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America: Big Place, Big People

Posted August 11, 2008 12:00 AM by Sharkles

According to recent reports, the health of Americans is in decline. I agree. Although I've become immune to some of these reports, one particular headline made me feel shocked, frustrated, and saddened – all at the same time: "Study: Most kids' fast-food meals have too many calories". Are you surprised by this headline? I'm not. In fact, I thought this was common knowledge by now.

Even more alarming was that on the same day I read the fast-food article, I also learned that researchers are now predicting that 86% of Americans will be overweight in 2030 – and that all Americans will be overweight by the year 2048. We know that Americans are fat, but this prediction is pretty scary. The government-funded study went on to say that even if Americans never reach the 100% mark, any increase would be alarming since it's already estimated that two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight.

There are many reasons for obesity in the United States. Some people will point to food additives like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Others will blame lack of exercise or general laziness when it comes to physical exertion. Whatever the reasons may be, the number of people considered obese is increasing. Dr. Lan Liang of the U.S. government's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality claims that obesity numbers like this should be "genetically and physiologically impossible." She admits, however, that if the trends of the past 30 years continue, then this is the direction we're taking.

We're Fat, Now What?

As if weight-problems aren't enough, think of the impact these extra pounds will have on the American healthcare system. Researchers tracking census data have published estimates of healthcare costs that are attributed to extra weight. They estimate that the costs will double each decade, reaching $957 billion by 2030 – but, this estimate is looked at as a "huge underestimate". Importantly, these numbers account for one of every six healthcare dollars spent in the United States.

Researchers are hoping that this study will act as a "wake-up call" for Americans. In order from reaching 86% or 100% adult obesity, it's going to take more than eating less and exercising. "It really needs to be more than an individual effort… it needs to be a societal effort", says Dr. Liang. Social changes, such as such as creating more pedestrian-friendly communities, or having more calorie-considerate choices put out by the food industry, would be a good start.

I think something needs to click soon. In 2048, I will be in my sixties -and I aim not to let myself fall into these statistics. But what about those people who didn't even know that fast-food chains offer high-calorie kids meals?! By then, maybe those people will turn to the new exercise pill.

What do you think?

  • Is the United States in serious trouble when it comes to obesity?
  • Should the government regulate the food industry when it comes to food additives?
  • How do we get people to take action when it comes to their health?

Resources:

http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/2989/Why-Are-Americans-So-Fat

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26058862/

http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/6491

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#1

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 8:45 AM

Eventually, this will become a matter of national security. A nation with such an population would be unable to field a military.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 9:10 AM

Really good point, Moose. The implications of the weight predictions my affect us in more ways then we can even think of...

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#4
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 9:21 AM

Yeah, but think of the additional ground we could cover!

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#31
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 1:51 PM

It wouldn't be that great - seeing as in order to cover that ground we would need to roll!

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#38
In reply to #4

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 9:32 AM

But each troop becomes an easy target to hit!

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#30
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 1:19 PM

and if we are overrun, who'll feed us. , then we are forced to make an adjustment.

Twinkies are nolonger available, then one finds out what proteins are edible.

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#3

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 9:15 AM

My other thought also is cost of nutrition. The lower class often has issues with obesity. Some of it revolves around education. A lot of it revolves around cost. I am not saying that a Big Mac is cheap, but next time you go to the grocery store, compare the prices of "garbage food" with healthy food. If you want a really simple comparison, check hamburger. With the rarest of exception, 90-95% lean meat is always more expensive than 70-80% lean.

When the cash flow is low and there are mouths to feed, sometimes hot dogs and home fries are a lot cheaper to make than grilled chicken and a salad. I am not saying that this is right, just that it is our current reality.

Also, if you look at people who work a lot of hours per week, often you will see people who are not very healthy. Those in the lower class working two or three jobs and "eating on the fly" generally have high calorie diets with little exercise. This creates an environment of slow weight gain and unhealthy life styles that have a tendency to worsen with time.

I don't like a whole lot of government regulation for a lot of reasons. One of those is that it seems to always drive up price, which is counterproductive here. Also, this is America. You have the freedom to do almost anything, including killing yourself via cheeseburger.

But really, until there is a reconciliation of how we live life, this is not changing. We are a nation of extremists. When people try to be "super waifs" and can't they give up and go off the deep end, or realize they have no chance, so they don't bother.

Our society needs an overhaul when it comes to weight. We need to jettison garbage food. I remember a story of a small town that had a local grocery store whose owner decided the town needed to lose weight so they replaced everything in their store with low calorie alternatives. The end result (after some complaining) was massive weight loss by the entire town. Of course, this is because they really couldn't go elsewhere for the regular options, but it highlights what could happen with a societal shift in perspective.

And one of my favorites: "For a woman to have Barbie's body, she would have to be 7'2'' in height, weigh 120 lbs., have a 38-48'' bust, an 18-23'' waist, and 28-34'' hips. She'd have to crawl around on all fours just to support her unnatural proportions"

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#7
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:06 AM

It is far cheaper to make your own food than buy fast food at a "restaurant". You can make wonderfully tasty meals at home that cost less than what you buy out. However, no one wants to invest the time.

This leads to another pet peeve of mine! How many people actually eat at home, at the same time, with all of the family?

I suspect that number has been dwindling for a long time. Eating together as a family has benefits that far exceed simple nutrition. There are psychological benefits as well. When we eat, we nurture mind, body, and spirit.

Family meals should be a fun and family bonding experience. However, I contend that our eating habits have become socially pathological and contribute greatly to our social obesity (among other ills).

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#9
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:14 AM

Agreed. Fractured families can been seen starting at the dinner table. I know families that each eat in their own individual rooms.

Families that flambe together, stay together.

I wonder how much of growing your own food also has something to do with education/skill. I am working on growing plants for the first time on my own and it's not as easy as I thought it would be. I am starting small on the hopes of being able to have a real garden next year, but it is definitely something that is going to take a lot of practice and a lot of work.

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#27
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 12:49 PM

Thats what starts it, followed by eating habits. My girl friends girls, one does have a problem (eating disorder?). I love to cook, her girls does the dishes (with pushing)when we have them. one which is very selfish. does have a weight problem. We she eats it has to be now. and she make sure she gets her portion and then some. I try to control it be cooking less, better it seems the rest of us leaves the table hungry which isn't bad.

She her grandparents put her on weight watchers, and she'll cheat. example.

I can not remember the point system at WW but lets say for example you can eat your potion of chicken strips and they are at 9 points. When she eats she'll use the excuse that its only 9 points, we have to remind her that 9 points for (4) strips. Shel'll have 8-10 when a triple order of ranch.

It is difficult, we try to apply hard love, which is not isolating her but forcing her to eat and portion to what we eat, plus encorage her to excercise with us it was hard at first, very much like a withdrawl system, until we took a step back. and included a stop at the ice cream shop at first. when she got into the habit of the walk or bike ride, we started to pass the shop at first, for what ever reason, no wallet, getting late and no time. It's easier now, but there is less whining. We also encourage her in sports, she loves track and basketball. and she's starting to give me quite a challenge in that, she still has a weight problem. But we are trying to control or atleast manage it, Because being active I do not want her joints to began breaking down.

I myself never had children, but it seems that today there is alot less respect for the parents then when I was growning up. I would never say things to my dad, and if I did, I was lucky to live (actually an attitude adjustment to me) to tell about it.

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#28
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 12:59 PM

Interesting enough, my wife forced me to watch "It's Me or the Dog" last night and they talked about how eating food very fast makes less of the nutrients get absorbed but still some of the fat/sugar.

People don't feel as full when the wolf stuff down and have a tendency to eat until the feel like they are no longer hungry. Ten minutes after their hunger dissipates, many feel "overstuffed" because of the body's lag time of recognizing food is coming in and correlating it with a decrease in hunger.

Slowing down, theoretically, would solve food consumption issues on both fronts and decrease GI distress.

There is also some research to suggest that the body has a difficult time expressing the need for food from the need for water. Early dehydration manifests itself as hunger for many people. There is an old saying that if you are hungry, try drinking a glass of water first.

I agree that the "I want food NOW" only exacerbates the problem. We are a society that expects instant gratification and it has even become part of our eating culture. That also needs to change if we are going to be a healthier people.

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#29
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 1:15 PM

People don't feel as full when the wolf stuff down and have a tendency to eat until the feel like they are no longer hungry.

That eating fast I understand the was remenants of our primitive mind. Eat quick before it gets taken away by a stronger adversary. (or even eat quick or be eaten).

What ever it is, I believe America as a whole has a poor diet, as well as exercising. Which derived from habits, values and lifestyle. I find myself at times slip into it, out of convenence and just plain lazy.

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#62
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 5:47 PM

Anonymous Hero and ShakespeareTheEngineer have touched on a critical element in the fattening of America. Prewar society was largely agricultural or at least most people had some connection to farming and living off the land. My daughter's generation things hunting for food means bargain shopping at the food store. They really do not understand that "hamburger" like they eat at McDonalds once was part of an eco system that went MOO!

Post war affluence began the destruction of the typical family where mother spent considerable time preparing meals and used fresh ingredients doing it.

Recently my wife and I made a major life style change. We moved away from the urban jungle back to a rural environment. The nearest town is 45 miles away. Cost of one trip to town is $30 in fuel. Quick trips to a convenience store is out of the quetion. We plan our trips and purchases carefully.

We have started to grow some vegetables ourselves but the stone filled gravelly soil (old river bed in the mountains) is not user friendly. We had to get a local farmer to bring in some topsoil as a supplement. We are so far out of town there is no cable TV so we have gone back to reading books.

We make a conscious effort to eat healthy food. We do not have the money to buy expensive junk food. We get plenty of exercise cutting and hauling our fire wood. At age 60 I am not healthy enough to shovel snow in an area with 8+ foot annual snowfall. So we cheat and plan to get a snow blower for those 6" plus snow falls that make life so challenging. Wife insist that staying alive is more important than proving how macho I can be shovelling snow by hand while risking a heart attack..

The point I want to make is that although our lifestyle is more healthy, most people consider us to live in deprivation and poverty. We don't have "modern conveniences" and live a "normal" life. We live like poor folks! We heat with wood. We even have naptha fuelled Coleman lights. We can survive quite nicely when the electric utility power quits. No; we don't live in a log cabin, but would like to. We do use some modern technology. We live close enough to an Emergency Services station (fire and ambulance) that we connect by WiFi to the internet courtesy of their fiber-optic communications system linking the whole provinces emergency services network. They make the extra bandwidth of a T1 fibre-optic cable available to the public school and a few residents close by. (line of sight)

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#68
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 7:47 AM

Please pay attention to the wife - it is definitely more important to stay alive than to appear macho. A post-snow shoveling heart attack was why my Father passed on too early. Be safe!

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#69
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 9:42 AM

roger that!!!!!!!!!!

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#10
In reply to #7

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:15 AM

You're absolutely right when you say the people don't want to take the time to prepare dinner. Since it's so much easier to go out, that is the option of choice. But I always catch myself when I see that pattern starting to emerge - eating out all the time makes me feel disgusting after awhile, I assume it's from all the butter and grease used in many restaurants. I'm curious, does anybody else notice this too?

I also agree with your point about eating as a family. It's very sad when you realize that a lot of kids are growing up eating alone in front of the television. When I was growing up, my parents made sure that we all ate together and even played a silly game where we each had to pick a "high" and a "low" from our day to share. As a result, I'm very close with my family. I remember going to college and hearing people say how much they "hated" their family, and how weird I thought that was.

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#11
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:23 AM

Sharkles,

That is so accurate. My wife and I have made a concerted effort to avoid going out to eat unless it is a special occasion. It was primarily because of expense, but now when I do go out to eat, I find that I don't usually feel great afterwards.

We had some of the most hilarious moments of my childhood at the dinner table and since my dad worked two jobs, most days dinner was the only time I would see him. When the decision was made to bring a TV into the dining room, I knew what that would do to usually riotous conversation and I used to hide the TV before anyone came in, or unplug the cable and take the cord. I once even went into the basement and flipped off the breaker so it wouldn't work. It was not met with kindness, but eventually the TV left the dining room.

I remember seeing a bumper sticker in college that said "Kill Your TV" and I am starting to think it is a better and better idea.

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#12
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:32 AM

That story is hilarious! I'm impressed that even as a kid you knew what would happen if a TV was brought into family dinnertime.

Also, I think I've seen the same bumper sticker! Television is good for entertainment, but it's become some people's babysitter, teacher, and good friend. I'm guilty of loving shows like Lost and Battlestar Galactica, but I also understand that it's important to take time for coversations with friends and family - and *gasp* a good book. But always, family before fiction.

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#13
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:41 AM

I like that....family before fiction.

And I teach fiction!

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#14
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:45 AM

We do not watch TV at all in the house. We have one, but it is used to view exercise videos.

We have a home theater system in the family room. About once a week we rent a movie or two. We also have a private collection of select movies or series that we watch a few times per week if we are not busy with other things.

It is funny when I think about it, but we are always engaged in other activities, either together or independently, that take up the evening, so we never have time to watch much of anything. This is in stark contrast to what I remember growing up with. Most of the evening was with the TV in the on position.

One year our family lived in a cottage in the middle of nowhere. Living was primative, but we did it for the fun of it and we had no TV, just radio and a paper. It was one of my favorite times growing up using only our imaginations.

The national average for TV consumption per person is 4 hours each day. It is 8 hours per day for the household, There are studies that show a link between the number of hours a person watches TV and obesity. Then there is the question of what it does to the mind and our social behavior.

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#16
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:52 AM

It is funny when I think about it, but we are always engaged in other activities, either together or independently, that take up the evening, so we never have time to watch much of anything.

I think that says a lot. Like eating habits, I think people watch so much TV because it's the easy option. Not having a TV forces people to do other things with their time like reading, learning, and experiencing things first hand.

Thank you for sharing!

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#32
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 1:59 PM

*raises hand* I am one of those kids whose mother has always made us come together at dinner. Many years later our family is much healthier than others. We don't have our family meal in front of the television either (that isn't a healthy meal either). Perhaps it gets sort of awkward at times - but we use sudoku and quizzes in the paper to keep it fresh. Even though we aren't discussing schooling all of the time, we are interactive and feeding our minds.

Even though I may work, hang out with friends and participate in other activities, I will be always home by 6 to have supper with my family. I don't know many that put as much of a priority on having meals with the family. It needs to be. It keeps kids and parents connected and builds better relationships.

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#5

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 9:55 AM

Very nice article and nicely done!

One of the larger culprits is the fat and sugar contents of food, fast food in particular.

Physiologically, we have a propensity to eat foods that contain fats and sugars. In plain vernacular, we have a fat tooth and a sugar tooth.

Fast food manufactures are well aware of this and in the competition to win hearts and stomachs they pump up these ingredients to satisfy this urge.

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#6
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:02 AM

My favorite invention off all time has to be soda. It has a high sodium content that makes you thirty.

Brilliant bit of marketing, really. "Quench your thirst with that which makes you more thirsty. Repeat as necessary."

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#8
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:13 AM

The invention of soda pop goes back a long, long time, starting in the late 1600s!

Normally, I just drink water. Soda pop, like beer and wine, are treats that I have occasionally, not as a primary means of hydration.

One of my favorites is Sarsaparilla.

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#15

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:52 AM

Hmmmmmm.....

  1. Is fast food already a military tactic by some opposing power?
  2. Would anyone accuse Arnold Schwarzenegger of being overweight?

Discuss.

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#17
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:58 AM

I agree that figuring out an apply-all standard for obesity is hard. I carry my share of extra pounds but can out run kids that weigh a lot less.

There is also a movement to investigate what experts are calling "skinny fat". Kids that look very thin but are so weak and out of shape that they have the same health risks as those who are overweight because of extremely poor cardivascular conditioning.

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#18
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 10:59 AM

Is fast food already a military tactic by some opposing power?

Ha, maybe! If it is, then it was a good one.


Would anyone accuse Arnold Schwarzenegger of being overweight?

In the 80's/90's he most definitely was not. I'm sure he was eating a huge portions when he was into weight-lifting, but he was also burning off most of what he ate. I'm not sure that he has as much time for keeping fit now that he is a politician...

Edit: I would like to add, that by including this picture I wasn't implying that he was obese by any stretch. Merely, showing that not having such a rigerous workout schedule has even changed the terminator.

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#19
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 11:05 AM

That's a bit of an unfair hit on Schwarzenegger. The first picture is about 35 years ago when he was a competing bodybuilder (in his mid-twenties no less). He's in his 60s in the second picture.

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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 11:10 AM

What is not fair is that he is still wearing the same speedo!

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#23
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 11:12 AM

I think we're all in agreement there.

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#22
In reply to #19

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 11:11 AM

I know I had some immediate poster-remorse for choosing that picture. Times change, and people change. I had to go back and edit that I wasn't trying to imply anything with the picture.

Each person knows the range of weight that is healthy for them - considering age, lifestyle, and other factors. Comparing ourselves to figures like Arnold is not a good way to determine what is the right or wrong weight.

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#24
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 11:17 AM

Each person knows the range of weight that is healthy for them - considering age, lifestyle, and other factors.

Sadly, Sharkles, I don't think this is the case with a lot of people. Studies show that a lot of obese people think they are at a healthy weight. Same is true for anorexics and bulimics.

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#25
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 11:22 AM

I am not doing too good on here today. I am going to shut my mouth for awhile and let the rest of you fight it out

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#26
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 12:24 PM

I'm getting lunch!

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#34
In reply to #22

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 8:17 AM

Ummm...are you certain that "after" photo wasn't Photo-Shopped? He fills out a suit better than that body could even today. I'm thinking that is his face on maybe Jack Nicholson's body...

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#36
In reply to #34

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 8:19 AM

It's quite possible. I just googled his name and that picture was on the first page of results

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#37
In reply to #34

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 8:24 AM
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#20
In reply to #15

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/11/2008 11:10 AM

Donning tinfoil hat/

Was it a coincidence that in the 1950s, no matter how small the town, a chinese food restaurant opened? Poisoning by MSG, maybe? Then in the 1990s when everyone became aware of MSG, most chinese restaurants changed their tactics and became buffets? Instead of poisoning with a simple chemical, they moved on to fat, trans-fats, and massive caloric intake....

/removing tinfoil hat

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#33

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 6:18 AM
  • Not sure if i'm qualified to answer as i don't reside in the U.S, but i have seen trends here in S.A and believe we are fast catching up to the same situation. The following is based purely on my personal thoughts and bear no reflection on anyone at all.


  • Is the United States in serious trouble when it comes to obesity?

Yes i think so.

  • Should the government regulate the food industry when it comes to food additives?

No, i believe in freedom and personal choice. (to each his own)

  • How do we get people to take action when it comes to their health?

Wow, loaded question. Firstly, go back many years to good old Mom who nurtured us and set the standard. Then look at the present day situation (you may get a fright)

Secondly, be honest to yourself!!! Understand where you were, where you are now and most importantly where you are going.

Thirdly, make a conscious effort to understand and question anything that enters your mouth (may sound corny but it works!!!)

Now the more difficult, study and understand the anatomical and physiological nature of the human body and its requirements. Start slow on learn as you go its a BIG story. (May sound crazy but think of this: you live in your body every day 27/7, do you know how and why it works? I bet you know your job! but whats more important? only you can decide) Weight loss No sorry, let me correct that Nutritional intake adjustments are a "MENTAL ATTITUDE" the brain is master. Declare "WAR" on what you believe is bad for you after your findings. This is really tough!! not for the faint hearted. Get involved in community clubs with the same interest in mind that may be your pillar of support in dark days. Throw the bathroom scale away!!! its the resident evil. Long lost or distant friends and family will tell you what is happening. Next will be your requirement to dig out old clothes or purchase a new wardrobe.(speaking from personal experience)

Encouragement at all levels to anyone who may be having this "WAR".

Regards

Craig


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#35

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 8:19 AM

Great Blog, great responses, GREAT points made!

You want fries with that?

Super-size it for under a buck...

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#39

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 9:41 AM

I would suggest every one watch the DVD "Supersize Me!" about eating at McDonalds. See the special features section on storing fast food, and the shelf life of french fries.

Yes the US is in serious trouble.

Mixed emotions on government regulation of food additives. Yes, harmful additives should be regulated, but not sure US government is capable of the task.

People will be serious about health if there is an immediate cost involved. If each person paid for health insurance based on weight and vices (penalties for smoking, drinking, over-weight) people would try to get healthy. Instead, we want someone else to take care of us.

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#40
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 9:45 AM

I stopped eating fast food when I was in high school. It was counterproductive to getting washboard abs and making weight for wrestling.

I'd do the occasional McDonald's stop, maybe three times a year or something like that when I didn't have really any other choice (traveling, etc.).

When I watched "Supersize Me" on the big screen, it made me ill. I think I have had fast food maybe three or four times since I saw that film like four years ago. And even then, it was not a full meal.

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#41

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 9:52 AM

Back in the 70's and 80's I was proud to see what kind of infrastructure we had, no bread lines, deleivered pizza in an 1/2 hour or less or its free, the all you can eat breakfast and dinner buffets.

Now I see were it got us.

If you want to be disgusted, go to the buffets and look and the people (this includes teenagers that for some reason wears clothing that (2) sizes too small for their size 18+ frames.

It will makes you want to lose weight.

Ask me now if I feel proud.

And then you have the drug companies that insists that obesity is a disease so that the government can regulate it.

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#42
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 10:12 AM

Follow the money to find who is benefitting from the current situation. These same people do not want things to be simple and will muddy the waters with lots of distractions.

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#43
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 10:26 AM

It is really sad when it is reflected in our cartoons.

Has anyone seen Wall-E? They talk about the increase in sedentary life styles converging with high calorie food (all consumed from a cup while in floating chairs that take you from place to place - think of a floating Segway). The result over 800 years is 100% massive obesity. People can't even walk.

Below is a picture of one of the characters, whose is about normal from most of the rest of the "cast":

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#44
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 10:47 AM

Seriousness aside.

Barbie dolls always follow trends, I wonder when overweight bon-bon eating Barbie will hit the market.

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#45
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 10:53 AM

As soon as it comes to the point that instead of dealing with obesity, the nation just accepts that it "is what it is".'

That will be followed by the "obesity is cool" movement which will be picked up by someone and run with because it becomes the massive (no pun intended) majority for most people in the country. We like to accept what we all are and that our shortcomings are not just that, but normal. Bon Bon Barbie becomes popular at that point.

In a room of extremists, extreme behavior looks normal to everyone. The same is true in a room full of anorexics or a room full of the obese.

Remeber Rodney Dangerfield: "If you want to look thin, hang out with fat people."

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#46
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 11:01 AM

They call that norms. Each culture has its own.

depends on how much money is to be made.

"obesity is cool" would be a hard sell. But probally not an impossible one. It's just a matter of changing the norms over a course of a period, a little at a time.

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#47
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 11:01 AM

That accepting of the 'obesity is cool' movement has already been started. Words like 'phat' have already surfaced. Obese people will call themselves phat (which sound like phat), but they claim it to mean 'pretty hot and tempting'. It is disgusting. There are people already accepting obesity for all it is worth and trying to make themselves feel better by calling themselves 'phat'. Puh-lease. It is a horrible word and the implications of what it means is even more gross.

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#48
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 11:20 AM

Actually, the etymology of "phat" dates back as far, by some accounts, to the 1960's. More likely, it was truly coined in the 1980's, but it's spelling has been recored since the 1600's.

It has resurged with a boost of popularity from 1990's pop culture, but originally didn't have a direct connection with weight. It was simply another way of saying hot. Hot women were not actually rocking a higher body temperature no more than phat women were particularly heavier than average.

I will agree as PHAT has morphed into "Pretty Hot and Thick", it's meaning has changed a great deal and idolizes obesity more. It might also be the response to the impossible to achieve a level of thinness that is the expectation of perfection.

An expectation that is neither perfect nor healthy.

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#49
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 11:30 AM

Thanks for the history lesson. But then again, having the spelling recorded since the 1600's only points toward our need for a better educational system. Obviously those people in the 1600's were confused by the 'f' sound 'ph' makes, like in phone and philanthropist. They obviously made a big Oopsy. 'Ph' doesn't belong in 'fat'.

BTW, ew for using the 't' for thick. We aren't ordering milkshakes here. Regardless for when the spelling was written down, the word has been popping up in more conversations now than it ever has.

People have long been able to confuse reality of a healthy weight with an unhealthfully large or small weight. Our perceptions of ourselves are deceitful. Some are starting to learn that even the scale tells lies. Scales can't tell you how much fat you actually have as opposed to denser muscle.

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#50
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 11:40 AM

Well, to be fair, the 1600's might have been the Renaissance in most of Europe, but formal school for the masses was still hundreds of years away.

This goes back to my original statement that there is no really way to measure body weight as an indicator of health for everyone.

BMI (Body Mass Index) does a better job, but it still doesn't discriminate between fat and muscle.

The reason our view of healthy might be unclear is because we don't know exactly what standard to measure ourselves by.

Is the person who runs a marathon and weighs 135 pounds more healthy than the person who weighs 200 pounds but can bench press 400?

The definition varies. Even though I carry additional pounds, I am hardly, if ever, ill. If you don't county a knee surgery (injury from youth), and one bout of pneumonia (from running during the winter, ironically enough), I have taken two sick days in 9 years.

Is that healthy? Even my doctor isn't sure. The extra weight is a minus, but a stress test on my heart shows that it is in good shape and that my blood pressure is great (except during exams).

How can we decide if our body image is as healthy as we think when the standard is so vague itself.

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#51
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 1:14 PM

"Our perceptions of ourselves are deceitful."

And my, how standards of beauty do change over time! Consider the image of the "Venus of Willendorf" (below). 11,000 years ago, more or less, this was thought to be the standard of pulchritude. Closer to us in time, Reubens' nudes were quite lovely for the day, but now would be out of place except perhaps in those "plus sizes" lingerie ads you see on TV where the "larger ladies" celebrate their "curvatures". Twiggy, wherefore art thou?

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#52
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 1:18 PM

Ha. Back in the day when obesity just meant you had enough power/wealth to be able to eat. A gut was the Rolex of the times!

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#53
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 1:47 PM

Yes indeed! And a wan pallor meant you hadn't spent your life toiling in the fields. Nowadays it means you are either chained to a computer all day or you are an unreconstructed sofa spud. While a "healthy" tan, even from a tanning bed, means you have the leisure to spend hours doing nothing but tanning your hide. In reality, you CAN be too rich, too thin, and too tanned just as much as you can be too poor, too fat, and too pale. All a matter of degree. Beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder. If we start to like what we see going into the Jenny Craig better than what comes out, nobody will go in anymore. Bon-bon Barbie will be on store shelves in time for Xmas that year...

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#54
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 5:18 PM

Good thread! however, I noted the content quickly veered away from the core issues and dealt more with perceptions of norm etc. Hmmm? Might that be a clue to the public attitude?

Some of the early posters mentioned the loss of societal values such as the mom stays home to care for the family; family dinner time where everyone sits aroun the same table and converse while eating. And of course a trend away from home grown and made meals to fast food and convenience food packing.

Today economic pressure on the middle class almost guarantees both parents work. Social pressure encourage kids to participate in a number of extra curricular activities which is partially paid for with the double income of both parents working. So it becomes a question of who has time to sit around the table for a family dinner on a regular basis? How many parents have time to spend a couple of hours per day preparing the family mean and how many people actually live in a place where they can have a food growing garden. Plus who can afford the time and expense of such a garden. Most tract housing has such lousy soil it wil lnot support any kind of crop. The developers scraped away all the good soil and sold it before the houses were built. So to get a good garden in suburbia requires bringing in good soil ($) more fertilizer ($$) and then all sorts of gardening tools and equip,ment ($$$) And of course the cost accountants quickly got into the act by pointing out the "real" cost of home grown vegetables was far in excess of what you pay in the stores. Even the upscale "organic" healt food stores. Looks to me like ther are vested interests that want to keep America dumb, fat and "happy?" because there is profit to be made in it. Just look at how much profit there is made in selling factory prepared foods.

As long as America embraces the notion of free enterprise for "profit at all costs" I don't see much chance of a major societal channge. Big business is making too much profit selling fast food, convenience factory prepared foods, and all the convenience and entertainment stuff that leads to a sedentary life style. People are by nature self indulgent, somewehat lazy and always looking for an easier way to do things. Meaning it requires less muscular effort and or time.

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#55
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 5:27 PM

As you mentioned earlier about the norms, as evolution takes place change, adapt or die out.

As the scientists track the change in humans, they are noting that the teeth are getting smaller because of the process foods that we eat.

I'll have to track this down where because it has some good information in it, on how it effect the human body.

in the mean time please pass the gravy........

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#56
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 5:31 PM

Maybe that is why the characters in Wall-E all drank their foods from a cup. It was a marketing slogan.

Cheeseburger From a Cup, Straight Ahead. No advance digestion needed! It was a great not-so-subtle message.

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#58
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 5:34 PM

take it one step farther............and eat crap. no digestion needed. Some may think we're already there.

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#60
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 5:35 PM

Seeing some of the stuff the last time I was dragged into a Golden Buffet (seven years ago - I think I'd rather die than go back) - I do think we are already there.

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#61
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 5:45 PM

I think so too, I can't be too far away a bathroom after I eat at a buffet, and thats more than enough anyone needs to know.

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#57
In reply to #54

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 5:31 PM

I believe that the intent of the thread wasn't to 'tell us all the answers' as it would be in the blogger had told us the issues. He or she wanted us to come up with issues and ideas of what the problem is.

I don't believe that a family doesn't have time to spend 1/2 hour with their family. People will make time for the things that are important to them. The problem is that family seems to be lacking as a priority. I have to literally make time for my family, after working 10 hours with an hour commute. I still make it in time for supper on the table. Is it a sacrifice? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Humans have the ability to adapt to different situations and family is one of those.

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#59
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 5:34 PM

Even though, I rarely do, I am going to have to side with Jaxy on this one. While we might not have time to raise a garden, you can make a decent meal in 30-45 minutes.

And if the average American watches 4 hours of TV per day...well...maybe it is time to, as the saying goes, Kill Your TV.

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#63
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 7:39 PM

Jaxy wrote: I have to literally make time for my family, after working 10 hours with an hour commute. I still make it in time for supper on the table. Is it a sacrifice? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

REPLY

I agree that family values have taken a hit. but look at why. With reference to commuting and getting to dinner on time what happens when momma has to leave the house half or an hour before you get home in order to get to her job, and the kids have after school activities like sports to attend by the time you can get there.

I put up with a 4 hour daily commute for a year before I quit in frustration. Some people do not have that luxury of quitting. I left before 6:00 AM and never got home til after 6:30 -7:00 PM I tried to go green by using public transit. Yeah right! By the time I came home, the school yards were full of kids participating in extra-curricular sports activity. By the time they go home, it was my bed time if I was to get up early enough to go to work.

I grew up with a father who worked shift from 3:00PM to 2:00AM and a mother who worked from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. What family time? It was not an unusual arrangement since many of my peers had similar home environments. You see a lot of that in mill towns and urban places with 3 shifts on the go at the plant.

You are right about adaptation! The nuclear family is the adaptation to the increasing industrialization of our society. But is that a good trend. I think not! It leads to a host of social ills. Ills like poor eating habits and taking advantage of convenience foods or eating on the fly at fast food outlets.

People from different cultural backgrounds who still live within the structure of the extended family are often accused of having some magical economic advantage over the nuclear family where both mom and dad works. Closer examination proves this acusation is true. No more childcare costs since grandma live in house and looks after the wee children and is home for when he older kids come home from school. She is also available to assist with meal preparation while granddad (retired) can do some grocery shopping at the farmers market. By the time the three or four generations gather for mealtime its social hour. And the meal itself often extends longer than a quick meal wolfed down to met some schedule or other. That in itself is beneficial to digestion.

Because three or four generations can contribute in some measure to the cost of maintaining one house (rather than two or three) the individuals can either opt for doing less work to give more time at home or else they are relieved of excessive house expenses that might force them into less desirable work hours to make ends meet. At one time I lived and worked around ethnic neighborhoods and saw this first hand.

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 8:05 PM

While I agree that having both parents work is outrageously hard on family meal times, I am merely trying to state that it can be done - with cooperation from one 3/4/5/6-person family. It is a family effort, not a one person brigade.

Even though there are long strenuous hours, if you know they are going to happen - you can prepare meals ahead of time and cook right before mealtime. You have two days (Saturday & Sunday) to prepare for a long work week. It can be as easy as marinating a chicken and cook for 15-20 minutes, right before dinner. Dinner doesn't have to be a 5-course meal, keep it simple. I am not saying that I condemn families for not having time for family meals. I am just disappointed that they don't make it as much of a priority as a job.

My sister and I both did sports, we stayed after-school for clubs and various activities. We weren't coming home and twiddling our thumbs. We were just as active as kids these days - but thanks to my mom, we had a meal to look forward to together. When my mom couldn't cook, my father stepped in and cooked on the grill or made pasta (or something else easy).

I am NOT saying that it is possible for everyone. The case you mentioned above (the different/overlapping work schedules) is one where it isn't possible during workdays. I am just saying that more people complain and fuss and claim it is impossible when if they spent time to plan it out and try, they would see that it is possible.

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#67
In reply to #64

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 12:36 AM

Well of course anything is possible. The question is; . . will the self indulgent and complacent Americans be willing to put out any sort of effort. I think not!

We actually had a healthier life style in yesteryear due to the absence of so many conveniences. People did not feel deprived back then because they diod not know anythign beter was available. Now that they do, no way will they go back. My wife and I are exceptions. Most people consider our life style choice an inconvenience or worse; . . . a deprivation.

Urban planners certainly strive to make our lifestyle extinct and the enviro whackos make it out to be a wasteful lifestyle. Urban planners want to cram us into behive cubicles with less floor space than we now have. And ansolutely no garden. They maintain a balcony should be enough plus a view of a public green space. Enviro whackos insist we are wasting precious fossil fuel driving our pick up truck instead of the latest and very expensive hybrid econobox that can only seat two small adults and carry no cargo. Yeah and where do we put the hay bales for live stock or the fire wood. Even the most rabid hybrid car nuts admit they simply can't cope with four inches of mud and six inch deep ruts. Speaking of environmentally friendly vehicles; prety soon big American simply will not be able to fit into the current crop of small and sub compact cars. Then they will have to walk. That will last till the first time they have to walk 40 miles home from work in a snow storm. You don't need to count dead fat people in the statistics. Once they die off, then the statistics will show a decline in the number of(living) fat people.

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#65

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/12/2008 11:21 PM

He's in shape...round is a shape!

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#66

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 12:08 AM

researchers are now predicting that 86% of Americans will be overweight in 2030 – and that all Americans will be overweight by the year 2048. We know that Americans are fat, but this prediction is pretty scary

This doesn't take in the big picture...

This is a study endorsed by the 'Dutch' government. I think they are on to something. So PUT ON YOUR HAPPY FACE and read page 11, 15, 19, 25, 29 ...

After reading this study, print it out and file it away because we may need to heat our houses in a decade or so (an exaggerated example). I can see the presidential campaign slogan's now ("VOTE for_______ and I will set up a rationing system before the end of my first term".)

I hope that I am wrong, and was just another nut like all the Y2K people were. We'll know soon enough.

Now back to the basement where I can eat canned spam through a gas mask without being bothered.

http://www.clingendael.nl/publications/2008/20080700_ciep_energy_jesse.pdf

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#70

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 10:14 AM

Interestingly enough, I found this article in the New York Times today. The article talks about how the Los Angeles City Council is prohibiting any new fast-food chains from opening in South L.A. I don't know much about L.A., but the article seems to hint that this is a "disenfranchised" part of the city - which is already ripe with fast-food choices.

Many replies in this thread thus far have indicated that government intervention not the answer. Following the same vein, a radio host from the area said that this type of intervention is insulting to the people of South L.A because it assumes that they can't take care of themselves and make proper choices.

However, a blogger from the same area was quoted of saying, ""There is a sentiment here that it is a little anti-American, but people forget government tells businesses where to go all the time".

What do you think of these new developments?

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#71
In reply to #70

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 10:37 AM

The people that are against the ban are taking it way too seriously. The article said itself that almost half of the 900 restaurants are fast food chains (45%). It isn't like in addition to preventing yet another fast food place they are tearing others down. What is wrong to want a different business there instead of a fast food chain?

Regardless of the ban's original intent (whether it was to protect the public or saying that they can't make informed decisions on their own - which is what they are accused of, but I don't believe), the ban isn't doing any more than trying to create a more diverse eating choice. From what I gather, diversity would not be achieved by adding a fast food outlet.

Unfortunately, sometimes it is more cost efficient to buy a burger for $1 than to buy food at a supermarket. But you get what you pay for, so you are getting $1 worth of meat (& whatever additives they choose to add to the food you are going to eat). When you step into a fast food chain, you don't have as many choices as you think that you do - you just say what finished product you want, you are giving up the right to decide what is in your food.

I don't believe that this ban on the fast food chain is intervention on a large scale for obesity. I think a big part of this ban is concern for diversity and choice in the food products that are being consumed by the people of South L.A.

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#72
In reply to #70

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 10:47 AM

From a local perspective, four years ago on the English Language Arts Regents Competency Test (RCT - not the Regents Exam), there was a writing assignment that asked students to write a letter to the town mayor arguing what should be done with the newly found green space in town.

Their options were to argue for a fast food restaurant or a park/playground.

The demographic of this group is made up of students who had failed the Regents Exam for English. That demographic usually is heavily made up of students who are classified as special ed, and/or are lower class.

Students in the district that I worked at when the exam was given almost all argued in favor of the fast food restaurant. I think there was only one (maybe two) who wanted a park.

Note that this is a town with two parks and six fast food joints (if you count Dunkin Donuts).

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#73
In reply to #70

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 10:49 AM

It seems that this country is becoming more and more dependent of the government knowing what is the best for the citizens that the people know for themselves.

I may have said this on another post. But a professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison stated back in the 70's that within 20-30 years, this country (USA) would resemble more of a communist country and the at the time USSR would be more democratic.

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#74
In reply to #73

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 10:53 AM

Thinking is too much work. People are ready to give up their freedoms if it means they don't have to work for it.

I have, at times, offered students the options of picking units for the course. I give them a dossier so they can make an informed decision and I always have a couple that just blow off looking to over because they don't feel like reading and don't care.

I'd like to think that all of units are so interesting that they would enjoy anything I taught, but in reality, I think they'd rather just zone out.

And those kids are quickly become a larger portion of our working adults!

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#76
In reply to #74

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 10:54 AM

You are right, people want to be head honcho. They think that being at the top means not working hard and bossing others around, but they forget that it took (most) of them A LOT of work to get there.

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#77
In reply to #76

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 10:56 AM

I was referring more to the masses who want other people to make decisions because it is too much work to become informed.

But you point probably also applies.

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#78
In reply to #77

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 10:57 AM

I would say that they are the same people for the most part.

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#79
In reply to #74

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 11:09 AM

I have, at times, offered students the options of picking units for the course. I give them a dossier so they can make an informed decision and I always have a couple that just blow off looking to over because they don't feel like reading and don't care.

Interesting, what did you do..............flunk them?

When I was going to college the were restructuring the core curriculum, dropping some course requirements (making them electives) or discontinuing all together and adding others new ones, basically bringing course more current (with electrical controls and such). The course that were being drop I felt was valuable that I took them on top of my regular class load. something the was very never regretted it.

And I am seeing more of the results, engineers not wanting to make critical decisions or are indecisive on items they were hired to do.....because they could be wrong.

I guess the values norms are changing over time.

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#80
In reply to #79

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 11:18 AM

Values before 2000 (for high schoolers):

Learn, better themselves and others, give respect unless something is done to earn distrust, work hard, work thoroughly, passion for DIY

Values after 2000 (for high schoolers):

Have the attitude that people need to earn your respect, just get through high school, get money, see who is stealing who's bf through text message, make self happy, disregard others feelings

Change a little? oh yea. As a side note, flunking them doesn't change them. They still don't care - but they will still yell and scream and kick, saying that they did nothing to deserve being flunked. And that is when you say to them, 'you are right, you did absolutely nothing'.

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#82
In reply to #80

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 11:23 AM

As a side note, flunking them doesn't change them.

Not changing them, just keeping them from getting cretentials and getting and postioning themselves from passing their traits along to others.

'you are right, you did absolutely nothing'.

good truthful response.

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#85
In reply to #82

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 11:38 AM

Keeping them from credentials doesn't really keep them out of trouble, nor does it stop their reproductive glands. They still pass their traits.

What I meant by not changing them is that they will continue to not care. It will just snowball. How long can you keep the same person in the same grade? If they haven't changed or tried or made even a little improvement, you aren't supposed to pass them, but there is a limit where parents and administrators step in and accuse the teacher (mostly always not to blame I might add - especially for a students lack of care) of not teaching well enough. This usually happens after the administrators ignore the teacher saying the student doesn't care. Teachers can set up conferences with parents, but parents are so defensive of their kids these days, it would just be counterproductive. Teachers are truly victims of their own profession.

Blame Game. Always pointing fingers.

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#81
In reply to #79

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 11:20 AM

I agree, Phoenix. In this event, they just had to study the unit that the majority of the class picked. It wasn't a grade bearing type of assignment.

But I learned more about them from their performance from this than any alphanumerical grade I ever handed out told me.

Fear of being wrong when you are making an informed decision either comes from a toxic work environment that is either stretched so thin that mistakes could mean the company fails, or it is from being used to having other people make all of your choices for you.

When it comes down to how our society always blames the other guy, it is much easier to let him (or her) make the decision and if he fails, point the finger.

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#83
In reply to #81

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 11:30 AM

When it comes down to how our society always blames the other guy, it is much easier to let him (or her) make the decision and if he fails, point the finger.

I owned and ran a company that depended on such an engineer, grad. from Mich Tech. nice personable guy, as it turned out he had a track record of unperforming equipment at my company as well as previous employers. Some of his actions where unethical as well as a gray area the was if pushed was illegal.

And always left when it was about to hit the fan.

Whose at fault. I am, as a business owner, the buck stops here. And I'm still paying.

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#86
In reply to #83

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 11:41 AM

Whose at fault. I am, as a business owner, the buck stops here. And I'm still paying.

You are right. On a somewhat related note, recently I was at a meeting for an event. The event had been hugely popular in recent years. But it was on the same weekend as another overwhelmingly popular event so last year I made the suggestion that we move a week earlier.

It was disastrous. Participation dropped by 50%. It might also be fuel related as the area has had a drop in travel this summer, but this is mostly on me.

At the meeting, I apologized to the board and said that it was my call and I made the wrong one, despite feeling that I had done my homework.

They were dumbfounded. No one even knew how to react. Then people started chiming in that they also supported the move. In a letter that went out to other organizers the whole board took the blame. It was so simple, but so hard for Americans to grasp.

If you screw up, just admit it. And if you are fired, at least you are fired with integrity.

Probably the same reason why the nation is so obese. Blame McDonald's!

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#84
In reply to #81

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 11:37 AM

But what does that have to do with diet, if anything. Is the typical diet not only responsible for making people fatter, but could the diet also be contributing to mental laziness? Do higher levels of fats and starches in the diet produce some kind of chemical change in mental activity.

It isn't clear to me if these behavioural changes are the resulf of dietary changes and societal peer pressure; or if changes in society is causing a shift to less beneficial food choices.

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#87
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 11:42 AM

Is the typical diet not only responsible for making people fatter, but could the diet also be contributing to mental laziness? Do higher levels of fats and starches in the diet produce some kind of chemical change in mental activity.

Morgan Spurlock (if memory serves) from "Supersize Me" suggested yes.

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#88
In reply to #84

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 11:50 AM

Follow the thread.....actually you may have answered part of it yourself.

behavioural changes are the resulf of dietary changes and societal peer pressure; or if changes in society is causing a shift to less beneficial food choices.

sorry, I pulled it alittle out of context.

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#89
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 12:17 PM

When I went to school (in Europe) we were taught that the Roman empire fell partly because the Roman citizens ate from lead plates and utensils and piped water into their homes in lead pipes. The theory back then was; the lead leached out into the drinking water and food and from there entered the blood stream causing cumulative brain damage. The accumulated brain damage amongst the ruling classes of Roman citizens contributed to their inability to think clearly and thus govern their empire wisely. External pressures were then able to overwhelm the failing government and bureaucracy and bring about a collapse of the Roman dominated culture. Could fast food chains be doing the same to the modern American republic/empire?

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#90
In reply to #89

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 12:28 PM

elnay,

Your not the first to make that connection, one can expect democracy to last about 200 years before implodes, just due the freedom it opens for corruption.......but then again, what form of government does last.

btw, they also had lead vessel for making wine.

Could fast food chains be doing the same to the modern American republic/empire?

Good observation

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#91
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 1:00 PM

No wonder they wanted to open up McDonalds in Russia and China. Fifth column activity. And look what it did to the Kremlin.

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#92
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 1:37 PM

uuuhhhmm, oh, oh,

conspiracy theory cooking, Mickey "D's" is a secret weapon from the military. Successfully proved out on the testing grounds of the U.S. And now implementing into foreign nations........be fat like me.

Armed forces boot camp obstacle course would have a Mickey "D" halfway through it.

And foreign nations MD's would be targeted. uuhhhmm. W.M.D. sounds fitting.... too many coincidences here. This is going to get legs and run.

too late, this should have been off-topic

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#93
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/13/2008 1:48 PM

OMG! My friend was telling me the other day that he had read somewhere that the government is scheming against us to make us fat, lazy, and less concerned with political affairs - thus places like McDonalds and food additives like high-fructose corn syrup. Not only does he think that these are government ploys, but also that food additives were specifcally created for this reason.

*Shakes head*

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#100
In reply to #90

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/14/2008 10:45 AM

they also had lead vessel for making wine

The part takers of wine and spirits were often found apparently dead or devoid of any breathing and thought dead in a lead induced coma even into the 16th century.

Thus necessitating the "wake" to allow them to recover

Also what has come to be known as the 'grave yard' shift was because a great flood had unearthed coffins and inspection revealed many had scratchings inside from the supposedly dead reawakening from the lead induced coma.

A string was tied from the supposed dead wrist through the coffin and up to a bell. Which the grave yard watchman could then hear the reawakened and 'saved by the bell' unearth them

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#97
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/14/2008 10:13 AM

A few years ago it was said the income of the average college grad was $14/hr.

Think many go to college because it is said to be the right thing rather than as a method to contribute to society or a life plan benefit.

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#99
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/14/2008 10:22 AM

Many schools are also "graded" on their college placement rate. I remember the superintendent at my own graduation complimenting everyone that we had 94% of graduates accepted into college.

College is often sold as the ticket to being financially secure and starting off much better than if you went straight into the work force, but for many, it is just the ticket to overwhelming debt, especially with rising costs and a slowing economy.

Whoa...better reign it in before I get a head of steam on this as it has little to do with the topic at hand.

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#101
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/14/2008 10:48 AM
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#102
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/14/2008 11:27 AM

"...it has little to do with the topic at hand..."

Don't let that slow ya down - it doesn't seem to stop anybody ELSE here...

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#103
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Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/14/2008 11:31 AM

Don't encourage outbursts of anger!

*Hides Under Desk*

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#104
In reply to #103

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/14/2008 11:33 AM

Have you read some of these posts?

Too late!

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#105
In reply to #103

Re: America: Big Place, Big People

08/14/2008 12:34 PM

Nah, just not discouraging OT posts! Some of the best/funniest thoughts are posted as OT. Besides, better to blow off steam HERE than on the road home tonight, eh? Here, defend yourself if it gets too intense...

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