People aren't lazy

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(Note I might sound a little crazy in this thread but I stand by my claims.)

This is mostly a reply to BHXSpecter's comment in another thread, here:
http://cplusplus.com/forum/lounge/77141/3/#msg415449


BHX equates the American obesity situation with people being lazy. I don't see it that way.

What I see is a growing lower class that is getting forced further and further into poverty... and an economy and general national mindset that is all but flat out encouraging obesity in many ways.

1) Fastfood somehow is considered "food" by most people

I don't understand this one, personally. For some reason people think it's OK to eat fastfood regularly. McDonalds is still extremely popular, especially among low income households.

But when you really think about it... why?
- The food isn't good
- The food isn't healthy
- The food isn't cheap
- The food arguably isn't even food. I recall seeing an experiment where a guy bought a McD cheeseburger and left it out on top of his fridge for X months. The paper the burger was wrapped in was actually deteriorating/decomposing faster than the actual burger.
- The food makes you feel like shit after eating it. Have you ever felt energized after eating a greasy fastfood burger? Me neither.

And the USDA standards are a joke. I think restaurants are only required to have like 50% meat in their meat. The rest can be filled with what is basically wood pulp. That 50% might be hyperbole (my God I hope it's hyperbole), but the wood pulp thing isn't. That's done pretty much everywhere. Google "wood pulp as food filler" and you'll get the idea.

People even feed this shit to their kids... regularly. If that doesn't horrify and disgust you, it probably should.

The flip side of this is even more baffling. Real food isn't really much more expensive than fast food.

Case in point, near my house there's an Arby's. Now it's been years since I've been inside an Arby's, so I don't know what their actual prices are... but if they're anything like other fastfood chains you can get a large sandwich for ~$4.25

Now, in the building right next to Arby's is a local Mediterranean restaurant called Safura's that makes delicious gyros. The size of 1 gyro is comparable (maybe a little larger) than the size of one typical fastfood sandwich.

The price? ~$5.00

Yet Arby's constantly has 5 to 15 times as many customers.

Why? Maybe people are just too familiar with it to switch. Maybe people can't bear to wait the extra 5 minutes it takes to prepare a gyro. Honestly, I'm baffled. All I can say is that I will personally never willingly pay for fastfood again in my life. And the sooner other people realize just how stupid it is, the sooner [one aspect of] the obesity problem will diminish.


2) What isn't fast food is processed food

Next time you go to a grocery store, pay closer attention to what they're selling. 95% of the food available is prepackaged/processed garbage. The deli, produce, bakery, and bulk food sections are really the only options for real food (maybe one or few other sections depending on the store).

If it comes in a box, or a plastic bag (read: pretty much everything in the store), it's probably pumped full of preservatives.

Even stuff like real turkey, produce and ground beef .... they pump so much growth hormone into that stuff that its nutritional value is a fraction of what it should be.


And this is where the low income comes in. Because the sad fact is that real food does actually cost way more money. So all these poor families are stuck having to feed on this junk.

At a store I shop, 96/4 ground beef (4% fat) is about $7/lb
Organic 90/10 ground beef is about the same
75/25 is around half that.
And at another store I saw... they were actually selling 60/40 meat. I don't recall the price... I just remember seeing it and silently weeping for whoever was in a such a horrible place in their life that THAT was the best option they can take.

Now there's ways around this. There are some staples that are dirt cheap and are relatively nutritious. Rice is one that comes to mind. 2 lbs of rice from the bulk section of a store is like, what, $3 or so? Do you know how much food 2 lbs of rice is? It's a lot.

Now you obviously can't eat just rice all the time. But you can use it as filler to make larger dishes go further.

Pasta is another one... although pasta sauce is mostly overpriced processed garbage and making your own can be pretty tough if you're a lousy cook (like me).


3) People don't have time to eat healthy

This is kind of a side point... but it is a contributing factor IMO.

The American worker is expected to work waaaaaaaaay too much. 40 hrs a week is ridiculous. The only reason we do it is because that's how it's been for so long. But really... there isn't that much work in society that needs to be done.

This never used to be a problem because wives would stay at home and cook 3 meals a day. Now don't misunderstand that -- I'm not saying women should stay home and cook... I'm just saying that someone should be able to have time to cook. When both man and women are working 8 hour shifts (often even more!) and come home tired... it's so much easier to eat garbage than it is to cook an actual meal. So that's what most people do.

You can't call that laziness, because they're not being lazy, they're just exhausted.

It's compounded by the fact that eating bad food makes it harder to recover from your exhaustion. So it's like this vicious cycle.


4) Kids don't play outside anymore

Way back in the day, parents would commonly kick their kids out of the house for a few hours to go play with their friends. Kids got to run around and blow off steam, and get good exercise.

Parents don't do that anymore. You can blame video games and TV... and that's definitely a contributor... but that's not the whole story. Even without electronic media, parents still don't like their kids running around. They're afraid of predators, crime, etc.





I have more but I'm tired of ranting and I think that's enough to illustrate my main point, which is this:

Our culture feeds us garbage, overworks us, and denies us healthy alternatives (or at best makes them expensive/difficult to obtain). There are so many things wrong with the way the infrastructure is set up.

To say "people are obese because they're lazy" is just so backwards to me. I mean yeah it might be true in some cases, but on the larger scale that is sooooo not the problem.
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Unless I missed something your rebuttal is a huge stretch from what he said. You didn't even give him the chance to explain himself.
they pump so much growth hormone into that stuff that its nutritional value is a fraction of what it should be.

That is indeed a little crazy (as in, tinfoil hat crazy). Although, since "organic" garbage is the one that lacks nutritional value, its fans, I suppose, do get less out of equal-size portions.

I don't see all that many obese people here in NYC. Probably because people walk to where they need to get to.
This reply is going to look screwy because of replying to two or three people form the other thread.

That isn't a tangent at all. My whole point in my first statement was every one is becoming lazy and just used programmings evolution as an example then showed other examples in that post of further proof. Sadly obesity is due to laziness. Every time you see a article about obesity the first things the point out is that it is because adults and children don't want to go and play or be active but would rather watch tv, play games, or eat fast food. Also, some places do have strict requirements for welfare/disability/unemployment, but fact is you are wrong on how hard it is to get it. I've told on members of my own family who have been falsely receiving government aid because they lied or found doctors that would say they had a problem they didn't just so they could avoid work. For example, I had an uncle that was drawing disability because he allegedly had terrible back pain so he couldn't work and yet moved heavy furniture and lifted things that shouldn't have been possible for the ailment he was getting disability for. Unemployment is the easiest out of the three to get, work a job for a few days, get fired, file a claim as they are rarely denied. As for drugs, I don't feel sorry for them, no one forced them to try it the first time (may just not have a heart, but I blame my Uncle John for dying of an overdose and his wife dying due to health issues brought on from drugs, alcohol, and letting her weight get out of control).

As for programming, every language that comes out keeps making things easier and easier to program. One day programming will be the equivalent of using Game Maker to make anything. God, if that really happens, I'll become a monk. (Yes this was a joke to try and lighten the mood of this post but the next part kind of makes the mood morose again:( )

My view is a little warped, though, as I have family members that are screwing the government by falsely getting all three of the above mentioned aids while my mom has been denied time and time again because apparently everyone but the government considers fibermyalgia (may be spelled wrong) a disability. Not to mention the fun me and my father-in-law get to have fighting medicaid when it comes to my wife and son's disability (FSH Muscular Dystrophy). ...Yep, sorry I'm definitely screwed in the head in my view due to personal experiences (ignore my view points and ramblings).

I don't want anyone to think I'm making up this as some way to save face so I'm including these two links just to prove I am being honest and not trying to troll.

My son in the news due to one of our medicaid fights: http://tinyurl.com/8tfyr9g

My Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/specterent
(Ignore the Programmer Job at Specter Entertainment....my dream is to start my own game dev studio and that is why it says that. I spend my days programming and caring for my wife and son). Sadly, I'm fat because I sit in front of the computer and post/program and don't exercise so I'm my own statistic for laziness in that regard.
@Cubbi
Can I assume you work in Manhattan? If that's the case don't you find most people don't live in the city but only work there? If you go to poor neighborhoods in the South Bronx, Queens, etc you may notice grocery stores are not abundant but bodegas and fast food joints certainly are.
It's the Myth of Progress.
Cubbi wrote:
"I don't see all that many obese people here in NYC. Probably because people walk to where they need to get to."


That must be nice. Where I live, there are three obese people for every average to mildly overweight person where I live. Never before in my life have I regularly seen so many in motorized wheelchairs because they are too large easily walk around.
I'm not an American, I don't live in the US, and I will most probably get scolded by some Americans for having to agree with Disch on this. The reason to that is we have the same problem here. Now, I'm not gonna go into the maze of confirming/dismissing the fact our culture from 1991 onwards has becoming more and more of an pure American import (although we didn't import hardworking with McDonalds's).

I agree with Disch, healthy food is actually more expensive than fast food, or even plain commercial biscuits or chocolate bars or whatever, and it is harder to find/prepare. And by healthy food I don't refer to meat that hides under wood pulp (whatever the hell that is).


NOTE: Gyros, or what we call "Shawarma", is far from healthy. Research by regional nutritionists indicate that the meat/chicken rod is prone to catching pollutants because it's just left out in the open. It used to be my favorite but the "general public" is advising against it. I know Disch mentioned this merely as an example, but I would want to spread awareness.


@BHXSpecter:

Do you know that it is amazingly hard for some people to maintain a decent shape, and I mean decent, by remaining hungry even after a meal is consumed? I have this problem. You can't deny that genes have a play in this, some people barely move away from the computer screen, they consumer Red Bull, pizza, doughnuts as energy foods and maintain a good shape, a slim shape. Other people need to run multiple laps if they had one oreo! And a subset of these people, including me, won't have time/get sick of having to deal with this "injustice" every single time!


EDIT: I hope your son gets much better :)
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I'm American and I agree with Disch 100%, but I feel trapped between being hypocritical and being overly concerned with my diet to the extent of madness. The truth in advertising died with freedom of speech (as imposed by society and not law).
On Obesity

Summary:

I'm from the USA.

I eat the most "unhealthy" foods that you can imagine.

I (physically) work my ass off up to 70 hours per week...not to say that's not a bad thing - I have plenty of expensive toys to show for my labor.

Dimensions: 6' 1" @ 155lb.

Conclusion:

Burn as many calories (preferably by doing something beneficial to society, as opposed to working out in a gym) as you take in and you'll be fine. Take in more than you burn and watch the scales start tipping. I can't think of a single "obese" person that I know that haven't consigned themselves to such a life simply because they refuse to get up and do something.
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1. You cannot become obese without consuming more calories than you expend.
2. You cannot remain obese without consuming at least as many calories as you expend.
3. You cannot lose weight without consuming less calories than you expend.

At the base of it, it is as simple as the law of conservation of energy. The human body isn't a closed system, but still, the same amount of energy has to come out (heat, growth, motion, etc.) as goes in (food).

Some people do have (exceedingly rare) genetic disorders which affect their appetites (to do with the hormones leptin and grahlin, and maybe some others that I don't know about), and there are also things like thyroid disorders. However, all these only effect the amount of energy that you consume or expend; it still comes down to energy input and output, all it means is you need to work a little harder to compensate.

By the way, anyone who blames obesity on a single nutrient is an idiot. They used to think fat made you fat because fat contains the highest amount of calories per gram (about 9). Now people think it's carbohydrates, because carbs cause a heavy insulin response which stimulates the body to store more glucose (in the liver and muscles as up to 500 g of glycogen, as well as in the adipose (fat) tissue as lipids). I'll admit that insulin does cause the body to store more fat, but carbohydrates can't be solely to blame for that. For one thing, lipids (fat) and amino acids (protein) cause almost the same insulin response as carbohydrates; for another, both lipids and amino acids can be converted into carbohydrates (by removing glycerol (lipids) or the amino group (amino acids)) and back.

tl;dr It really is as simple as the amount you eat vs. the amount you use. Unfortunately humans never evolved a method of regulating body fat short of exercise, because for most of our history we would eat irregularly and had to work for our food (by hunting, gathering or farming).
Unfortunately humans never evolved a method of regulating body fat short of exercise


Speaking of evolution, how long do you think it'll be before north koreans branch off into their own species?
It really is as simple as the amount you eat vs. the amount you use.
Not quite. Think of vitamins and such. Crap food can make you sick even if you're not fat.

Speaking of evolution, how long do you think it'll be before north koreans branch off into their own species?
Aren't they already :)
Well, anyone that looked at the video or my facebook has probably seen how big I am. I'm 276 lbs and only reason I'm that big is because I don't exercise any more. I weighed 175 lb when I met my wife (11 years ago) and only thing that has changed was the exercise, otherwise I eat fruits and salads with a unhealthy meal once in a while (like today I got biscuits and gravy from a local store for breakfast). If you eat healthy and don't exercise you gain weight. There are even studies that have been done almost every year that shows people would rather sit in front of a tv or computer rather than exercise (lazy, not wanting to do anything to lose the weight). I've slowly been getting back into exercise though as I walk in the morning and at night for 30 minutes each. Excluding genetic disorders that make a person obese, the main reason is because people are lazy and don't want to actually exercise in order to lose any of the fat they add on while eating. Though, oddly, it seems people hear exercise and think of weight lifting and the extreme end of exercise and don't realize just simply walking on a regular basis and eating more healthy food will go a long way in losing weight.

Okay so it is laziness and the attitude of "I want the results right now!". Think about it, how many programmers have you met on here or other programming site that just started learning a language and wants to make a game like Final Fantasy VIII or such after only a week of learning the language?

Society has become lazy so they don't want to exercise and want instant gratification and results or they declare it a lost cause.

If you are willing to exercise and be active it really doesn't matter what you eat (though eating healthy would help tremendously) because you would burn off the fat of what you eat (even fast food).
coder777 wrote:
It really is as simple as the amount you eat vs. the amount you use.

Not quite. Think of vitamins and such. Crap food can make you sick even if you're not fat.

Those don't have a profound effect on your actual mass; more on your health and body composition (basically, how much of each kind of tissue you have, e.g., the average male has a bodyfat percentage of about 15%).
xander337 wrote:
Speaking of evolution, how long do you think it'll be before north koreans branch off into their own species?

It depends how frequently they reproduce with non-North Koreans, but in any case it'd take several thousand years, by which time I doubt any of today's societies will really exist, just like how none of the ancient empires (Egyptian, Greek, Roman, etc.) exist any more. In short, never (as cool as it would be).

@BHXSpecter,
The fact that you accept responsibility for being overweight is positive. Too many people don't; too many people make excuses for being overweight (injuries, genetic disorders, etc.) or even worse, come up with "Fat Acceptance Movements" and try to pretend it's "just as healthy". You can't get fat by eating vegetables (ok, you probably could, but you'd have to put more effort into getting fat on vegetables than a fat person would have to put into getting thin).

BHXSpecter wrote:
If you are willing to exercise and be active it really doesn't matter what you eat (though eating healthy would help tremendously) because you would burn off the fat of what you eat (even fast food).

I have to disagree. "Weight" doesn't necessarily mean "fat". Nutrients, vitamins, minerals etc. may not influence your actual weight massively, but they certainly influence how much of that weight is fat. If you lose weight on a McDonalds diet with no exercise, chances are you're going to look just as bad as you did before, only smaller. Eating decently also makes it easier to lose weight, since vegetables are more filling and have less calories. Exercise also makes eating healthily easier because of the effects it has on your hormones.

The best thing to do is to alternate resistance (weight lifting or bodyweight training; an overweight person probably won't want to do bodyweight training though) and cardiovascular (track sports, cycling, etc.; swimming is probably ideal for an overweight person because there's less risk of damaging your joints, cycling is good too, but if you're very overweight I'd avoid running for a while) exercise and combine it with a healthy diet. Find a proper lifting routine and just swim in the lanes for a half-hour or so on your days off.
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I'd like to suggest that FAST FOOD IS NOT MORE POPULAR WITH LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS! If anyone has evidence against this I'd be fascinated to see it! It's not as if high-income families can afford to pay people to cook for them every night, and sometimes they can't be bothered.
Not quite. Think of vitamins and such. Crap food can make you sick even if you're not fat.

That's true, but Chris was just talking about obesity. Energy goes in, and is either expended or stored.

If you are willing to exercise and be active it really doesn't matter what you eat (though eating healthy would help tremendously) because you would burn off the fat of what you eat (even fast food).

Again, only true if we're talking about pure calories/energy. The malnutritious characteristics of fast foods would eventually make you sick.
Super Size Me, anyone?

I wouldn't say that people have become MORE lazy, just that we've always inherently been so. If you need to do something you don't like doing, then you try to get it done as fast and as easily as possible, or even better, get someone else to do it for you.

I know you were calling this efficiency Disch, but honestly I think the idea of efficiency and laziness are very intertwined. If you need to finish something for your job, you do it well albeit efficiently, so you keep your job. If you feel gratification at finishing something big, then by all means, why not do something big? If exercising keeps you from dying, then let's exercise, no one wants to die! But doing something you don't like doing, for no apparent reason? Why in the hell would you want to do that?

Humans are egotistical by nature, it's a survival mechanism, and not seeing an outcome that benefits you is pretty off putting.

IE. The Romans had slaves. They were stronger, so they could get other people to do their work for them. The slaves didn't see any way out of this, so they worked in order to prevent their own death. Self preservation and laziness.

EDIT: My points being that everyone has always been lazy, it's just that technology makes it easier.
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I'm not taking sides in the debate here... I have no evidence to say one way or the other..

Fast Food
Speaking of fast food and low-income, I have an unusual social status that regularly puts me in contact both with very well-to-do and very poor people. Regular fast food is a problem across all social strata, but my experience (which is, obviously, a subjective measure) is that low-income people typically eat more fast food than high income people.

Individual families vary, of course. I know some poor people that prepare fabulous, home-made food regularly. There's a catch though:


Food in USA (and other 1st world countries)
I don't think people appreciate the last 70 years of food capitalism that have radically changed the way people eat and perceive food in this country (and around the world). We are being fed highly-processed, addictive, genetically-modified foods that affect us in ways we cannot handle. We eat non-local, out-of-season, tasteless crap and think it is, according to the packaging and commercials, just like it was a hundred years ago.

If we only knew, and cared, perhaps we could make a difference.

But as it is, a handful of megacorporations run our food machine, and they just couldn't care less about our actual health. So long as the fittest survive on what we have got, we will continue to live with death and disease like never before -- because it's in our diet.


Of course, most people think this is crazy people ranting, without caring to learn the truth. (I used to think it wasn't all that bad, but the more I learn the more horrible I discover it is.)

Just you wait.
But as it is, a handful of megacorporations run our food machine, and they just couldn't care less about our actual health


You don't have to look very long to see proof of this. Just take a look at Monsanto and any/all articles relating to them. I'm convinced they are pure evil.
genetically-modified foods that affect us in ways we cannot handle.
a handful of megacorporations run our food machine, and they just couldn't care less about our actual health

Sad to see ignorant nonsense and conspiracy theories on an otherwise reasonable forum.
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