Saturday, November 13

Americans are fat.

Americans are fat.

Let me give you a second to let that settle in.

For years we have been discussing ways to end the obesity epidemic in this country, but none of them have targeted the root cause of our ever-expanding rear ends. America is in need of a serious makeover when it comes to the way we teach our children how to eat. Here's the catch: that change has to come from overweight adults who struggle enough to create a healthy lifestyle for themselves in the age of fast-food family dinners and microwaved...well, everything.

In the past few years, especially during my time in France, I have become fascinated by cultural eating habits. Sometimes I feel like a victim to my country's eating disorder, as it is extraordinarily difficult to change habits, especially those established as a child. I was originally shocked in Paris to find many families didn't own microwaves accompanied by a severe lack of American-like snack foods.

These things quickly grew on me, though, and showed me that it is possible to eat well in 2010. I had also prepared myself for many cultural eating differences by reading books. One in particular, French Women Don't Get Fat, by Mireille Guiliano, an insightful look into the classic French lifestyle changed my entire perspective.

During the recent midterm election, I took major notice of one advertisement against a proposed tax on junk foods. The advertisement showed a curvaceous woman pushing a cart full of questionably healthy foods ranting about how the government has no right to tell her how to feed her family (I am paraphrasing horribly).

San Fransisco has pushed to remove toys from kid's meals that do not meet certain health standards. A woman on the news was fuming about how she could make proper choices for her children, and she would be the one to choose whether or not her child received a toy with their meal (which I'm pretty sure was always McDonald's choice anyway).

So, let me get this straight. Americans are extremely fat, much fatter than Europeans. We are clearly making poor decisions about proper lifestyles, but we will not allow anyone to tell us what to eat because "we can make our own choices." Does anyone else see a lapse in logic here?

What are your thoughts?


  1. I don't know...let me think about it after I finish my cookie :)

  2. Freedom is more important than health! The pursuit of happiness is about me being able to pursue my happiness in fatty, sugary, salty food. :-) Seriously, though, I agree with you. The only thing is, Europeans appear to be getting heavier, too, so I'm wondering what the differential is. And I try to eat healthy, but please don't take my microwave away from me. :-)

  3. I agree that we have a serious weight problem here in the good 'ole US of A. It is also now being passed down from generation to generation as well. I do think steroids in foods and preservatives play a part, along with the American lifestyle...hurry up to wait. Many European countries still go to market daily for fresh foods. We tend to prefer our convenience...I have certainly been guilty of that. I don't think it is the occasional dessert or bread that is the culprit...I do think it is a learned behavior. I am glad to see the First Lady taking an interest in overweight youth. Exercise is a big part of the problem and adults are lazy. When I was a kid we played outside unless it was pouring rain or freezing cold...even then my parents bundled us up and put us outside for some fresh air. I know I am referring to the dark Well, that is my 2 cents worth:)