Friday, August 29, 2008

Why are Americans obese?

Apparently it's because they (we) eat too much (I'm not overweight, much less obese, but I'm a yank).

On CNN they have a health quiz up and the answer to "how many calories does an average American consume?" is about twice the recommended average: 4,000 calories.

Even if these people are somewhat active (say an hour or so of exercise daily), that's at least 1,000 (probably 1,500 or more) calories per day -- that generate excess weight (in other words, fat). That's two pounds a week in pure weight gain! (Almost one kilogram, for most of the rest of the world).

I wonder how long it will be before Americans have two classes of people: fit and fat. The fat have the numbers. The fit will live longer.

It was really depressing to see this but it explains a lot.

Some other reasons why Americans are fat:

-- food subsidies make fattening foods cheaper (dairy, meat, bread) while fruits and vegetables are expensive
-- serving sizes have grown (a small drink at restaurants is the size of an extra large from twenty or thirty years ago)
-- cheap meals are fattening: fast food meals are extremely unhealthy and have far too many calories
-- having so many overweight people around makes healthy people look (too) skinny (the Wall Street Journal ran an article asking if the healthy physique of Obama made him un-electable since he's "out of touch" with overweight American voters; of course, Bush was elected twice, but maybe his lack of intelligence made him appear "one of us" to the idiotic masses)
-- of course, busy workdays make it hard to find time to exercise.

I'm sure there are more. I'm simply in total shock at the consumption of calories by Americans.

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