Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Short, Fat, and Proud to be an American

Did you know that in 2010, America was the world's fattest country? Our people are ranked 9th in the world in height. So we are all getting to be short and fat. Great. 

I watched the United Stats of America tonight on the History Channel. (I happen to love this show. I rarely turn on a TV, and when I do there are only a few shows that I will sit and watch. This is one of them.) Tonight's numbers really hit home hard. Tonight's episode focused on obesity in America, which I have blogged about previously. Not only am I personally working to change the fact that I fit into the obese category, but more than 30% of Americans are right there with me.

In the United States, unhealthy food is easier to get and often less expensive that healthy food. The government subsidizes major factories that produce processed foods and corn growers who sell to major factories for over-processing. It isn't natural! 

The most popoular food in America is french fries! And the average American eats more than 4 pounds of potato chips per year! Many Americans don't even know how to cook a potato at home! Fast food burgers often contain enough calories meet a persons caloric needs for an entire day! A wide variety of foods eaten in their basic form made early Americans the tallest and healthiest people in the world. A diet of fast food and overly processed food has made modern Americans the fattest people in the world!

The average male waist was 33" in the early 1900s, but today it's 39.7"! But we changed the way we eat starting in the 1950s with the advent of fast food restaurants. Also,  people started working less actively. Technology has reduced the number of farmers to 2% of the American population and 80% of Americans now work in offices. In 1790, more than 90% of Americans were farmers! They ate healthy food and got tons of exercise. 

America has adapted, though. Instead of calling attention to the problem, since the 1980s furniture has gotten wider, movie theater seats have gotten wider, dinner plates have gotten bigger, and even standard coffin size is now wider!

I am learning to eat fresh, made from scratch, and homemade. When I do all of this, I eat healthier! And guess what? I've started losing weight! I have a long way to go, but I am finally learning that when I make healthier choices I can eat more food without gaining more weight. When I get more exercise, I work up more of an appetite. But I can eat more because I burned more calories. 

Sounds simple but it's harder than you think to put into practice. Why? Because unhealthy food is easier to get and less expensive! You can't get steamed spinach at a drive-thru. But you can get potatoes dipped in sugar then deep fried in oil and tossed with salt for only $1.19. No wonder our nation is short and fat.

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  1. I am so going to check out this show! I haven't heard of it before, but it's right up my alley. The biggest piece of advice I can make to people looking to make healthier eating choices is to change one thing at a time. Don't try to change everything overnight. It'll be easier if you keep tracking towards small successes vs. being overwhelmed by the magnitude of changing everything at once.

  2. I'll have to watch this! First I need to finish watching The Weight of the Nation. Great post!