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Americans are getting fatter(48 posts)

Americans are getting fatterDuane Gran
May 21, 2002 4:30 PM
Here is one from the "duh department":

Personally this stuff really ticks me off. It is so simple for people to maintain a baseline of fitness. The whole situation baffles me. I'm particularly disturbed by the finding that smoking hasn't been on the decline for the most part, but in 11 states it has actually increased.
re: Americans are getting fatterDougSloan
May 21, 2002 5:37 PM
Good thing those SUV's are available to haul their fat butts around, huh?

If I weren't libertarian I'd feel the same way.

I am really surprised that TV ads...Bruno S
May 21, 2002 7:19 PM
portratit american males as fat. Look at the circuit city comercials and char-broil ads during the OLN coverage of the Giro. Or look at most beer commercials. Another one that comes to mind is the Passat W8 add. When ever they portrait a family guy he is always somewhat fat. This is bad because people will think that being fat is OK.
re: Americans are getting fatternetso
May 22, 2002 4:24 AM
Most States do not have mandatory physical education programs. The ones that do, do not require mandatory dressing out. Kids watch tv, play video games. They eat at McDonalds, Burger King etc. They do very little for exercise. No wonder they are fat. I could go on forever on this subject, but it is appalling. According to one source, this may be the first generation to have a lower life expectancy than their parents.
I am getting fatter...TJeanloz
May 22, 2002 4:33 AM
I, among with millions of Americans, am getting fatter. My question is, why do you care? The waif thinness that so many cyclists have can't possibly be more healthy than a little bit of meat around the edges. Granted, I don't have rolls or anything (but I am morbidly interested in what that would feel like), but seriously, aside from you thinking that fat people are ugly and unhealth, why do you care? If I want to be ugly and unhealthy, why can't I?
I am getting fatter...BikeViking at home
May 22, 2002 5:17 AM
As much as it pains me, I must agree with you. I went through the same sort of issue with my wife and her on/off can't make people do something they don't want. My daughter hates exercise, so if it was mandated , she would do it and promptly quit when she graduates. All we can do is try to help those around us. If they want no help, there's not much we can do about it. If they want to be a fat a$$ and die at 45, so be it. It's very selfish of tehm to put their loved ones through a tragedy, but the "it'll never happen to me" mindset is a tough one until it DOES happen to them. Then it may be too late...

HOWEVER, I, as a taxpayer, don't want to help pay the medical bills for someone who is engaging in this type of behavior. I have NO sympathy for those smokers who sue cigarette companies...they knew better but chose to continue. Texas has a no helmet law for motorcycles, BUT you have to get a sticker that shows you have taken out extra insurance, should you become an "organ donor".
medical billsDougSloan
May 22, 2002 5:38 AM
Maybe the fat lazy people don't want to pay the medical bills for we cyclists when we are in a crash or get a knee problem.

Insurance is about spreading risks. While we could micro-underwrite for every type of risk, I would think that many of us would not be able to get or pay for medical insurance, too. I doubt my life or health carriers, or their insureds, would like to know I bomb down mountain roads at 60 mph on 2 square inches of contact patch.

You don't to buy insurance. Just have a good savings account. As for taxpayers picking up the bills for people who don't take care of themselves and have no insurance, well, I'd take that one up with the legislators. Don't ban the activity, just don't pay for the consequences.

You will be subsidizing the fat and unhealthy...jrm
May 22, 2002 12:09 PM
because now it's the food and not the eater of the food, like the gun and not he person firing the gun, or the cigarette manufacturer and not the smoker.

But you know what like you said in your post, people make the CHOICE to do or not to do something. And they make these choice because they are dumbasses and wouldnt know a good or bad choice unless it involves Bart Simpson or the cast of friends.

yeah...Thomas Hobbs comes to mind...
My wife gripes at me when .....McAndrus
May 22, 2002 6:37 AM
I get thinner. My fighting (riding) weight is 155. Sometimes I don't pay attention and let it climb: after all, cheescake is yummy and just one piece can't hurt.

Right now I'm at 155 after five months of watching what I eat. And the wife is griping again about how thin I look. I'm not sure if she actually likes me pudgy or if she feels better about herself when I'm carrying some extra weight.

I weighed 155 when we married 23 years ago but I could balloon up to 180 before she'd make any comments.
Why does it piss me off that people are getting fatter?!empacher6seat
May 22, 2002 10:13 PM
Because I don't pay taxes so people can treat themselves like sh*t and rely on others like me to pay for their medical treatment. People who are fat by genetics have are in a different boat, they should be given treatment. Lazy, unhealthy people should be given a pair or running shoes and a soccer ball.
You'll pay for my medical treatment?TJeanloz
May 23, 2002 3:32 AM
That's so sweet of you. I was planning to have to pay for that myself, but if you're going to pick up the tab, I guess I can get even fatter.

Seriously, I don't expect you to pay my medical bills, but I do expect you to let me be fat in peace.
re: And life expectancy is on the decline as a result...jrm
May 22, 2002 6:37 AM
I read that the child of the Fat will not live longer then their parents due top being Fat. Huh, so ill outlive some fat kid in some flyover
Do we REALLY have to go here again???rideslikeagirl
May 22, 2002 7:15 AM
I guess my response to the last fat bashing session still applies...

"I can only speak for myself...And I strongly urge you to do the same.

I do not understand the need of many "normal" weighted people to discuss, disect and generally put-down the reason that other people are "fat".

I know where my weight problems stem from, and none of you are even close (if you care) to guessing the reason in all your presumptions. And, you know what? It doesn't matter.

For every "fat" person, you will have a different reason for their battle of the bulge. When I see an obese person, I feel sorry for them. Because I can only imagine what hell they are in, or have been in, and will probably continue to be in.

I've been there, done that. Sometimes I am winning the battle, sometimes I'm not. But I'm no longer locked in my hell over it.

But believe me, I never appreciate a skinny person, who's never been in my shoes, supposing they know the cause."

Do we REALLY have to go here again???netso
May 22, 2002 7:29 AM
It is fine if you have a problem, however when obesity is rampant at almost 30% of the population, an epidemic of Diabetes (onset) because of diet, a health problem is evident.
And, griping about it here, is helping HOW??? nmrideslikeagirl
May 22, 2002 7:39 AM
clarificationDuane Gran
May 22, 2002 7:34 AM
First off, I apologize if my posting made me come off as being insensitive. I have relatives with health related issues that makes it nearly impossible for them to attain a healthy weight/BMI. I didn't mean to imply that everyone could or should be a svelt model.

That said, there is still something alarming here and I believe it ties directly to people's habits, on a socialogical scale. Americans are the most overweight and also have the worst diet and lifestyle habits. It isn't a big leap to identify the correlation. Put simply, people in this country are cutting their lives short because they can't refuse a big mac or walk for 30 minutes a day.

Mind you, I'm not saying *all* people, I'm speaking in terms of the general picture. Pointing out exceptions in the far ends isn't really germain to the issue.

I happen to agree with Doug's position. As another libertarian I am content for people to do whatever they want as long as we don't have socialized medical care.
Why do you think businesses advertise? To influence behavior128
May 22, 2002 8:08 AM
right? So on the one hand you're critical of people's (eating) habits, I wonder if you consider and are as equally critical of the influences on those habits?
I.e the advertisement for the Big Mac. You refer to sociology, habits, and lifestyle; I think that invokes more than just individual, choice from some organic void. It calls culture and society and individuals to account. Would you apply the same burden on McD's (an individual legally speaking) to present wise choices as you do on the individual to choose wisely? Or should we just call people fat and ignore some obvious, glaring reasons why they're fat. Or should we just be content to let people do whatever they want to do? Ignoring the social cost, in this case that we're fat and underinsured...
Do we REALLY have to go here again???cp123
May 22, 2002 9:04 PM

I can see both sides of the fence on this one. Yes, those who smoke, eat unhealthily or don't participate in any physical exercise - I have mixed feelings towards.

Me, I ride my bike most days of the week, and longer distances at weekends. I have ridden 210 kms in one day. I participate in club rides and do the odd crit or road race here and there and participate in veterans athletics each week over the spring and summer months - but yes, I am, by all accounts and standards, overweight.

Height for weight, my bmi is 26-27. In the past it has been higher. I am short and chunky. Yes, I'm the first to admit i've got a roll around my middle and have "curvey" (?) hips and I wish to blazes I didn't. On every chart I'm about 4-5 kg above the top of my healthy weight range. And that's when I'm fit and tuned up.

But weight used to give me big issues. I have had "fat jokes" and insults. I fit into average sized clothes although I'm distinctly pear shaped - ie with the top half being a size and half less than the bottom. (Somewhat unattractive for a mid 30's woman wearing lycra I believe). Anyway, I've dealt with it, and I certainly try to improve it, but I live with it.

Am I healthy? I certainly believe so. Do i wish i was different? yes. I'm sure i could get up the hills if i was 5 kg lighter. Do i eat healthily? Mostly yes. Am I one of the fat or lazy sloths in the statistics? I hope not! I don't know what the answer is. sigh...

Do we REALLY have to go here again???rideslikeagirl
May 23, 2002 10:24 AM
Hi backatcha!

I guess I have an issue with those that pass judgement for any reason. But especially weight issues, since it's a sensitive one for me.

My upbringing twisted my body image so severely, that on the rare occassions I've been a size six, I still feel like a house. From the time I was 7 years old, I was told that I needed to lose weight, but I would "never be skinny" since I was bigged boned (not true).

Looking back at childhood and adolescent pictures, it just infuriates me that this warped reality was imposed on me...I was a totally normal weighted child.

But I was taught that I was not good enough and that food was evil. I was NOT introduced to fitness as a means of balancing my weight. I was taught that I couldn't eat. And this family value was reinforced by the media.

So, I had two choices, become anorexic or binge. The drug of choice in my family is alcohol. Mine was food.

Only in the last three years (I'm now 36) have a learned that food is NOT the enemy. A bad self image is.

I'm okay with being a size 12 now. I don't have to constantly strive to fit into smaller jeans. It would be nice, and if that's the by-product of cycling, then by all means, I'll take it! But I won't hate myself if I don't.

Cycling has helped me find that balance between food, body image and fitness that is so important for women. Too bad I had no one to teach me that 25 years ago.

(okay, WAY more than you wanted to know - but I appreciate your response)

Oh, and...rideslikeagirl
May 23, 2002 10:28 AM
The skinnie minnie's I work with have never broke a sweat in their lives, smoke a pack a day, wouldn't know a brussel sprout if it bit them, drink a pot of coffee a day and party all weekend.

I think I'll probably live longer than them. Just a hunch.
Familiar story, unfortunatly..........Len J
May 23, 2002 10:47 AM
congratulations on discovering some clarity, even if it took 25 yrs. That is not a shot, BTW, mine took 35 years, so you have 10 years more to enjoy it then I have had.

While mine wasn't food, (it was intellectual & emotional isolation & a striving to be perfect at everything), I recognize in your story many common themes, the projection of your (& my) parents insecurities onto us, the trying, striving to be good enough for their love, the "failing" and never being good enough. It's very sad. I emphathize with your loss.

The good news is that once I realized the humanness of my responses, and was able to see how normal my responses were when placed in the insanity within which I grew up, I could let go & make healtier choices as I've gone forward. The whole understanding & acceptance thing has been a hugh gift for me.

When I was figuring all this out I wrote something that I think you'll be able to relate to.

Reflections Len Janssen June 1988

As I look out upon the world....
What I see are reflections of how awful I am.
I see the distaste in their faces
The scorn in their eyes
The loathing in their posture.
I see the things I try to do (for all the wrong reasons)
Crumble into hurt and pain
For those I most want to please.
Worse than that, my seeming friends..
Can't see the truth of how awful I am.

I just met a group of struggling people...
Who refuse to see the truth of how awful I am.
I see the serenity in their faces,
The love in their eyes,
The attention in their posture.
I see the things I try to say (for all the wrong reasons)
Building into self-revelation and peace
For the me I am beginning to want to please.
Worse than that these seeming friends...
Can't see the truth of how awful I am.

It is becoming more obvious each day...
That I may have been wrong about how awful I am.
As I see the truth of my past,
The humanness of my reactions,
The health of my defenses.
I see the reasons for the things I do (for all the right reasons)
Explained in the insanity of the past
Reaching for love by trying to please.
Worse than that, my seeming loved ones..
Reinforced my feelings of how awful I am.

As I renew my view of the world...
What I see is a reflection of how I feel about me.
I am beginning to see the acceptance in their faces,
The joy in their eyes,
The relaxation in their posture.
I see that the things that are there (for all the right reasons)
Contributing to the evolution of me
Coming from he who is most worthy of pleasing.
Better that that, I am beginning...
To see the truth of how human I am.

I Hope your journey continues on it's unhesitating path towards happiness.

humanness of my responsesrideslikeagirl
May 23, 2002 11:42 AM
Thank you for the kind words and sharing your writing with me. I think I'll be digesting that for a while. Very touching-

The next step in my journey to happiness is to accept the humanness of my mother. She had her own reasons for being such a nut. Her behaviour was a response to something in her life and I'm trying like heck to make peace with the fact that she did the best she possibly could.

WAY easier said than done. But, at least it's on the radar screen. :)
Damn, you've found the right path.Len J
May 23, 2002 12:00 PM
My father, who was at the center of my disfunction, contracted cancer in 1989 (about a year after the poem I shared). He died after a 2 1/2 year sruggle. Realizing that, for my own sanity, I needed to resolve my feelings for him, and that I didn't have much time, I spent a tremendous amount of energy trying to sort out and resolve a lifetime of disappointment and resentment. What I discovered is much easier to communicate than it ever was to truly believe.

1.) The father whose approval I worked my whole life for never existed. He was a myth, created by a scared and lonely child who childishly believed that "If only I was better, he would be that wonderful father that I have had small glimpses of." My real father was incapabable of such Love. Like your mother, he was as damagad as I was. Maybe more so.

2.) In order to get to know my real father, I had to let go of this mythical father. Not intellectually let go, but relly let go. In order to do that I had to suffer all of the grief that normally goes with the death of a loved one. I had invested so much energy in this myth, that to me he was real. The loss of this myth was one of the most painful things I have ever gone thru, but also one of the most healing. Grief involved anger, resentment, negotiation and finally acceptance.

3.) Once I let go of the myth, my expectations of my Father were dramatically different. I was able to see him "in his humanness". Some good & some bad. As you say, someone doing the best he could, with the hand he'd been dealt. I learned an awful lot about him that I never knew. When he died, I can honestly say that I have no regrets.

Good luck on your journey. Sounds like you have become healthy enough to trust your instincts, that in itself is quite a gift.

A wise person once told me that "If you like who you are, and who you are is a result of everthing you have been through, Why would you want to change anything in your past?" Worth thinking about.

Keep pushing, it's worth it.

"If you like who you are, and ..."rideslikeagirl
May 23, 2002 12:17 PM
Man, oh man- That's been my mantra for ages!

I just skimmed over the rest of your post - crying at work is not cool! :) But I will print it and come back to it, just like the other one. I think they'll help me.

It's wonderful that you were able to get the clarity you needed to have no regrets in the end. Those kinds of regrets can haunt a person for a lifetime.

Wise words, Mr Len. A distinct pleasure to 'meet' you! :)

Have yourself a wonderful weekend! (taking tomorrow off for some great riding with some great friends) Woo hoo!!
You too, great W/E. nmLen J
May 23, 2002 12:19 PM
Minds are getting narrower. Fat does not mean un-fit,unhealthy.128
May 22, 2002 7:38 AM
An individual's comfortable weight is often viewed as over/under weight by ignorant people, including far to many MD's. 'Over-weight' is a famously difficult equation, too many individualized variables.

Broadly speaking, I wager those viewed as not fat by the judgemental are on balance less healthy and fit than those viewed by the same judges as fat. Just a hunch.
May 22, 2002 8:12 AM
maybe I'm dumb for thinking this, and it's somewhat agaist some of my views in general but... in the beginning we all start out about the same, and then about age 5 we start going to school. EVERYONE goes to school and we stay in school till we're about 18. There's a thing we all took... callled PE... If everyone had PE 3-5 days a week with some cardio each time then we'd be a much fitter nation, if that wasn't enough make a fitnesss requirement on finishing high school. It's very simple, there's already a system in place...
May 22, 2002 8:24 AM
If people are "diagnosed" as being overweight based on some chart that uses height and weight alone as the determining factor for obesity, many otherwise fit people are in trouble. While I do agree that Americans have, in general, poorer eating and exercise habits than many in other countries, I don't believe that today's medical standard of "ideal" weight is healthy or accurate. As an example, my step-sister is exactly my height and has a fairly similar build. She weighs 20 pounds less than I do (in my non-pregnant state) and thus is considered "healthier" than I am based on her standings on some BMI index. However, she does not exercise, and her resting heart rate, bp, cholesterol and body fat percentage are all significantly higher than mine. Yet, according to the "charts," I'm the one who's overweight.
May 22, 2002 9:06 AM
BMI does come into play, however I am 5'10" and 200#. According to BMI charts I should weigh 174#. My bodyfat is 13.8% at 59 yo. I weighed 173# once for a bodybuilding competition and my wife thought I was going to die because I was too thin (BF-2.3%). Am I overweight - yes, am I overfat - No!
I said it before & I'll say it again.Len J
May 22, 2002 9:05 AM
"I understand the Bias, I have felt it but............"

Posted by: Len J May-03-02, 06:18 AM

That was before I met my wife.
I was blessed with great genes. I am 6'0" 150 pounds, couldn't put weight on if you paid me, can eat anything, anytime and still have low blood pressure and low colestrol (sp?). As a result of this, I too shared the oponion that if someone was overweight it was because of some "defect in discipline", that if they wanted to, they could be thin. Boy was I wrong.

My wife is the most disciplined person I have ever met in my life. She works out 1 hour every morning hard, watches everything she eats for fat content, mix of Carbs & protein, sugar etc. Yet she is still what most people would consider slightly overweight, yet she is in excellant health. I have watched her now for 12 years & there is nothing more she can do to reduce her weight (Short of something dysfunctional). Her genetic makeup defines her limits. It has taken her many years to accept this in our "Thinner is better" society. I happen to (objectivly) think she's beautiful but your first impression (and frankly when I met her, mine) might be otherwise. It was a real lesson for me in judging, in projecting my experience with how my body works onto other people.

I realize that all people are not as disciplined as my wife, however I have learned that there are other possibiliies then "If their fat, they must be lazy".

My experience.


Generalizations are not helpful.
Do you propose a solution to the problem you raise?

I said it before & I'll say it again.netso
May 22, 2002 9:09 AM
Move-Move-Move-Exercise-Exercise-move-move and, eat less of the junk!
What about compassion and respect for others? (nm)Becky
May 22, 2002 10:14 AM
doing my shareDougSloan
May 22, 2002 12:33 PM
I just downed a quarter pounder with cheese, a large Coke, and I'm working on a 10 oz bag of Fritos (10 servings, 10 g of fat per).

I have big jar of Skittles sitting on my bookshelf just begging to be gobbled up, too.

Sometimes it's sooooooooooo good to be bad.

Me toomickey-mac
May 22, 2002 12:38 PM
It's only 1:40 and I just finished my second beer. However, I'm on vacation this week. Life is good.
you are way behindDougSloan
May 22, 2002 12:42 PM
1:40 and only the second beer? On vacation? You do mean second six pack, right?

"Can we start drinking, yet?"

"Hell, yes, it's gotta be noon somewhere."
It'salways beer:15, beer:30,beero'clock on vacation isn't it?.nm128
May 22, 2002 12:48 PM
May 22, 2002 12:49 PM
You're right about that. However, I've got a 50 mile drive down to my folks' house this afternoon, so I've got to take it easy for now. Tomorrow is Legoland. I don't remember if they serve beer. I do, however, remember that Stone Brewing is a short drive from Legoland. Maybe I'll let my wife go solo with the kids for 2-3 hours and make a quick brewery run. ;-)
so let the kid drive :-) nmDougSloan
May 22, 2002 12:55 PM
I might "let" my wife drivemickey-mac
May 22, 2002 1:02 PM
Thanks for reminding me that I have a designated driver. I'm heading to the fridge.
Try the LegoLager: requires assembly though...nm128
May 23, 2002 4:28 AM
was on vacation 2 weeks ago and i have you both beatColnagoFE
May 22, 2002 12:48 PM
One of those all-inclusive places. Eat and drink whatever, whenever, and however much you want. I musta downed a few gallons of mudslides, another gallon or two of rum mixed with various fruit concoctions and numerous red stripe beers along with tons of fries, jamaican jerk pork and chicken. and that was just the snacks and drinks. you still need to eat you 3 daily meals. gained 3 lbs in a week i think, but now i'm back riding and going to the gym.
My grandfather used to..........Dave Hickey
May 22, 2002 1:03 PM
Get up at 8:00am and have "an eye opener" every day. He had an old ice box in his garage where he kept a bottle of scotch(hidden from his wife). I finally died of old age at 92 years old.
I got it -- it's genetic codingDougSloan
May 22, 2002 12:52 PM
Maybe there's a secret genetic code that does its best to limit the lifespans of humans after they have had time to reproduce and raise children. The code affects us in various ways, but all with the goal of killing us earlier. We fight this code in many ways, but it still tries and tries. Thus, we eat hamburgers, drive too fast, jump out of airplanes, smoke, do drugs, live on fault lines...

The "Death Gene." You read it here first.

We call them two-seaters.RoyGBiv
May 22, 2002 2:03 PM
Sadly, there's more than a few lard asses who get on the intercity commuter bus. Sometimes, I swear, they make the bus kneel when they step up.
One night, I took a window seat for the 50-minute ride down the highway to home. She got on at a later stop and sat down beside me. Right away, I could feel her pinning me against the wall. I moved over to cede her more space, but as the bus heaved and rolled down the road, her thighs began splashing up against mine, in a rhythmic pattern, like the sea crashing against rocky shoals. I flexed my thigh and she moved over. But a few second later her thigh began spreading, like porridge, and pressing up against me again and again and again.
Gawd what a long bus ride. :-)
Sadly, there's even more pea-brains. nmrideslikeagirl
May 22, 2002 2:45 PM
re: Americans are getting fatterempacher6seat
May 22, 2002 10:16 PM
Another reason life expectancy might start going down is because so many kids die from gunshot wounds in schools, but that's a topic for a whole different post...
how many? nmDougSloan
May 23, 2002 6:31 AM
Shouldn't one be too much?empacher6seat
May 23, 2002 9:19 AM
Approximately 3600 people aged 19 and under are killed every year by gunshot wounds that stem from arguments at school. That boils down to around 10 each day. Non-fatal injuries are estimated to be three times that of deaths caused by guns. In 1998, homicide was the leading cause of death for black males, age 15-30.
Because there's around 65 million handguns in the US, and in each home where this is a gun, it's 22 times more likely to kill a family member then to be used in self defence.
Maybe I should move this to that gun laws post....