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Holy Fat Bastards, Batman!(26 posts)

Holy Fat Bastards, Batman!Applejuice
Mar 5, 2002 5:40 PM
Utilizing the BMI guidelines, a whooping EIGHTY PERCENT of the U.S. population over 25 is overweight.

The scary thing is how much this rate has grown over the last fifty years. Look at these numbers:

1953 - 58%
1990 - 64%
1995 - 71%
2002 - 80%+

That's pretty scary. I know the Baby Boomer generation is aging and that is skewing the numbers, but between 1995 and 2002 the fraction jumped ten percent alone! Ten percent! Call off the SUVs and the All you can eat Chinese Buffets because we are turning into a Super Size Nation.

Does anyone else find it ironic that 80% of the world spends most of their time trying to gain weight and 20% of it spends most of their time trying to lose it?

Anyway, I'm curious to hear what everyone thinks about this issue and our future (will we fit!?)

P.S. - in the interest of not being Enroned, the author wishes to fully disclose the fact that he cross-posted on the mtb site.
answers heregtx
Mar 5, 2002 5:48 PM
re: Holy Fat Bastards, Batman!PaulCL
Mar 5, 2002 6:05 PM
1. See the other post about the fast food generation
2. The overuse of fructose as a flavorant and preservative in our foods. It keys the body to store the food for future use aka "fat" . Put down the soft drink, the poptarts, and highly processed food.
3. The TV, video games, computers, etc..we sit on our butts all the time. How long has it been since you've turned off the TV and taken a walk with your family in the evening???

There are probaly a million other reasons. My favorite is my lard-butt sister-in-law (>250lbs of woman!): at dinner one night she was complaining of not being able to ever lose weight as, I swear, she was eating her third piece of cheesecake. When I absent mindedly quipped that she oughta limit herself on the cheesecake, I got stares of death from my wife's family. That's OK, since I'm the nutcase in-law who puts on lycra and rides a bicyle at 6AM. Exercise just isn't a priority with most Americans - they want a pill to get them thin. It doesn't work. Crap food in, crap body in return.
Now that is some funny SH#$Lazywriter
Mar 5, 2002 8:37 PM
about your sister in law. Hey, I tend to gain a little weight in the winter, but I have no delusions of why it is happening (more eating, less riding but that changes soon with spring, for me at least). I cannot stand hearing people say they cannot lose weight. Like their biology is any different from the rest of us!
Losing weight is a simple formula. Burn more than you take in, period. All the bullsh#$ about metabolism, thyroid blah blah is total bull. Those staple stomach operations prove that it is because if that were the case, then those who get the operation wouldn't lose weight and they invariably do lose and big.
With regards to the BMI, it is kinda BS in its own right because according to the figures, many world class athletes fall into the "overweight" category. I remember a few years back, there was an article about it with Evander Holyfield's picture with a caption, "is this man overweight". According to height and his weight, technically he was overweight according to BMI. So the BMI is really used as a tool for insurance companies to calculate risk for health problem projections and not a true measure of fitness. Interesting article, wish I had saved it.
BMI is BStarwheel
Mar 6, 2002 4:49 AM
I have no doubt that most Americans are overweight, including me. However, the BMI scale is totally ridiculous. According to this scale, I was overweight as a teenager (5'11" and 175 lbs.) even though I was skinny as a rail. Just out of curiosity, I plugged in Lance Armstrong's height and weight (5'10" and 160 lbs.) and it showed him as being marginally overweight or just on the borderline. That is balony.

That said, many of us could stand to lose some weight. However, I don't think it helps anyone to set goals that are unrealistic if not unhealthy.
BMI is BS- OmyGod Ullrich is Obese! -nmSnowBlind
Mar 6, 2002 8:27 AM
Even overweight we came in 2nd in the Olympic medal count!! nmBruno S
Mar 5, 2002 6:44 PM
Personal AdmissionApplejuice
Mar 5, 2002 10:11 PM
Despite the flippant topic, I am not insensitive to this topic. I have watched my Mom struggle with this issue for all of her adult life (as long as I have been around). She has probably spent more time recording what she eats than any human being on this planet. First it was Weight Watchers, then Jenny Craig and finally one of those Medical Weight Loss Clinics. The last finally worked but only because they put he on shakes for weeks. No solid food. She lost over forty pounds.

Over the next year she transitioned back into regular food and guess what? Regained all of it. She seems to have added a little more since then.

I have on occasion encouraged her to work out. She joined a health club once. That lasted about two months and the remaining ten months of the year long contract were a total waste.

It has been sad and frustrating to watch over the years. I do not believe anything will ever be successful for her. But nor will she ever stop going to Jenny Craig.

I am of the opinion that this country has a terrible relationship with our bodies. I realize that this is a chicken-and-the-egg quandry, but I believe that the tremendous pressure created by the media is partly responsible. Just walk through Barnes & Noble and look at all the covers of the health magazines. You'd think a ripped, tan physique were a sit-up away.

I have spent years outside the U.S. in different parts of Latin America. Interestingly enough, the greater the U.S. influence, the higher the indices for eating disorders and the higher the indices for obesity. Many Latin cultures seek a balance instead of perfection. Perhaps therein lies our problem. The polarization is so great sometimes in our country that it is brutally intimidating to walk into any gym. Not exactly facilitating the weight loss.

Anyway, keep on keepin' on.
I'm 5'7" and have been as much as 40 lbs over my "ideal".Leisure
Mar 6, 2002 2:02 AM
It was all muscle. I've probably never had more than 11% bodyfat. Most of the time I'm closer to 6. I don't like the whole BMI thing, as I think it overemphasizes absolute weight when the focus should be on health. This is old news for this site; I recall plenty have posted similar sentiments. Have an active lifestyle without overindulgence. Don't worry too hard either. A lot of people overeat because they worry about it so much. They get so anxious that they gorge. It's like some sort of hording behavior. I don't think it's exclusively human, either. One of my cats got depressed for a while and began overeating and got fat. A friend's cat does the same thing. I'm trying to figure out why I brought this up. Anyway, I understand your concern. Sometimes being overly-worried makes for a self-fulfilling prophecy. Perhaps your mom could be better served with more outside activities, distractions? Just one possible suggestion.
re: Holy Fat Bastards, Batman!netso
Mar 6, 2002 3:59 AM
First let me qualify myself by saying I have a Ph.D. in Physiology, and owned a health Club for over 20 years. Being overweight does not bother me per se. In my bodybuilding competitive years I weighed between 184-202 at a bodyfat of anywhere from 2-3%. I am 58 now and weigh 200 at a bodyfat of 15.5%. My weight should be 164 which I have not weighed since Junior High. What concerns me is that we are overfat. I had a body composition laboratory which measured 1st year college students. My results were appalling. 18 yo men having body fat levels that averaged 24-26% and women 31%. This is incredible. Exercise is almost non-existent, but we also eat junk. How do we solve this I do not know. I start with myself and family.
Portion controlspdplayr
Mar 6, 2002 4:31 AM
Though it sounds ridiculous to weigh out your ounces of food ingested like LA does it works. I had no idea a couple of months ago that I was regularly consuming 4-5 times a regular portion of food at every meal that was leading to my 206 lb weight on my 5'10" frame. I got a nutritionist that consults with me online and emails me recipes and hopping lists for the week every week. It is a balanced cab-protein-fat diet that doesn't leave me hungry and I get to cook for myself and eat VERY tasty foods four times a day. Forget the pills, shakes, and crappy craig that forces you to create an alternative to eating normally for a couple of months to lose weight only to gain it back again. Do yourself a favor. Get a nutrinionist for a short amount of time and LEARN to eat again--for one person. It makes the world of difference. Stop eating all of the food on your plate when you go out too--they have even less of a clue of what a "portion" is!
Thank You!Kristin
Mar 6, 2002 7:02 AM
I began practicing portion control 2 years ago. You wouldn't believe the crazy looks I get. I'm a bit unconventional. But I know that if you set a large plate of food before me, I'll eat it all. So, when I order at a restaurant, I ask the waiter to box 1/2 of it before it even comes to the table. When purchasing lunch at the cafeteria, and I want a soda (pop) I take only 6 ounces. The register lady thinks I'm nuts to waist $0.54. I must be insane! But, after giving away my TV and controling my portions, I lost 15lbs over a 6 months with no excercise.
The solutionmikebikr
Mar 6, 2002 4:49 AM
After a rather scientific and prolonged study it has been determined that only 1.376% of the readers of this message board are currently rated in the overweight category. The hypothesis is that the energy requirements needed to decipher this weighty material burns a tremendous quantity of calories. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that daily reading of this message board should be a requirement for all US citizens over the age of 6. We will see almost immediate results. THIS MESSAGEBOARD CAN SAVE AMERICA!
A fact I can't reconcileMcAndrus
Mar 6, 2002 5:17 AM
Once in a while I pull out my dad's WWII Navy pictures. A lot of the snapshots are of him with his family: my grandparents, aunts and uncles. These pictures were taken in 1943.

Out of dozens of people in the pictures only one is what we would call fat - my great grandmother. While no one is athletic or muscular, they are almost to a person slim - particularly my grandfather who was about 55 at the time and my uncles.

Here's something else we can blame on our parents (that's a joke :-)). I am 5'11" at 157lbs. I have the same basic physique as my father who got as high as 200 lbs in his lifetime. It was, after all, my parents' generation that invented McDonalds.

His parents, my grandparents, were thin. I remember going to visit when I was a wee lad. Breakfast was eggs, potatoes, and bacon that had been just cut from a slab. Oh, and coffee, lots of coffee. Dinner and supper were similarly fat heavy with lots of roast beef and potatoes.

These people were admittedly more active than we are as a whole but not that much. The fact I can't reconcile is how they can eat a diet like that and be skinny?

Oh, and pies. Did I mention that they had pies with every meal?
Similar to EuropeCRM
Mar 6, 2002 6:08 AM
The diet you describe is similar to that of many Europeans and yet they are uniformly thin, too. I visited friends in Vienna a few years ago and I couldn't believe the diets they ate: breakfasts of cheese and the fattiest meats I've ever seen; other meals of sausages and fried food; and lots and lots of beer. Yet they were all skinny.

The only thing I could attribute it to is that they are much more active than Americans. Not specific "exercise" per se (although they did plenty of that, too), but just more physically active. They walked or rode bikes nearly everywhere they went. They rarely drove (in part because gas prices are astronomical). They didn't watch a lot of TV (not much on).

I suspect that this is similar to previous American generations. Poor diets, per se, but lots more active.
More simple sugars->more fat->more SUVs->hit biker->fewer bikesSlipstream
Mar 6, 2002 5:29 AM
It's a McDonald's conspiracy I tell you.
More simple sugars->more fat->more SUVs->hit biker->fewer bikesjaybird
Mar 6, 2002 6:00 AM
and if you connect the fewer bikes to the movie "Quicksilver", you have the seven degrees to Kevin Bacon...
One thoughtNessism
Mar 6, 2002 5:54 AM
The US economy has changed quite a bit over the years. Before there was a high percentage of people working manufacturing blue collar type of jobs which kept them fit. Now a days, more people work desk jobs and thus sit on their butts all day (myself included).
re: Holy Fat Bastards, Batman!Indianarider
Mar 6, 2002 6:09 AM
Isn't luxury something!
re: Holy Fat Bastards, Batman!duh
Mar 6, 2002 6:29 AM
just doing things is not always the answer. take a look a every letter carrier you see. most of them a just as over weight as he rest of us. errrrr everyone else. :)
portion sizing??aka Cartman
Mar 6, 2002 6:19 AM
Do you think that the outrageous portion sizes that you get at some resturants may be to blame?? I went out to eat a couple of times in the past couple of weeks. at one pizza joint, I got spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs were softball size (2). I ate lunch, and my daughter and I ate supper of that one meal. Another resturant, linguini and seafood yielded two filling meals. I'm not saying that they are the root of all evil, but I'm sure that it adds to the problem
Yes, it contributes to the problem.McAndrus
Mar 6, 2002 7:28 AM
There's a restaraunt chain with the perfect name, "FATZ". They have portions that are huge. I think the servers wear back braces to deliver them.
m perfectripSRV
Mar 6, 2002 6:25 AM
There is a finite quantity of human pounds on the planet. If you lose 10, someone else gains it.

Furthermore, How can you possibly gain more than a pound if you eat 1 pound of m&m's?
can't reply in full . . . must finish biggy fries nmmorrison
Mar 6, 2002 7:07 AM
Points to success.Wil
Mar 6, 2002 11:55 AM
1) Get most of your carbs from fruits and vegetables. 2) Get most of your fat from vegetables (soy (soy milk), advocado, olive oil) and fish. 3) Drink water (60-80 oz a day). Although I sometimes have trouble dropping the coffee in the morning; this is the way to go. The best tasting soy milk out there is Soy Dream. The regular kind tastes great, other brands taste beany. Flavored brand taste good but has added carbs.
Good Resources for Health and DietMisJG
Mar 6, 2002 12:55 PM
One of the best sites for nutrition information:

Software to help with your caloric intake:

My wife and I use the Diet Power software and it works! I've lost 10 pounds since December (the winter weight). The best part about this program is that is makes you very aware of what you are eating every day. If you record your food intake and your exercise faithfully, the program begins to "learn" about you. According to the program, my metabolic rate is in the 2500 cal/day range. Just wait untill I start riding this spring!!