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?