TAT CN Header

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Americans: The Fattest of the Fat

Anyone who has seen "Super Size Me" (if you haven't, go rent it) is well aware of the obesity dangers facing America: You may not agree with the film's hypothesis that it is fast food that is super sizing the country's waistline, but you were probably freaked out that the super sizing could happen to you. Well, according to a new study whose findings were released to the news today, you most likely are going to get nice and plump.

This study, conducted by Boston University for three decades, concluded that 9 out of 10 men would eventually become obese and that 7 out of 10 women would. The study said that even if you make it into middle age with a healthy weight, you should continue to stay active and consume healthy foods because as we age, our metabolism slows and it becomes harder and harder to keep the extra pounds off. But for most, the weight gain begins far before middle age. For women, the most troublesome years are those following their first pregnancy (apparently, the other pregnancies -- if they exist -- are easier to recover from). For men, some of the most dangerous weight years are the first five of their marriage (I would guess because guys get super comfy in their relationship and the gals are probably to be good little wives and cook meals like their mothers made).

But why are Americans, specifically, so enlarged? Why are we juicier than, say, other developed countries?

Apparently, it's actually hard not to become fat in American society. We are surrounded by physical comforts, so no extra effort is needed, and we have the money to buy whatever we want, and that includes whatever kind of food we want. So to make it short but sweet: We've got money to burn, but are reluctant to burn any calories. Most of us work sedentary jobs -- and we drive to those jobs -- where we sit for the majority of the day (that's partially what makes me pine for the days as a waitress -- I used to walk miles in a work shift). Plus, Americans are surrounded by temptation: McDonald's around very corner, M&Ms at the movies, and food delivered right to our homes (most likely to be delivered: not a healthy salad, but probably pizza or Chinese or sub sandwiches).

Reading findings such as this always make me trot right to the treadmill. It freaks me out. Yes, part of my desire to lose weight stems from a fear of being a fatty-fatty-two-by-four, but my vanity is not the only concern. I, personally, want to live to be about 100 years old -- I think that would be stellar -- and you don't get to be 100 years old with type II diabetes and high blood pressure. Besides, I'll finally be in shape to run that marathon when I'm a hundred. At the rate I'm working, that's about the time I'll be ready. So I need to ensure that I make it that long in this world; I suppose that means I should skip the drive-thru for lunch and instead eat the yogurt I brought with me. Poop.

No comments: