a fixed closed system--and hunger impulses, drinking impulses etc aren't fate--believing that to be so is not scientific, I would suggest its just dangerous for that individual. Gluttony and sloth is just part and parcel of the modern world to a large degree-- you can't do either if you don't have food available, or if circumstances forces one to do physical work. Even my paralyzed buddy exercises, albeit only with his arms, and he struggles with keeping his weight under control--unless he eats a very low glycemic index type diet.
-Meiyo