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Why Are Americans So Fat?

Posted August 30, 2007 10:24 AM by Sharkles

Fried latte anyone? Believe it or not, the fried latte was just one of several gut-busting submissions at this year's Big Tex Choice Awards at the Texas State Fair. In fact, all seven submissions were fried. Fried lattes, fried chili-pie, and a variety of fried deserts were some of the other menu items. Michael Levy, creator of the fried latte, claims to have gained ten pounds while trying to perfect his product.

These types of foods are contributing to the growing obesity epidemic in the United States. According to a 2003-2004 survey by the US Department of Health and Human Services, obesity has increased from 15% in the 1970's to 33% at the time of the survey. These same surveys also revealed dramatic increases in obesity among children and teenagers. The CDC defines being overweight as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9, and being obese as having a BMI of 30 or higher.

What's causing this increase in American overweight and obesity rates? There are many possible reasons. Explanations include genetics, age, lifestyle, wealth, and stress. Although these factors contribute to increase in the American waistline, there is another "hidden" cause.

In our age of quick-and-easy convenience, many Americans don't think to take the time to understand what they're consuming. Today, many products on the market today contain a number of food additives, such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS refers to a corn syrup that undergoes enzymatic processing to increase its fructose content. After the processing, the mixture is combined with pure corn syrup (100% glucose). HFCS is a popular food additive because it provides the same sweetness as table sugar (sucrose) but at a lower cost.

HFCS gained popularity as a sugar substitute when sugar prices climbed in 1982. As the same time prices began to climb, so did the weight of many Americans. Because fructose is metabolized by the liver, the pancreas is not prompted to release insulin as does normally. The digestion of fructose is also very slow, which is why it is able to convert into fat more than any other sugar.

In 2001, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that 147 lbs of HFCS are consumed per person per year. This astounding amount of sugar consumption can lead to numerous health problems, including insulin resistance, copper deficiency in bone fragility, anemia, high levels of insulin, high cholesterol levels, heart attacks, and more. These medical effects worsen when the body carries excessive weight.

Here's what I want to know:

  • If the U.S. government is really concerned about the obesity epidemic, then why does it allow food processors to use such high doses of HFCS?
  • What other options besides HFCS and sugar exist?
  • Is HFCS really the "bad guy" that it's made out to be?
  • Why isn't there more information about foods without HFCS?

Are you sure you still want that fried latte?

Resources:
http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/index.htm
http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
http://materials.globalspec.com/LearnMore/Materials_Chemicals_Adhesives/Chemicals_Raw_Materials/Food_Additives?SrchItem=3&frmqry=food%20additive

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_fructose_corn_syrup#Sweetener_consumption_pattern
http://www.westonaprice.org/modernfood/highfructose.html
http://www.hfcsfacts.com/PerCapitaConsumption.html
http://www.menstuff.org/issues/byissue/highfructose.html

http://www.highfructosehigh.com/nohfcs.htm

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#1

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/30/2007 10:57 AM

Great story, Sharkles. The mass media has worked itself into a frenzy over the latest Trust for America report, but it's hard to find information about the science behind obesity. Your discussion about HFCS is a step in the right direction.

Two points for discussion.

1. The BMI index is somewhat suspect, especially among people who have relatively high levels of muscle mass.

2. The difference between "overweight" and "obese" seems pretty thin (pardon the pun) when you consider that a BMI of 29.9 means that you're "overweight" while a BMI of 30.0 means that you're "obese". I'd be interested to know how many people fall into, say, a 28 - 32 BMI range.

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#36
In reply to #1

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/06/2007 10:27 PM

I'd like to expand (sorry, I just can't help it !) on your first point. The 'usefulness' of BMI has received increasing attention in the UK. For the reason you give, BMI is not accepted by all as a good measure of obesity. Going back to the simple expedient of waist measurement is being promoting by many. Although calculating BMI is something that most people in CR4 could do in their heads, it seems (to me) unreasonable to expect this of pre-teens (and probably quite a few more). Apart from the scientific basis for changing the usual obesity measurement, simplifying how it's done can only be for the good IMHO. ie height vs waist.

I don't know how social etiquette works in the USA, but describing somebody as fat or talking of waist measurement has become something of a taboo in the UK. This does zero to help those with weight issues. I don't advocate a name-calling culture, but hiding the self-evident truth (with new phrase and formula) does nobody any service. Western culture seems to have shifted because there are so many obese people that we no longer dare confront the matter with what may seem blunt words. The reasons why people become overweight are deeply complex (leaving aside the 'energy in- energy out' explanation), but they are all symptomatic of our society in general. There are exceptions, such as individuals who have medical conditions which leave the bodies 'I'm full' switch inoperative, and non-Western cultures where being fat is regarded as 'good' (let's not forget all those Rubinesc neolithic fertility sculptures), but these are the minority. Obesity has always been an issue for Western cultures, but never before on the scale we have now. To compound the problem, people shovel in more chemical additives than ever before and the long term effect are not known. Those with weight problems need a straight-forward measure of 'am I fat'. Next they need the information and support to change that. Effort should be directed to those in School because, more likely than not, their condition is a result of parenting and they are amenable to learn. With caring support they can change their lifestyle choices. It's a sad fact that adults often don't. Each year, UK Schools seem to reduce the number of hours devoted to PE lessons - my sons School know my opinion of that, and luckily I can arrange plenty of extra curricular stuff. A lot of parents aren't in that position.

It would be great to read of anybody who has experience of so called 'fat camps' for children. Any intervention that helps youngsters ( with something so fundamental as health) sound like money well spent to me. There's no point leaving School for a glorious career if you're destined for an early fat-related death.

My 2-cents here is just because it was a place to slot it in with a margin of relevance moose. I'll say 'Sorry' now in case I've upset anybody with my slightly harsh sounding opinions.

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/07/2007 1:35 AM

Dang! You have been away too long! What did those Scots do, teach you civility? How very unbecoming!

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#39
In reply to #37

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/07/2007 5:17 AM

... I was only there on missionary work, it takes a while to get back into gear.

Insults are available at the PM box, $10 per sentance. If you get a haircut and an ID badge I may indulge you. *^!*.

40 cents is now marked on your account. Run round the block, and I may give a discount.

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#43
In reply to #39

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/08/2007 1:46 AM

I AM my own ID badge!

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#45
In reply to #43

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/08/2007 2:36 AM

Oh yeah ?

He he. I know you can slither through the bars. vermins should be free, free to slither around the multiverse...

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#46
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/08/2007 3:02 AM

You mean like this?

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#47
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/08/2007 3:47 AM

LOL. vermin in..vermin out.. vermin in..vermin out...

I couldn't keep the vermin bounce without more work either. No matter, I know you is bouncing anyway. That reminds me, Old Nick may be due for an outing again soon. Cast your vote quick - Spring heeled Jack or the dude at the desk ?

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/09/2007 12:59 AM

I gotta say you, more than others, seem to be affected by your avatar. I don't know whether you've ever seen a Cannon Ball movie, but if you have, you'll know what I mean by Dom DeLuise saying "HIM!"

It all depends on the day... Do you want semi chaotic super-hero or are you feeling more like sarcastic crime lord ("Dinsdale?!").

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#51
In reply to #48

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/09/2007 4:25 AM

I'll put me cape on later today. Maybe treat myself to a new quote line as well.....

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/07/2007 3:52 AM

Well, here's another useful index. Nice and simple to remember.

Take the individual's height and divide it by the waist measurement. If the answer is less than 2, do something about it.

So there.

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#40
In reply to #38

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/07/2007 5:38 AM

I'm feeling generous. For an adult, waist > 40 " means 'loose some weight", for a minor you shouldn't spend too much time pre-ocupied with body image*.

* Serious footnote - Any minor with concerns about weight issues should seek informed advice from family and medical/dietry experts. Much as I like to joke about, the internet is the last place a minor should seek advice - there are just too many 'strange' web sites about. You wouldn't follow DIY heart-operation instruction on the web, so don't do it with other health issues.

< normal Kris frivolity is now restored>

PWSlack ; Only eat 3 kebabs on the way home next Friday, and always ask for extra chilli's. Your nearest and dearest won't thank you, but Andrex will. Yes, a puppy is so soft and absorbant.

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/07/2007 6:02 AM

PWSlacks do not eat that sort of stuff. Yeeeeeuuuuugh!

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#42
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/07/2007 6:18 AM

Aww, but puppies are cute. My mate has one called Vinegar Tom.

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#44
In reply to #38

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/08/2007 1:47 AM

I was thinking more of inseam versus waist!

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#55
In reply to #1

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/18/2007 1:14 PM

Moose,

Americans are fat everywhere: Americans are self indulgent. That's a nice way of saying we're gluttons - for everything. Our homes are big, our cars are big, our hobbies are big. Our meals are big and hence our waist lines are big.

America needs a shrink, Moose. We are a very sick people.

bobguz

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#56
In reply to #55

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/18/2007 2:50 PM

I don't disagree with you Guest, but moose addressed the issue in a thoughtful and considered way - you could have posted to the original question. Just sayin'.

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#57
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/19/2007 12:33 AM

We're the land of the gallon bucket of Ben & Jerry's. We're the land of the 11 piece bucket of fried chicken. We're the land where fast food companies print their bags and boxes with pictures of healthy, athletic people. We are the land where the bad stuff is twenty times cheaper than the good stuff. And we're the land of when both parents have worked all day and are too tired to prepare the good stuff, they settle for the bad stuff "just this once."

I saw a talk show where three morbidly obese women had undergone radical forms of surgery to lose weight, and all were as obese as ever. A fourth woman came on the show. While she was a bit over weight, she was definitely in control of her eating and activity level.

So what was the difference between these women? For one thing, the slightly over weight lady had accepted herself and felt comfortable in her own skin. On the other hand, from the beginning of the show, there was an odd look in the eyes of the obese women that hinted there was something not alright! It was vivid and obvious.

If one is having emotional problems, the cheapest, most readily available, and most legal drug one can get to feel better is FOOD!!!

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#58
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/19/2007 12:54 AM

Nice one vermin !

Also, food has the virtue that it's not 'dirty' like drugs or alcohol. Curling up with a nice bar of chocolate, treating the kids to a nice family meal at the Golden arches. It's all good wholesome, normal behaviour.Not. Not if you do it 7 days a week. Selling fat is big money, taking it off you is also big money. Brokers make a cut when it all moves up and down. Even the doctor makes a cut when he slices a fat person knowing it probably won't work in the long term. If you can't afford the latest must have possession, somebody will offer to console you with a slab of disguised lard. Marx was wrong when he said religion is the opium of the people. Cable TV and lard is.

Having had my little rant, obese people should not be castigated. They are victims of 21st Century culture, and a carrot (no joke intended) may work better than a stick.

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#59
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/19/2007 1:16 AM

I tend to agree with you. I will admit that I just don't like exercising!!! However, while a little on the heavy side, I have not crossed that border into obesity, because I never managed to connect food with comfort/love/whatever. While I'm not a big eater, I'm also not a big physical fitness nut. So, the more I think about this issue, it seems as though those people that uses food as a drug are totally screwed! I do know that the mental model of food is taught to your offspring. It's obvious when the fat man and women walk by with the fat kids in tow.

To fix this is almost as hard as winning in Iraq! People with the food addition have to say "I don't want this anymore!!!" And that's the last thing you'll ever hear an addict say... Their entire way of life is based around this one unmovable pillar. It's their physic anchor in the world. How many do you think are going to let go of that pillar and jump into free fall?

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#60
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/19/2007 2:43 AM

As ever vermin, I find myself in agreement. There is something about our culture that nurtures and encourages obesity. The UK government has recently introduced many measure to dissuade people from smoking. Attempts to tackle obesity have been half-hearted in comparison. I view this as politically motivated. Telling a large percent of the electorate that they are 'fat' will not win votes, and the very use of such words is almost a social taboo now. Whatever strategy they are using (if any at all) is clearly not working. The words of description are irrelevant - any word can be corrupted as an insult, the main issue is that people are not understanding or being able to get out of the trap that is ' Obesity'. This should trouble us all, since we're all affected one way or another, whether it's being squashed on public transport, paying higher medical premiums or just plain caring about fellow citizens health. Many ( if not most) hospital admissions arise from life style 'choice' so the matter of obesity should be addressed with the same consideration as any other medical related issue. I don't have a weight problem, but have an inclination to think 'don't eat so much and exercise more' when I see somebody overweight, but this clearly does not work. My observation is that obesity is more prevalent in the economically deprived - perhaps a greater degree of social equality/mobility might help (?).

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#63
In reply to #60

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/20/2007 5:52 PM

This just in... It has been discovered that part of the Patriot Act requires all citizens living in the United States to be accelerated toward the speed of light. So far, we are currently cruising at about .75 c.

Of course, as a result of the laws of Relativity, we all have become much heavier. So, if we look fat to you it's just because we're going a lot faster, and it's not our fault!!!

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/21/2007 12:59 AM

Are you saying us Brits are slow ? I thought you had the 'right to bear arms', not to walk around with hulking big furry 50 lb ones on either side of the torso.

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#65
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/21/2007 1:06 AM

We also have the right to arm bears, so watch it!!!

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#66
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/21/2007 1:35 AM

Warn Yogi that we will deploy Rupert.

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#67
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/21/2007 2:02 AM

This looks more like Chuky's Devil doll teddy bear than anything suitable for children!!! Do swirling knives come out of him?!

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#68
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/21/2007 2:11 AM

Doesn't THIS just about say it all?

Good food? NOT!!!

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#69
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/21/2007 2:37 AM

What are all those eating contests about ? Recently I read about a hot-dog eating contest. Some guy took on a bear, scoffing a measley 50 in about 30 seconds compared to the bears nanosecond. An onlooker said " What did you expect, it's a f*****g bear ! ". As for all those fast food joints offering 'healthy options' and talking up their green credentials - Jeez.

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#70
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/21/2007 2:46 AM

The really funny thing is that in the most "high visibility" eating contests, it's little, skinny Japanese guys that win. Not just by a small margin, either! They eat two or three times what the local fat-boys eat!!!

The Japanese seem to take things way to seriously - weird!

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#71
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/21/2007 3:02 AM

Yeah, I saw some teensy Japanes girl once on TV - World record holder or something. It's probably down to the not chewing/digesting and occasional nature of it with those stupid eating contests. Still insanely dangerous. A bit like ravers who die from drinking too much water.

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#61
In reply to #57

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/19/2007 4:21 AM

Sugar is having similar effects in your brain as drugs.

You can really be addicted to it.

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#62
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/19/2007 5:32 AM

Yes, but the 'rush' is much quicker with vermin. I tried not to inhale, but well , one thing leads to another.

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#2

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 12:36 AM

Definitely "Food for Thought". What about the possible use of no-cal sweetners; but perhaps the human body doesnt tolerate them in the massive quantities likely required for American food products. While there is no doubt that the sugars, etc used in the food industry add to the problem, the main question is why we eat so much.


The body does not require anywhere near the number of calories the average American typically consumes in order to function. I think one problem is that we use food as a 'pacifier' when we are stressed and make no mistake about it, the average American is stressed. Perhaps we need to reduce our stress levels. The striving for a better lifestyle (more toys, etc) results in longer working hour (to make more nancies) and attendent stresses.

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#4
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 1:40 AM

I think HFCS is going to be the next trans-fat.

I have read in a few nutrition books, that not only does it have the characteristics listed in the article, but that it also doesn't trigger the "enough" switch the way regular sugar does (white sugar not being the healthiest thing either. White flour too, for that matter).

This would explain why I've seen some kids downing a 2 litre bottle of soft drink, or a Super Mega Big Gulp, in one sitting, where a regular size 10 oz. bottle, back in the day, was plenty.

In some cases you may well be right, that food is used as a pacifier vis a vis stress.

But if the information that I have gathered is correct, what is going on is far more insidious. And I'll wager we won't be getting rid of HFCS as easily as trans-fats, when a currently powerful lobby for corn related interests sees its financial base threatened (remember tobacco?).

Unless we move them over to ethanol production...

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#3

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 1:33 AM

"garbage in garbage not out"

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#5

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 1:54 AM

"George?"

"Yes, ADM."

"Do you love me?"

"Yes, ADM. I love you."

"Are you sure, George?"

"Yes."

"Are you really sure, George?"

"Yes. I wouldn't have let you get away with anti-trust on four different counts if I didn't. Would I?"

"OK."

"Now goodnight, ADM and turn off the lights."

"George?"

"Yes?"

"I love you,too. Good night."

"Good night, ADM."

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#6

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 3:32 AM

(Fuel)-(Output)=(+/-Fat)

At the end of the day, activity level and stress may have more to do with obesity than what you eat.

We recently moved to Switzerland, where nobody worries about how much fat, sugar, whatever they eat. Swiss Fondue is a guaranteed heart attack in every bite! However, most people walk, jog, bike, whatever and there are very few overweight people here.

We are also "melting"--food for thought?

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 5:17 AM

There are plenty of hills to walk up and down in Switzerland!

A comparative observation from The Netherlands would be interesting. Any takers?

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#9
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 7:00 AM

I'm not going to make a statement on the possible (over)weight of Dutchman but they are the tallest in the world, taller than the Masai.

As the country is flat, they bike a lot.

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#10
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 7:21 AM
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#7

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 3:53 AM

It all has to do with the never ending battle to do things cheaper: Why was sugar replaced with HFCS?

A second thing to look into: Why do we like fried stuff?

Fat is much more appreciated by our tasting system than water. The result is that the costs to make water based food tasting well is higher, an easy trick is adding salt. So just plunge your stuff into hot oil and it tastes better and don't forget to add salt and HFCS in decent amounts.

I don't know of any decent studies in this field but if you look carefully the BMI is higher for people with less money: they simply can't afford healthy food.

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#17
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 11:13 PM

Uh, yes! I'll have the five pound deep fat fried garden salad... And a diet coke, please.

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#11

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 9:20 AM

Man, I thought it was because I eat too much and hate to exercise.

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#12

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 9:40 AM

Here in bonny Scotland, our local "delicacy" is Deep Fried Mars bar. This supplements our main course of Deep Fried Haggis / Fish n' chips.

As a result we have the greatest incidence of heart desease in Europe!

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#33
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/06/2007 4:16 AM

There is a story going round that deep-fried battered pizza is not entirely unknown, either, though there is another rumour that curry has become the Scottish national dish, over and above haggis.

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#34
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/06/2007 11:22 AM

Deep fried battered curry of course!

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#35
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/06/2007 11:25 AM
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#13

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 11:52 AM

Don't blame American obesity on food additives, Shark. European dietary habits include a lot of high caloric food and beverages. Europeans are thin because they walk and they play.

Americans have created our obesity by destroying a life style that incorporated daily exercise into our lives. Our real estate patterns prevent us from walking or riding a bicycle to a nearby store. Our laws have school yards fenced and inaccessible to those who want to play. Meanwhile we spend billions on parks that are often distant and only accessible by car. Todays kids think they need a uniform and a coach to play ball. Forced busing for integration has also helped destroy the school yard as a play ground. And, yes, video games and TV and computers...etc.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently kicked off a major project to fight American children's obesity. They have examined our American life style of 50 years ago - when we were not obese. And what have they chosen as job 1? They want to return us to the days when kids walked to school. That's not the only job just number one. They will be successful with our political backing and commitment.

You can have a hot dog on Labor Day. Work up an appetite with a game of softball or touch football. Get some exercise, America. Don't blame that gut on the chef.

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#14
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 12:08 PM

Bobguz,

I think you are absolutely correct. I am not disputing that lack of daily exercise is a major factor of U.S. obesity. I think that todays society places emphasis on the wrong activities for children, like the ones you mention in your post. However, I think that it's interesting that our society and values, allow for food additives like HFCS to infiltrate so many foods that we consume. It is my opinion that the problem of American obesity, especially that of children, should address the lack of daily activities and food additives.

I feel that it's a pretty concrete fact that Americans are exercising less and that children are more attached to televisions and gaming systems than ball fields and the outdoors. I know this. You know this. And I'm pretty sure the government knows this. I just think that something needs to be done about both issues. People need to get moving, yes. But they also need to be able to eat without encountering additives like HFCS... we need more options.


But that's just my opinion

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#18
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 11:32 PM

I have occasion to interact with the Tongan community in California. When the first generation migrated to the States, they all basically looked like body builders. Move the clock ahead twenty years and here's what you get... most of the women are morbidly obese and suffering or developing type-2 diabetes. The men are dropping like files (very high death rate) from diabetic complications, heart disease, and especially, cancer.

Their diet is frigging scary - Consists of just about every fast food and comfort food you can think of. Also, lots and lots of greasy animal meats, like fatty roast pork and a lot of highly refined food stuffs. These are foods that they rarely got in Tonga, and were eaten only infrequently at special feasts or festivals. Other than that, it was fish and taro root.

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#19
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/02/2007 9:19 AM

Don't think that obesity is a simple American problem: it is everywhere, Just pick a school in the western wold and start looking to the kids that come out.

The problem starts from the moment they are expected to organise their own food habits: they prefer the fat sugar and salt rich food above a simple sandwich with a piece of cheese or meat.

The ride to school is also to dangerous, to many cars that take little roads to escape the traffic jam, which gets worser in the school neighborhoods.

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#20
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/02/2007 11:14 AM

Gwen,

Show me a person who is obese, anywhere in this world, yet free of other organic disease - and we will be looking at a person who is sedentary. I can't recall the last time I saw an obese laborer. We have organized our Western world for a life of leisure. But our bodies need exertion as much as food. We are starving for exercise.

bobguz

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#21
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/03/2007 2:26 AM

Which was the first: chicken or egg?

The same is true for obesity and related diseases: For a small minority the diseases created the weight problem. The vast majority created it's own problem.

The real danger is not the obese population, the overweighted are still active and risk to become very expensive elderly people, with various diseases. The obese population will not survive till this age but the overweighted part does. Studies have showed that the average life expectancy for people with a BMI between 25 and 30 is the highest.

Social security and health insurance should be harder for weight related problems: If your health problem can be solved with a diet, you go on a diet and can come back when your BMI is below 28 (just to pick a number). Now they receive special wheelchairs, walking aids and even scooters. All with the money of the working class and when I'm old and help needing the system has crashed and the money is gone.

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#23
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/03/2007 8:24 AM

I agree. Here in the US we see the morbidly overweight, especially the males, with joint pain. Too often the doctor's choose joint replacement before weight reduction and stretching exercises. Money, money, money...!

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#25
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/03/2007 8:36 AM

The problem is: Quick money, as much as possible and now.

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#26
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/03/2007 8:44 AM

Amen

bobguz

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#75
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

11/17/2007 5:11 PM

........and we have now laptops , palm tops and PDA`s at our finger tips , i miss those libraries with paper smell where not long ago it was exercising to find a query and solutions with hands doing most of the work , this is not exactly a problem but need , and it is not america but whole world doing same , it is fast becoming universal problem with eating habits to changing with work culture......nice post

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#76
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

11/17/2007 11:50 PM

Besides, we own everything and eat anything we can get our hands on, which is everything!!!

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#77
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

11/18/2007 1:55 AM

.......i have saved that .........

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#78
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

11/18/2007 2:45 AM
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#15

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 12:36 PM

Has anyone considered that the cause of obesity might actually be starvation? The agricultural industry has moved consistently to higher-yield, faster maturing foodstuffs since agriculture began. Producing nutrituious food is a chemical process in that raw materials are converted to useful nutrients. This takes time, and nature has only so many raw materials for plants to access. Fast-growing, high yield crops = more water content (ever noticed how apples and corn on the cob have no where near the flavor they once did?). Meanwhile, your digestive track is looking for particular nutrients. If the sensors are not satisfied, they send a message to the brain, "sned more", while converting unneeded nutrients to fat. A recent study I came accross suggested that "sugar free" drinks and snacks could actually result in over-consumption- the body wants a source of energy, not some sugar substitute...

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#16
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

08/31/2007 3:33 PM

You make an interesting point. I have never heard mention of the research you've provided but it sounds like something worth looking into. It seems to me that the problem of obesity can be partially attributed to things that are out of our control. It's quite possible that all the aforementioned causes (lack of movement, HFCS, and high-yield crops) are just small contributors to the increasing obesity epidemic.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but my opinion is that we don't always have enough say when it comes to food manufacturing (unless we all grow our own). Now that I've heard of the agricultural industry push for faster-growing crops it reminds me of having corn on the cob and thinking, "the corn isn't that good this year". This is something that I am definitely going to look into.

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#22

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/03/2007 8:00 AM

I have noticed a disturbing trend in America. We do not take responsibility for ourselves and prefer to blame some other, preferably corporate or government source for our misfortunes.

Some people are afflicted by illnesses that make them fat. However, the vast majority are people who make unhealthy lifestyle choices--i.e. eat too much and exercise too little.

We went through (are going through?) the same exercise with smokers, drug users, etc.... When we are done blaming the tobacco companies, it still comes down to people choosing to start (how dumb is that?) or continue smoking or some other poor lifestyle choice.

Have your fried lattè and chili pie, then head over to the sack race or community walk and burn it off! Go for a walk after a dinner of deep fried poutine and meet your neighbors!

It's your life and your choice--stop blaming others and be what you choose to be!

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#24
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/03/2007 8:30 AM

Not too long ago a pollster asked European and American teens, "What do you expect when you graduate from highschool?".

The European teens answered, "More responsibility!".

The Americans said, "More freedom!".

bobguz

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#27
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/03/2007 8:47 AM

Amen--To me, freedom is all about standing tall, making choices, and living with the consequences, good or bad.

Should we develop better food? Yes. Should we educate people about the dangers of lifestyle? Yes.

In the end, people will make their choices and enjoy/suffer the results.

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#28
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/03/2007 9:06 AM

Here you come to a sore point: education should serve the population. For a vast part is only annoys and blocks opportunities.

Education should learn the kids to make the right decisions in life.

Should I go to school and finish my education?

Shall I start to smoke?

Should I wear a condom?

Helping kids to make these decisions on their own and knowing why they choose this road, here education fails miserably. But I can give you all the kings of our so important kingdom.

My son just finished the first grade in school and had to learn a whole bunch of unnecessary information, which I never use in my professional live, nor anybody on the street asks me about it, he had to learn it 6 times, every year again. But the simple recent history of Europe, they simply don't know. Oh it will be given in the last year of school. This year he will start with the Egyptians, Nile, Tigris and Eufrat.

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#30
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/04/2007 11:10 PM

When children are given money for lunch at school, check out what their choices are.

Every time I see fat kids I usually see fat parents, as well.

Take any substance that is consumed by a human (drug, food, whatever). Most will be able to take it or leave it, but it is a known fact that some 20 to 30 percent will not be able to handle it and become addicted. For every really unhappy person out there, some substance resonates with them to make them feel momentarily better.

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#31
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/04/2007 11:13 PM

To be responsible, I started wearing a condom in 1998. Just one question... Can I take it off now?!

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#32
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/05/2007 2:09 AM

Ok the bouncing starts to make sense.

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#29

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/04/2007 10:56 PM

This is a question I have been wondering for quite some time. It's getting to be an epidemic, and younger people are becoming obese. I think a lot if it is soda pop, even the diet ones. Basically it is bad nutrition. When you drink a pop or coffee, you are not drinking milk, which at least contains calcium. It's also too many hamburgers and fries, and allowing children to snack between meals.

I have 2 rules for people who want to lose weight:

1. Don't eat until you are hungry.

2. Stop eating when you are full.

If everyone would follow these 2 simple rules there wouldn't be many obese people!

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#49

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/09/2007 1:03 AM

Because corn dogs are made with heroine.

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#50

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/09/2007 1:07 AM

So if high fructose corn syrup is in everything, is it safe to assume that this is a conspiracy to undermine the general health of Americans? Are the corn farmers of America in on it or are they merely unwitting pawns?

And who wants us so fat in the first place?

"Don't get on the ship!!! It's a cook book!!!"

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#52

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/10/2007 3:21 PM
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#53

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/18/2007 5:26 AM
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#54
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/18/2007 9:50 AM

I wonder how many fares were paid.

"A passenger waits for a delayed flight at Heathrow airport's terminal four August 12, 2006. Americans are fatter than ever, with obesity rates up in most states and fewer people exercising, according to a study released on Monday."

Was it departures or arrivals ? Hard to tell these days when we become like our American friends. It amuse me that the person depicted would not be allowed to smoke - kind of exemplifies politics.

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#72

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

09/23/2007 2:23 AM

Ever heard of 'vanity-sizing' with womens clothes ? In the UK sizes (10, 12, 14 etc) are not standardized or legally defined. Makers/retailers will often put a small size in a garment to give women the 'feel-good' factor of buying and wearing a smaller dress size. Top of the range designers will do the same, but because they do not want overweight people parading around making their garments look bad. Each retailer has a specific image they wish to sell to, and hence their definition of clothes sizes will vary accordingly. A size (eg) 10 will vary enormously between stores.

The above is just one of many factors that play a part in distorting body image, and contribute to the issue of weight and obesity. If anybody wants an illustration, say so quick ( I chuck the Newspapers on Monday) and I will scan and post some images of this variance.

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#79
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

01/20/2008 10:18 PM

The British Standards Institute has drafted a labelling standard which calls for a pictogram with actual measurements in centimeters. Work began on the standard in 1996 and was ready for publication in 2003. I myself was ready for the new labelling as early as 1983. There are a number of obstacles to accepting the new standard. According to a recent survey, 60% of women do not know their own measurements, and many others would be alarmed by the big numbers resulting from the use of centimeters instead of inches. Another is that clothing designers would balk at admitting that their customers need the extra sizes, and a related obstacle is that a fit model's measurements are a closely guarded secret to prevent competition.

My solution is to use the new labels at the low-end retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, and similar stores, as well as in areas with a high immigration rate, where the new labels could be understood more easily. The discount stores have less of an incentive to appeal to people of high income, but rather aims toward the lower incomes.

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#73

Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

10/29/2007 7:10 AM

Here's a thought.

No-one would assert that Arnold Schwarzenegger was overweight.....

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#74
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Re: Why Are Americans So Fat?

10/30/2007 1:26 AM

Except in the head.

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