Thursday, April 23, 2009

Guest Post: ' Obesity in America'


Guest Post by Sarah: Obesity in America


http://www.doubleazone.com/Images_Story/obesity.jpg
Obesity in America
Facts –
- What is considered obese? Having a BMI (Body Mass Index) of more than 30 is considered obese, and more than 40 is considered morbidly obese
- Currently, 64.5 percent of U.S. adults, age 20 years and older, are overweight and 30.5 percent are obese.
- Obesity affects both adults and children. Approximately 9 million (about 15%) of American children aged 6 to 17 are obese, a percentage that has doubled since the 1960s.
- The U.S. Surgeon General has estimated that obesity is a significant factor in over 300,000 deaths each year and contributes to over $117 billion in increased medical costs for the country as a whole.
- Health risks associated with obesity are: Diabetes, Sleep apnea, High blood pressure, Stroke, Heart attack, Heart failure, Prostate cancer, Colon cancer, Osteoarthritis
- http://obesity1.tempdomainname.com/subs/fastfacts/obesity_US.shtml

I have a problem with the fact that we as a country are having an increase in obesity, and yes it also goes back to my firm belief of personal responsibility. I do understand that genetics plays a role in this and there are those that have other health issues like thyroid problems, etc. But I feel our society is continuing to make excuses for why this is becoming a problem, and making more and more “remedies” to fix it. It comes down to what you eat, how much you eat, and exercise. Yes, some have to eat less and exercise more, and some can eat everything and only exercise a little bit. I am tired of people attacking restaurants, fast food chains, and food company for what they offer in portions or what they put in the food.

Ya, so you can “super size” your meal at almost every drive thru, but guess what…..you can say no, or get it, stuff your face and workout to burn it off. But the last time I checked there we no gun to my head saying “you must super size”. Also, American restaurants have huge portions…so what?! Great! But guess what, that doesn’t mean you have to eat it all. You can eat what you feel is your portion….leave it there, or take it home and eat it later. Yes, we have a lot of food and beverages out there that aren’t the best for you and are very tasty, but it is your responsibility to decide how much you eat or how much you exercise to counter act that.

I guess my point is there is no “easy” button, but it isn’t rocket science either. Working out is not everyone’s favorite thing, and eating can be a sport for some, but whatever the case is it is for the most part your choice.

46 comments:

  1. LOL!!...I was about to call Jake out for writing this until I saw it was a guest post (No offense Jake)!

    It does come down to personal choice and responsibility, but at the same time there are reasons why the USA is fatter than most. First off, we work longer hours and commute farther on average than most countries, giving us less time to work out or do anything physically active. Also, most of the jobs these days consist of sitting in a chair working out your fingers. We also have way more delicious options than most countries. Any kind of food you crave is available to you at almost any time, and it is human nature (and animal nature as well) to indulge when given the opportunity.

    I also don't think these numbers are completely accurate. BMI is a height to weight ratio and does not take into consideration how much muscle an individual has. I would have to get down to like 5% body fat to not be considered "overweight", because of my large, muscular, creamy, sensual, homo-erotic build. There are people in ridiculous shape that fall under the morbidly obese category.

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  2. I personally think you should have Wendy's in that poll because its better then all the choices.

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  3. This is a huge problem for me too. I wouldn’t doubt that those who have medical problems due to obesity are the same that are visiting Casey in the emergency room and getting “free” medical attention. I agree that when it comes down to it this can be considered personal accountability but I think that this could be one situation where business can take a moral stance on the issue and help out Americans in several ways. Is it possible that restaurants could lower their portion size and in turn also lower the cost of the meal? It seems that over the last 10 years entrée sizes and the cost of eating out has gradually increased, but why is that necessary. I believe that everyone should be active (exercise) in one way or another, but this doesn’t work by itself. It is much more important to watch what you eat and how much.

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  4. I wonder what percentage of overweight or obese people see it as a problem that they are overweight or obese. Or, is it only some people who are not overweight or obese that see it as a problem? I think anyone should be able to live anyway they want to so long as they aren't hurting anyone or violating the civil rights of others. Another persons weight has never had an impact on my life. If in fact I heard an obese person complaining about how they're victims of McDonald's, that would certainly be irritating but I haven't. I've only seen media do what they do best...categorize and make assumptions based on the random criteria for the category. If an expert looks at numbers, they will try to assign a cause. In areas such as this, the causes are quite obvious but I think as a result, the audience starts to imagine all obese people as one thing, speaking with one voice, that may be victims of McDonald's. They are not and I would guess that most of them don't care about their weight at all. If they don't care, I certainly don't.

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  5. Bravo Brett, I couldn't agree more. Our food here is delicious. And I don't know about the rest of you, but how can you pass up a super-size? So I get even more delicious food for only a few cents more? Yes, give me three of those. There is nothing I like better than stuffing my fat face while getting a great deal at the same time.

    Kevin- I didn't list Wendy's because it sucks. Their burgers are so greasy that they even gross me out. And their crappy steak cut fries are what you could buy in the frozen aisle at Randalls. Same problem I have with Burger King. If I wanted a burger that tasted like what I can make at home then why the hell would I waste my time buying it from a crappy fast food chain?

    Whataburger is the bomb. Their burgers are delicious, their fries are delicious, and their Ketchup is hands-down the best on this side of the Mississippi. And they're based here in Texas so we can help support our local economy.

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  6. I agree with you about the use of BMI. I personality feel the body fat percentage is better, but medical researcher use BMI because it is easier to develop data from very large amount of people.
    Wendy's sucks.
    I also agree that restaurants could lower their portions of size, but I think it comes down to supply and demand. If people are still going out and paying for it then they don't have a reason to change.

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  7. Yeah Kevin...Wendy's sucks!!

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  8. Matt - I do agree with you. If someone is ok with being obese that is fine as long as they don't complain about the affects of it....what they look like, insurance premiums, health problems, paying for an extra seat on an airplane, etc. Like you said it is their choice and if they are not hurting anyone then it really isn't a problem. I get irritated when it comes to the amounts of money we as a country spend on medical costs from the affects of it, but that goes back to or healthcare and we already talked about that.

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  9. I think it's ridiculous for someone to try and sue a fast food chain because of their own lack of self-control. But on the flip side, I think that the fast food chains have an ethical responsibility to try and make the food they sell better for us.

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  10. John Stewart was commenting on a group of obese people in New York who filed a class action suite on McDonald's claiming that they didn't know that fast food made you fat. He asked, "you can sue for that? Then can you sue someone for being STUPID!?"

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  11. My comments:

    1) Fat people gross me out.

    2) Sarah, I agree with most of what you say and that it essentially comes down to personal accountability and your own will-power to not stuff your pie hole. However, I do think our way of life has made that choice so easy for people today.

    3) Brett I love you and your homo-erotic body! You again bring up good points that I would have brought up myself if I were commenting on this first. Mavs tonight lover?

    4) Wendy's sucks my ass and Whataburger rules my balls!!!

    5) Jon Stewart (no "h") is always friggin HI-LARIOUS!

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  12. Great talk guys and gals! Im off to Mcdonalds...ummm french fries, I can feel my bmi increasing! yes! Sorry all, I am blind to all fast food arguments. I was raised on Mcdonalds ( I know not the best but hey single mom and all) and I would say that I turned out fine. Kevin may disagree (haha). Fast food to me is like scotch to ron burgandy! And Kevin, Wendy's is ok im on your side.

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  13. Jake, your last comment was the most socialist thing you have ever said on this blog. How can a company's responsibility be anything more than to maximize profits within the legal boundaries that have been given to them? That's America!! That's capitalism!!

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  14. Who is this Chuck character and doesn't he know it's against the rules of this blog to agree with Kevin?

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  15. Chuck went to school with Kevin and I at UTA, and I am super happy to see him comment on the blog.....although, he did agree with Kevin's comment. What the hell, Chuck?!

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  16. Brett- Ethical responsibility is different than government mandated responsiblity. I don't think the fast-food chains have any legal responsibility to serve anything other than the solid grease farts they've always served, but I do think as human beings they have an ethical obligation to help people by trying to decrease the unhealthiness of their food. But I would never be in favor of having the government get involved and require this. I don't want my government requiring me to donate to charitable causes, but I do donate because I have an ethical obligation to help people less fortunate than myself. I hope that my support for personal responsiblity and a free market competition based economy has not caused you to misunderstand my position. I believe in helping people that can't figure it our for themselves, obese and welfare-dependent people included, but I believe my help should be on a voluntary basis and not mandated by our government.

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  17. seriously Chuck, what the hell?

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  18. Chuck, although you ate all that McDonald's...were you not also a very active child? Like soccer, wake boarding, etc.?

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  19. Trust me, go watch the movie "Super Size Me" and you wont want to eat at MC again. They placed their frys in a glass jar for over two months and they looked just like the day the bought them. All the other food they did that to, because a ball of goo. I did a lot of MC too when I was little, and welcome Chuck

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  20. And Brett, for future reference here is where I stand on things in case I have been unclear:

    1. I think our government should be as small as possible, only big enough to do the basics. I think anything beyond the basics should be provided by the private sector. The free enterprise system provides the lowest cost to the consumer through competition.

    2. I think government is way too intrusive into our lives. I see our government as a tool of the people, but it has become a weapon of powerful lobbyist groups and is used to limit our freedoms. I don't want my government dictating how I live my life: what I wear, what I believe, where I live, what I live in, how much I make, who I sleep with, who I have children with, nothing. I don't want them telling me anything. Anything they dictate to me is a loss of my personal freedoms. Their job should be to guarantee and ensure my freedom to succeed or fail as I see fit. If I want to piss my life away then I should have the freedom to do that. America as it was intended is for every individual to have the freedom to do, say, and act as he/she please so long as it does not interfere with someone else's right to their freedoms.

    3. I think on the whole, people should be more caring, generous, and kind to each other. I think many of society's ills could be solved through a little more patience with each other and a lot more acts of selflessness. I believe the key to a brighter future for us and our children is for us to love, accept, and help each other. But do not kid yourself, true hope and change will never come from out of touch, rich bureaucrats in Washington on either side of the aisle. Government should not be looked at as this great utopian tool to fix all of society's problems. People helping each other and choosing to change their behavior and actions is the only way for us to make this country and world a better place.

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  21. Sorry to get off topic Sarah

    Kevin- Yes Supersize me was a really cool and disgusting documentary, definitely a must-see.

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  22. America needs to start laying off people from life. If you don't meet the minimum standards of a functional member of society, then I'm sorry, you've got to go! Corporations get rid of their bottom 10% all the time. I say we get rid of America's bottom 10% and throw them all into the ocean. Watch Dexter to figure out how to get away with disposing of the bodies.

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  23. I'm sorry too Sarah. I just have a lot of hate I need to get out of my system...

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  24. JB - After writing point #3 above, would it be too hypocritical of me if I agreed with you?

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  25. No way man! You can still hate the people who you are helping. I hate the crap out of certain ethnic groups (at least the worthless ones in the group) but I will build half-ass houses every Saturday for a year if that means that the beneficiaries won't be robbing me when I sleep!

    People don't want to help people today because you don't see any short-term effects. You will only see a true change if there is a big collective effort that takes place over a significant period of time.

    We need somebody to motivate everybody to be a better person and treat others with respect. Maybe Obama is better suited as an inspirational speaker versus the leader of the free world. It's too early to tell. Regardless though, I have too much hate to do anything myself so I will continue to complain on a blog.

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  26. And if you were referring to agreeing with my point about laying off people from life, then again I say no way man! It's never hypocritical to agree with somebody when they are right!

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  27. Obama was and continues to be a very inspirational speaker. I like what he says, I just don't like what he does. I agree, maybe he should have stuck with trying to inspire people instead of running our country. I like his message, but at the end of the day I just don't think the US government should be taking money and liberties from one group of people to benefit another. Trying to inspire the American people is fine, but forcing us to do things and taking our money is a totally different subject.

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  28. Sarah - I have a comment for you about obesity. Did you notice that women are doing the most damage to the obesity numbers in the graph I attached above? Why is that and what are we going to do about it?

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  29. That's why you always check out the mom before you make any crazy decisions. Whatever her mom looks like is what you can expect in 20 years!

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  30. Sarah - I have a blog idea, maybe we should play the game from the Melvin that time where we go around the circle and tell each other our biggest weakness, hahah

    Was it Eric that refused to play?

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  31. I also noticed that too, and a little surprised. I think there are a few reasons. I think women naturally carry more fat and also have more places on our bodies that fat tends to collect. I also think that child birth has something to do with it....possibly gaining that baby weight and not being able to get rid of it. Those are just guesses. Maybe they should give women free gym membership for a year or something. haha
    That game was fun....although people can get their feelings hurt easily, but maybe it's an idea. Yes, Eric left the Melvin about 2 seconds after we decided to start playing. I still don't think he likes that game much.

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  32. Justin - I think that is case by case. My mom is 5'2" petite woman...she is my real mother, but all I pretty much got was her brown eye, nose, skin color, and small breast. Our body shape however is are very different, but I understand your point. Same could go for men I am sure.

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  33. How do you know that you got your mom's brown eye? I have never inspected either of my parents well enough to know whether or not my own balloon knot is fraternal or maternal!

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  34. Ok, you are right I was just trying to think of something to add on the list....both my parents have brown eye so it was inevitable that I would get poop brown eyes as well. I am just saying that I got a lot of my fathers side of the family genes that is all.

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  35. Sarah - I was picking on your for a typo when you first put "all I pretty much got was her brown eye..."

    Quit talking about your mom's butthole!

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  36. hmmm...i think Justin is referring to something more graphic than actual "brown eyes"...i'd urban dictionary it.

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  37. I'm dying over here, I can't stop laughing

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  38. Jake, just so we can be clear, what money and liberties has he taken from you, or anyone else for that matter? I know he eventually plans to raise the top tax bracket to 39%, where it was before Bush lowered to 35%, but that has not happened yet. Even if it had, I don't believe that is really "taking money" from anybody. It is just a fundamental difference on how you or he thinks taxes should be appropriated. If we want to be technical, the government has been taking money and liberties from the American people since 1776. The only tax I know he has increased is the tax on cigarettes, which has taken money out of my pocket but not yours. I may be incorrect, please let me know if I am missing something.

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  39. My original comment was not aimed at Obama. It was about government's role in general. It doesn't matter whether its Bush or Obama or McCain or anyone else, I still feel the same way. I think we pay too much in taxes in this country for too many unnecessary things. I think both of the major parties think that their party is going to be able to fix everything. And to them its just a matter of getting tax dollars from people like us so they can start all of these great programs that will make our lives better. But I don't agree with that approach. I don't want my government being that pro-active, because as good as their intentions might be, all they end up doing is wasting a lot of money and giving preference to one group of people over another.

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  40. OK, so you would have a personal bias against anyone that is in office right now, it just happens to be Obama?

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  41. I have bias against anyone, regardless of party affiliation, that trys to expand government and government programs. I think it's a waste. And both parties are guilty of it.

    Obama's name was mentioned above by Justin and I responded to it. I did not reference him in my original statements.

    To be honest, I would like to see a Libertarian make it into office. I almost voted for that party in the last election and probably will in the next election. Their stance and idea of government's role in our lives really makes a lot of sense to me and seems more in tune with the principles our country was founded on.

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  42. Brett- Which party do you most associate with?

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  43. super size me, ha... I ate Mcdonalds while I watched the french fry part, i'm not scared.

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  44. Since I don't have very many opinions on grown up stuff, I will be agreeing with kevin on just about everything just to shake it up! just call it the Fort Worth perspective, chuck from funky town, out!

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  45. To answer Jake's question, I associate myself with the people who eat fast food party. This is purely to stay on the original task of the quest blogger. Stay on target guys...gosh!

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  46. Due to a conflict of interest, I abstain from commenting on this blog post. However, Justin is 100% right about Sarah's mom's brown eye. Buttholes are gross. Sarah, stop looking at them, and the kid from the picture the other day needs to stop scratching his!

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