Obesity epidemic in America


The 1890’s were called the Gay 90’s in America. Maybe the 1990’s should be called the Fat 90’s. “Big” Bill Clinton is an appropriate leader for this time.

There is definitely a problem and I think the article hit most if not all the reasons.

We spend too much time in traffic and at work to exercise. By the time I get home in the evenings, it is time to eat and then shortly thereafter go to bed. (I have begun exercising at our gym in the morning).

The food choices are outrageous. 1 slice of pizza would be the most someone should eat, yet how many people stop at 1 slice? Cheese burgers, french fries, McDonalds food is a terrible perpetrator. Almost nothing at Wendy’s is low cal. Deserts are offered at every bend. People drink diet coke so they can eat a piece of cake.

Most diets actually put our bodies into starvation mode and cause our metabolism to drop and then when we go off the diet, we gain weight.

What is the solution? Ban high fat/high calorie foods? No. Teach nutritious eating? Make people exercise?

I do not know if there is a long reaching solution, but individually we must make better choices.


Bill Clinton? Bite me. Remember a president by the name of William Howard Taft? He was about 5’8" in every direction. There were many others who were as big or bigger than Clinton, who is actually in good shape except for his excess gut.

I have a similar problem. I’m very muscular and heavy-framed, but I also have a big middle. Part of this is due to diet, part is due to an enforced sedentary lifestyle due to a back injury. Even when I was in the best shape of my life though, in high school when I was a weightlifter, workout junkie and varsity volleyball player, I had a gut. My legs are solid meat, my shoulders and chest are broad and firm, but the paunch remains.

I’ve recovered enough from my back problem to force myself back to the gym and ignore the pain, and I’ve made some progress against the expanding middle. However, I know my body, and the bodies of my family. I will never be slim, though I may be in great health. Anybody who labels me as obese this time next year, though, will receive the benefit of all my exercise and gungfu training – the hard way.

Yes, there’s an obesity problem in America. There’s a general body-image crisis. when I look at the scrawny, undernourished skanks in the media (male and female) who are supposed to be attractive, I wonder why it is that fat is out, but being so thin as to be weak and helpless is in. We who are overweight may have health problems down the line, but we aren’t going to die in our teens and 20s from bulimia, anorexia, or ODing on diet pills and laxatives, and we sure as hell don’t smoke to keep our appetites down.

I had no intention of ripping into this topic in so defensive a tone. Sorry, but us chubs are tired of hearing it.

–Da Cap’n

I don’t stop after one slice because I’m still hungry after one slice. I have this crazy idea that if you are still hungry after you eat, you didn’t do a good job of eating.
Should I stop having sex before I orgasm, too?

Who decided on the one-slice limit?

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

I personally blame french fries. This is because I like a lot of fattening foods other than french fries and it would cause me cognitive distress to blame foods I like.

Actually, I’m only half-kidding. I think it is crazy that french fries come with everything. Sure, hamburgers and fried chicken are fattening, but at least they have protein. Sure, chocolate mousse is fattening, but the “scratch an itch” gastronomically, and a lot of people think that makes it worthwhile (me among them). French fries, on the other hand, get served up whether you’ve got the itch or not. Turn down the fries, and you don’t save any money; substitute a salad for the fries (as I am doing more and more often), and you pay more.

I call on food businesses to become very greedy and start charging big money for french fries, onion rings, hashed browns, etc. Tax fried potatoes! I’m half-kidding about this one too.

On the whole, I think it is the snack foods that are killing us … the tastless greaseoramas that sneak down our gizzards when we’re not looking. A decadent burger might be just as nutritionally nassty as a bag o fries, but the burger gives you the nutrition to be reasonably active. The bag o fries just makes you feel like a sea lion on the beach. At least if you’re me. I try to stick to pretzels when I get the munchies, but sometimes the Cheetos nail me with that mind-control beam, and I am in their power.

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

  • Boris Badenov

I’ve recently been trying to eat better and exercise more. I have to say - it’s bloody hard. I decided I’m going to drop some weight by following a low-fat diet, and try to do the food pyramid thingy. After 2 months it’s getting easier, but even with the help of some very good resources on the web when I first started it probably took me a good 5-6 hours a week extra to shop for & prepare food that is nutritious and healthy. The problem, for me at least, isn’t eating the stuff. All in all, it tastes a lot better than some of the stuff I was eating before. The problem is that when work is stressful, I’m tired, busy, etc. the last thing I wanna do is come home and cook “healthy” food. I want to order a pizza!

And that doesn’t even take into account exercise. I work full time - it’s hard to make time to exercise. I do it at lunch or after work, but it’s hard to enjoy it much when there’s a time crunch. On the weekends, I enjoy taking a run or going for a bike ride. Trying to fit one in on my lunch hour is not nearly as satisfying.

All this, and I don’t have kids and am single. I don’t know how people do it when they also have a family to worry about. No wonder we’re all less-than-healthy!

Food for thought:
For the longest time, the average American male had 30% body fat, the average 'Merican woman had 35% body fat.
A recent study showed that today, the average American male had 35% body fat, and the average American woman has 40% body fat.
Chew on that.

The IQ of a group is equal to the IQ of the dumbest member divided by the number of people in the group.

From a personal standpoint, I’m 25 and of normal weight, but the pounds are starting to creep on. Yes, I am concerned about how I look, but I would also like to stabilize my weight for health reasons. We have a history of cancer, heart disease and diabetes in our family, all of which are associated with being overweight.

This has been the first time in my life where I’ve ever had to worry about my weight. It is so hard! Have you ever seen what the recommended serving sizes of some foods? 1/2 cup of pasta? That’s not a serving, that’s a bite! I try to exercise, but it’s hard with a small child to look after.

I’ve noticed that I’m really screwed-up with eating. I feel like people are judging me when I order something caloric in a restaurant. There are friends I can not eat a meal with anymore because I feel so strange around them. I feel like some weak-willed slob just because I want the prime rib!

OTOH, I felt this way when I was really skinny, too. People used to think I was bulemic because I’d pack away an entire pizza w/out gaining a pound. I’d make it a point not to go to the bathroom until at least an hour after eating.

THIS SUCKS! Maybe if we stop obsessing over this, things would get better.

Vowing to go out and get a nice piece of cheesecake tomorrow, without feeling a damn bit guilty.

Cap, I am coming from a place of experience. I am one of those that is not tall enough for his weight. Sorry about your situation, but what the report says is true.

Alpha, I am not saying that you should only eat 1 slice. I am saying that based on a reasonable diet, there is too much fat and all in more than 1 slice. So you could have the same or better nutrition and be full if instead of pizza, you had choosen starchy vegatables and “real” vegatables, and grilled chicken and other such types of food.

I can eat more than enough to fill me if I eat healthy food, but if I chose pizza, I would still be hungry. (As long as I followed my nutrition plan).

I have been following a nutrition plan for the last 8 weeks. It follows the diabetic diet (I am not diabetic, but that is the plan I am on). I have also begun exercising every morning for 1 hour (walking on a treadmill) In that 8 weeks I have lost 34lbs.

How? From eating healthier and exercise. I think most of America could do the same.


Well, I’m not going to map the whole thing out here, but for those Dopers who might be reading this and are looking for answers yourselves because you’re fat, I suggest you blow off the starvation thing and the fat free lifestyle and look into The Carbohydrate Addicts program. you know, the one on Oprah a coupel of weeks ago.

The biochemistry underlying the plan makes a whole lotta sense to me, since I live it every day of my life. And since I’ve been on the plan, only a week, I’ve noticed an immediate improvement in how I feel, a drastic reduction in cravings, and I’ve lost 3pounds (eating bacon, butter, eggs, steak, cake and candy…all timed in a certain way, and eaten alongside pounds and pounds and pounds of vegetables and many, many gallons of water)

Look into it…you will be glad you did.

(I’m also swimming 6 days a week and weightlifting 3 or 4 but I was doing that long before I started the diet and my weight didn’t budge an ounce.)

This is a non-smoking area. If we see you smoking, we will assume you are on fire and act accordingly.

I am happy about the obesity trend, but you already knew that.


Move over Satan. :wink: Now there’s something meatier. http://smallwonder.simplenet.com/COC.html

MSNBC has been hammering this one like nothing I’ve ever seen. What I don’t get, though, is that once they get done telling me I’m too fat, they do a report wondering why we’re all so obsessed with how we look.

They’re getting ready to do a report on whether or not the place we live has any effect on how much we weigh. Goodness sakes. I weigh too much, I worry about it too much, and now I have to move.

I think part of the reason is because in the USA people eat more at one sitting than in the rest of the world. Every European I know who visits a restaurant in the USA is surprised at the size of the portions. (So was I when I moved here.)

I don’t think that people in France, for example, or Switzerland (my homeland), eat any “healthier” than the USA, but they are (in general) skinnier.

J’ai assez vécu pour voir que différence engendre haine.

I dunno if this will work for your particular schedule/lifestyle, but the way I’ve solved this particular one is to exercise in the process of doing things I have to do anyway, to kill two birds with one stone. For instance, once a week or so I have to shop for groceries, and usually have some other short errands to run at other times. Instead of driving, I ride my bike to the grocery store. It only takes about 5-7 minutes longer each direction, but it basically overlaps exercise and errands. And after you do it a few times, it becomes fun. It’s nice to get outside and get moving.

Also if you do stuff like watch the news on TV, or Letterman or whatever, you can do some exercises at the same time, like push/sit/pull/chin-ups, or jumping rope, or some sort of exercise bike or rowing/skiing machine.

peas on earth

I’m sure Americans in general are at an all-time weight high, which as several posters have pointed out should only be expected from the increasing availability and popularity of fast food (and our ridiculous schedules), but what worries me more are our goals.

We have egregious role models for health and nutrition. Almost to a person, the women we admire (actresses/models) are too thin. By “too thin,” I mean, prone to more health problems (kidney dysfunction, heart problems, cessation of periods and the hormonal ramifications of that, you name it) than a person of more normal weight. I’m sure many (not including Calista Flockhart, who is positively skeletal) are not truly anorexic or bulemic, but they do adopt extreme regimes to be as thin as they are.

It’s sad that as a nation we have such an unfortunate juxtaposition of fast foods and “ideal” images. It’s practically a guarantee that people who have highly-scheduled lives will be unhappy with their bodies.

When you go out to restraunts the meal portions are usually larger than I or my compainion can eat without feeling bad. I finally got my mother to stop when she was full and didn’t want anymore. She felt she had to eat everything served her. You Know the childern are starving in … bit.

I agree with Stoidela- the low-carb diet is a wonder. My husband started the Adkins diet in May and is now 85 lbs lighter. And he doesn’t feel deprived or cheated. (The recipes in the cookbook are great!)

The only thing that stinks is that I can’t go on it until I wean the baby, since it’s not “safe” for nursing moms.


If you’re not part of the solution you’re just scumming up the bottom of the beaker.

Hey heres a idea…

eat less crap and a few more veggies and fruits and exercise

Call me crazy but it works…

HD (Gone down from 278 to 250 so far)

I’ve been overweight since puberty and there are SO many factors to consider when trying to figure out how I got this way. Yes, yes, I can’t put the fork down sometimes. But, I realized recently that I feel guilty if I throw food away! It took me 29 years to realize this. So, when I’m full, I try to remind myself that it’s okay to “waste” food. My parents are overweight and used food as reward. Good grades=food. Sing in the school choir=food. Good H.S. band concert=food. Everything revolves around food in my family. We were taught that we MUST eat everything on our plates. My brother was even strapped to the chair for two hours until he finished his hot dog, which goes without saying, is a terrible food choice to begin with.

Also, sports and fitness were not in my family’s vocabulary. The TV was our babysitter! So, isn’t it only natural that I’m having a hard time dissolving these beliefs that were drilled into me at a young age? If it’s not in my nature or upbringing to exercise on a daily basis, it’s harder than hell to get started. And every time an exercise plan is attempted and fails, it further emphasizes my failure of trying to break out of my sedentary lifestyle. Of course that all lessens my self-image, because not only am I fat and unhealthy, but I’m a failure, too! Never mind that I’m successful in my career or have a wonderful boyfriend or loving (albeit overweight) family. Society says “You must be thin and pretty to be valued as a human being”. It sickens me that we believe that and also sickens me that I fall for it and try to live up to it.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox and I’m going to bed. Goodnight all.

This was for all the fat girls!!!

As mentioned, many Americans have become accustomed to eating more than they need. I never noticed until I came back to the States after a 3 year absence.

Before I left, I liked all that I got and ate it all up. When I returned I found I couldn’t finish all the food I was given. My wife and I turned to sharing a meal meant for one.

Still, I can’t stop at one piece of pizza–but I am not eating the several other pieces because I am hungry–I am just addicted to pizza.