Tuesday, August 15, 2006

America is FAT

and obsessed with being thin. How does this compute? We're obsessed with thinness, yet we are fatter than ever.

I'm sure some of it is because we just don't choose to sacrifice. I know I don't. It's sooo hard for me not to get a Dr. Pepper. And if someone brings sweets to the office? I'm sunk.

But is all of it lack of will power?

Could, oh I don't know, cities without sidewalks, bike paths or public transportation help contribute? Cities that require us to get in our car just to go to the grocery store? Either that or walk 2+ miles (each way) along busy streets with no sidewalks?

How about the food we eat? Is it possible that the overprocessing of food is actually making us fat? I won't get into all the Weston A. Price stuff (okay, the guy scares me, what can I say?), but there is some evidence that aspartame (Nutrasweet) actually contributes to obesity. I don't know how good the evidence is, but I know it gives me raving headaches and just tastes plain nasty, so I don't ingest it. Then there are transfats. Which often get hidden behind the rules that don't require you to claim any if they're below a certain amount per serving size. Have you looked at the serving size of some of your favorite snacks? Most of them have been cut in half (or more) since the FDA required labeling transfats. This allows them to sneak it in under the line.

Then there's our stressful, busy lives. Gone are the days when you could just walk out and work in your yard. Now you schedule time or you pay someone else. It often takes 2 full time jobs just to pay the electricity, gas and food bills for people. So many people are terrified of losing their jobs (we've seen too many people who couldn't find another job in their field and end up working retail for $6/hr) that we work whatever hours the boss says to work. And with the government relaxing regulations on paying overtime, poeple are working 60+ hours/week for less (after adjustment) than they got paid for 40 hours 6 years ago. Where is the time for exercise?

Are there any solutions? Find a way to make "real" food more affordable and appealing. Also, find a way to allow people to scale back their hours so they have time to cook, eat with the family and play with their kids.

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