(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:
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.