Note to the World: You’re Fat.

It is no surprise to me that one of the big news items today is that anywhere from 30 to 40% of U.S. adults are obese.  My own estimate is slightly worse: about 70% of U.S. adults seem to be merely overweight; about 30-40% of that group are downright obese.  I count people as obese when I can hear them breathing 10 feet away and they are so fat that they can barely walk.  A fair number of them, in fact, can’t walk, which seems to me to be an awfully high price to pay for eating.

What may come as a surprise to some reading this, particularly if they do not reside in the U.S., is that (coming from a person who daily has the opportunity to observe this), it’s not just U.S. Americans who are fat.  Almost the entire world — the non-starving 5 billion part, that is — seems to be fat at this point. 

What I’m basing this on is that about 50% of the people who I meet every day are foreign.  And they are just as fat as the natives.

The difference between U.S. Americans and foreigners is that the Americans tend to whine about the food industry trying to kill them, even while they are stuffing that same food industry’s supposed poisons into their mouths by the forklift-full.  And indeed, the food industry has for some years been adding too much of everything to our processed food.  Some of this — as in “too much sugar” — is mostly the food industry’s fault, except when you consider the dilemma caused by sugars occurring naturally in “healthy” products like juice (many fruits naturally have tremendous amounts of sugar); some of it is due to regulatory practices (“too much salt” sometimes falls into the latter category), and some of it is things we in the public tend to identify as “bad” even though they’re not necessarily bad (such as many fats).  But the fact is, we control how much of “too much” we actually eat, and by doing so, we also pretty much control how much of “too much” the food industry produces.  Bitching about it at the top of your lungs in public will not change anything, but it may get you labeled as a lunatic.  Don’t bother.  Just don’t eat whatever it is you’re tempted to bitch about.  That should lose you at least 50 pounds right there.

The foreigners just don’t give a shit, except that a lot of them snort that the food is so much better wherever it is they came from.  I won’t go into that, in spite of the temptation.

The basic fact is, no matter where the obese come from, the fattest people are usually the ones who put the most food in their mouths.  Think about it.  The food doesn’t just jump into your mouth.  You have to put it there.  You have control of what you put there.  And many fat people I’ve observed are simply out of control around food.

A nurse once told me that a lot of (American) fat people she’s talked to, fat women in particular, are convinced that they need to consume about 5,000 calories a day.  I’m not kidding.  The reality for most women is less than 2,000 calories a day.  They can achieve and stay at a good weight restricting their diet to that amount or slightly less, in addition to exercising.  But a lot of women have somehow convinced themselves that they need at least twice that much, and probably more.  I do not know where these fatties got that idea; it’s certainly not from the media, however addled the media may be about getting things right.  It’s odd, bizarre…kind of like convincing one’s self that you don’t have to stop at a stoplight if you’ve never gotten a ticket.

As for the men, the nurse observed, they defiantly don’t give a flying one how they look or feel —  until something happens, like a high cholesterol reading (which actually may or may not be diet-related), or worse, a heart attack, stroke, or cancer.

And there are a lot of people who don’t know that they are fat.  I assume these are the same ones who think they must consume 5,000 calories a day.  Even mirrors don’t help these folks, and in the summer, they parade their fat in tight-fitting, skin-revealing outfits.  It’s not just women who do this, although they are often a bit more annoying because you are unwillingly presented with their canyon-sized, wrinkled, freckle-and-mole-peppered cleavage, which you have to attempt to ignore while talking to them.  It’s as revolting as a fat plumber’s butt cheeks.

Another part of the problem is nutritional illiteracy.  Most of the people you talk to equate ‘sugar’ and ‘fat’ with ‘bad.’  They don’t have any idea, and apparently don’t want to know, that the real story is far more complex than that — some sugars and fats are actually necessary, and if you control the quantities they are quite good for you.  But the media are sending us mixed messages every day.  What was good for us yesterday will kill us today.  Tomorrow, who knows.  It may turn out to be a cure for cancer.  This confuses a lot of people to the extent where they settle on sugar=bad and fat=bad and never progress beyond that point (nor do they stop eating and complaining about the “bad” fats and sugars).  They parade their ignorance around just like they parade their fat around.  I don’t have a remedy for this except that the news and other media should, perhaps, refrain from reporting anything about health-related studies.  Most of the reporting on these studies is inaccurate, anyway, and/or the studies themselves suck, and like I said, it appears to confuse so many poor dears that it’s a public disservice to keep doing it.

All that aside, take it from a person who observes feeding behaviors daily: the fattest of the fatties are usually the ones who eat the most.  That’s the basic fact.  To avoid being in that group, eat a little of this and a little of that, three square a day, stop yourself from having too many snacks, and get off your butt and move around.  If you’re like most people and have no health problem that is keeping you fat, you’re almost guaranteed to lose a bit of weight sooner or later. 

Some facts are harsh, but it’s hard to argue with the results.

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