THE ABCs OF OBESITY IN AMERICA

More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. Also, not surprisingly, the medical cost of this obesity is staggering, as much as 147 Billion dollars a year.  I recently visited the magnificent Aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and was surprised to see that the Aquarium contained hundreds and hundreds of whales. Unfortunately, these mammals were the human beings looking at the pretty fish. This country is in trouble, big trouble.  I present The ABCs of Obesity in America.

obesity

AddictionIf you are obese, then chances are excellent that you are an addict. I have bad news for you in that your addiction is worse than that of Heroin or Oxycontin™, and I’ll tell you why. A drug addict can quit, as a person can live without oxy or diamorphine, but you cannot live without food. I know I’m a genius for stating the obvious, but imagine being a drug addict and trying to limit yourself to just a tiny amount of smack a day and facing withdrawal symptoms each and every day of your life.  Yeah, it’s terrifying. This is why what you eat is so important.

B.M.I  is the Body Mass Index and this number is almost as alarming to the Fattie as the number that stares up at you from the hated bathroom scale. In all fairness, the BMI is badly flawed for a lot of reasons, specifically that it does not take into account your muscle content. Recognize the guy below? According to the BMI, he is overweight. In my own personal situation my B.M.I. classifies me being just over the line as being obese. Make your own judgment as my pictures are on Facebook with full body shots. I’m fit and have 19” calves of solid iron. Sure, I could lose a few pounds but I’m not going to make myself miserable just to satisfy some formula. I know I will probably lose 100 views for every formula I put in here, but:

BMI=weight in lbs./height˛ x 703

Anyway, you can largely disregard this formula that was invented by the Belgian Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet in 1830. Even he warned of its limitations when he invented it. Do not, however, use this limitation as yet another excuse to stuff your face because you somehow think that you are just “big-boned” (See Rationalization). If you are fat, you probably don’t need a formula to tell you what your tortured 42 44 inch jeans already know.

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CaloriesEveryone knows the powerful and unforgiving role that calories play in the battle of the bulge. Garbage in, FAT out. Unless you have the intelligence of a cherry clam, you probably realize that not all calories are created equal. We have all heard of empty calories and these are the things Americans cherish, so therein lies the problem. There are great sites like fitday.com where you can monitor and log everything you eat, but the average American is not going to take the time or make the effort to actually log everything that they put in their pieholes. We are marching to the cliff and it will crumble under our weight before we can walk off it.

DiabetesIn 2012 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population had diabetes according to The American Diabetes Association. This frightening statistic is up a full percent from 2010, just another indictment of the deterioration of the health of Americans. Type One is bad luck and Type Two is almost always self-inflicted.  Stop being such a pig and exercise and maybe you can avoid it.

Eating Disorders-Practically everyone has an eating disorder, it’s just a matter of the degree.  If you would like to learn about bulimia, you can read about it here. Eat to live, don’t live to eat.

Fasting/Diets-Diets are the bane and the friend of every overweight or obese person. Like Barium Enema Preps, they all work and they all fail. The more faddish or draconian, the more the likelihood that after you give up on the diet in disgust your body will put back all lost pounds and more, with a vengeance. Millions of years of evolution are not impressed by the latest Grapefruit or South Beach Diet. Our ancient metabolism staves off weight loss and stores fat as a survival device. There are no quick fixes. Don’t diet, your body will hate you for it.

Genetics-If you are half Samoan or all of your relatives are built like short human isosceles triangles, then it’s not going to matter much how many crunches or stair-steppers you torture yourself with. I know that it is not fair, but God was not an equal opportunity creator. I’ve seen women with hips as wide as the latest Smart TV, and built so squat that they could not be blown over by a Cat-5 hurricane, but they are dutifully and futilely pedalling away at the Senior Senior where I work out. Bless their hearts, but at the end of the day they will still be fat. 

Fat-19

Hedonic Hunger- In many respects, this may be the only ABC that really matters. If you are not hopelessly screwed by genetics or some rare medical condition, then you are probably wrecking your waistline with your insatiable love affair with tasty food. Gluttony has been with human beings ever since we made the evolutionary advance from hunter-gatherer to domesticating animals and growing our food. It boils down to self-control and education and we as Americans seem to have very little of either. 

pancakes

Insulin is a disconcerting word to most overweight Americans, but few understand what insulin really does. One thing that insulin does is prevents the utilization of fat as an energy source. You don’t have to know all the pharmacology of insulin and its metabolism, but here’s a big hint. Every time you gorge your fat face with high carb or high sugar food, you are pulling the insulin ripcord that will store what you eat as fat. It’s what it does, it’s virtually all it does. 

Junk Food/Fast FoodThis is our culture, this is what we have become in America. Not one factor in the disgraceful and epidemic obesity reality in this country is more glaring than the proliferation of Fast Food. We all know the score. Food at these joints is fast, convenient, tasty and inexpensive and targets poorer and dumber Americans who either cannot, or choose to not, eat healthy or responsibly.

fat-food_art

 

Kolas and Energy Drinks It is ironic that the items that are most culpable in America’s obesity epidemic are the same items that could be most painlessly eliminated. But no, in America’s march towards self-destruction, sugar-ladened soft drinks and Energy Drinks are flying off the shelves and over the counters at record levels.  One Coca-Cola™ a day will add a staggering 15 pounds a year to your already fat ass. OK, fine, you don’t drink those, you order a Diet Coke with your Baconator, so there! In addition to the irony of this laughable combination (I do it too), it’s a fact that diet sodas are not the innocuous drinks that most think they are. It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature and in addition to the toxic chemicals contained in diet drinks, they also try to fool your body into thinking it’s getting something sweet and when it doesn’t get the goodies your body will punish you with hunger. These drinks that you swill by the boatload every year actually contribute to obesity. Don’t even get me started on Energy Drinks, one of the biggest hoaxes ever pulled off on Americans since John 3:16.  They are worthless, drink water instead.

LipidsTotal cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides are scary and ugly numbers and stark proof that our creator hates us. If you are fat it is almost a given that your lipid profile will be bad and that you will be put on statins. The cruel Catch-22 is that if you are on statins, especially large doses, it is almost impossible to lose weight. Like I wrote, God hates you, and Negro, please…don’t take what I write as medical advice, see your doctor and follow his instructions. Having said that, question the use of military grade doses of statins if you do not already have a history of heart disease. I was on 80 mg. of Lipitor a day, was fat as shit and felt like Methuselah, but lost weight and exercised and have thrown my scripts away. If I die tomorrow, I was wrong.

Mississippi is the fattest and dumbest state in the nation.  They lead the nation in obesity, soda consumption and illiteracy, and all are linked. I know that I pick on Mississippi and The South a lot, but chances are that they richly deserve it. Other Southern States are not far behind with Tennessee and Alabama having obesity rates of over 30%. Rednecks are dumbasses, but they are also poor, and poor people are consistently malnourished, but obese. It’s also a cultural thing, and I know all about the siren lure of fried chicken, BBQ, biscuits and sawmill gravy, and other Southern delicacies that contribute to the epidemic of obesity.

rolling fat

 

Nutrition-There is nothing really new here. You are what you eat and Americans are becoming one big basketball shaped Big Mac. Your Grandmothers and Great-Grandmothers knew the score, eating too much starch (carbohydrates for those in Mississippi) will put thunder in your thighs. The carbohydrate % consumption and the obesity rates are almost identical charts, so you can exercise until you’re sick of it, but weight control is 80% nutrition, so live with it.

ObamacareWhat else? Like I pointed out in Redneck Culture, the people who are the fattest and need health care the most, are against it. Go figure, people are stupid enough to put their vile racism ahead of their own well being. This is beyond infuriating, but what can you do with Americans who insist on being total Morons? Anyway “O” is also for Obesity as well and what defines obesity? Again, we have our old friend the BMI that defines obesity as a BMI of > 25 as being overweight, >30 as being obese, >35 as being severely obese, and a BMI of >40 as being morbidly obese.

Pizza-Contains as many as 470 calories or more(click that extra cheese box, Baby!) per slice for a Pizza Hut Pan Meat Lover’s pie. Pizza is delicious, and it, along with its sugar laden cousin, sweet soft drinks, is EVERYWHERE, in restaurants, in Convenience Stores and just a few clicks away online. Pizzas, along with sodas are the cornerstone of obesity in America. Characterized as a complete food, pizza is actually a trifecta of a nutritional nightmare with a maximum concentration of fats, carbohydrates and sodium (1780 mg. in two slices of Pizza Hut Supreme Pan Pizza), in a delicious package. Like most other fast foods, pizza is cheap, tasty and filling, so it’s no wonder that it is such a contributor to obesity in America.

pizza-big

Quitting Smoking-If you smoke cigarettes it’s a no-brainer that the #1 thing you can do for your health is to quit. If you refuse to quit because of the inevitable weight gain, then you are a Moron because chances are, you’re already FAT.

Rationalization-The holidays, the celebrations, the events, Sunday/Monday/Thursday NFL football and of course, Saturday is reserved for the beloved NCAA showdowns that occur weekly. There is always an excuse to eat and drink and what is football without tailgating and all the associated goodies?  Sports and the inevitable binging is only one example of excuses Americans use to eat like predators on the Serengeti.  Like the religion that Americans swallow without question, our citizens are susceptible to advertising and marketing that bombard them from every corner. There is always an excuse to eat, and eating because of mere necessity and/or hunger is becoming a lost art. Americans are also in denial and pathological liars about their eating habits.  Someone who claims to eat only 1,000 calories a day, but is still fat is just lying, pure and simple.  People lie, evidence does not, and the evidence shows that Americans are taking in a lot more calories than they need, thus the obesity.  See this monstrosity below?  D-Bat Dogs — an 18-inch corn dog stuffed with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and bacon, served with a side of fries — for $25.  Sold by the Arizona Diamondbacks. 3,000 calories and 2 days worth of sodium.  

mlb_d-bat_corndog_600x400

Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup-Back in the 1970s a commission headed by George McGovern and several physicians decided that America had a health crisis in the form of heart disease, the #1 killer at that time.  The culprit was identified as fat in the diet and American and American food manufacturers dutifully responded with “low and/or reduced fat” EVERYTHING. What they did not know at the time is that their solution was horribly wrong and the interjection of sugar and high fructose corn syrup would make matters much worse. There are still those who hold onto the misinformation, but it is clear to me and authors like Gary Taubes and Dr. Atkins that the enemy is worthless carbs, especially sugar, not meat and fat.

Tomorrow is the ever moving goalpost in your life.  Tomorrow is reserved for the diet, the start of healthier eating habits, for doing the things you and your doctor know you need to do, but tomorrow never comes for most fat Americans.  Why is this?  The answers to this cancer that is plaguing America is complicated and beyond the scope of this rant. Americans possess a vast amount of pride, but have swallowed more than fast food and have lost their sense of dignity and self-esteem. The problem is fixable, but as long as America continuously ingests the Corporate line, nothing will change.

Ugly American You may have a cute face and a great personality, but if you are obese, the chances are that you are looked upon as some sort of revolting circus animal by your peers and especially by the opposite sex. Like one of my doctors so succinctly stated, “Being overweight does not help anything” and this is never more true if you are trying to appeal to another human being.

Viagra- Viagra? What do these famous dick pills have to do with obesity? Everything. Not only will being a nauseating fatbody make you less likely to have sex with another human, but the implications of obesity and the related medical side effects can make your gear useless for anything other than making pee-pee. ED is the one of the leading side effects of a lot of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia medications, so being fat has more problems than you looking repulsive. Also, the fat and skin apron that you wear around will make your already undersized tallywhacker look even more laughable.

Weight-If you are overweight, and chances are you are, then the waddle of shame to the physician’s scales is more dreaded than a sigmoidoscopy. Here’s some advice, if you have a bathroom scale, take the battery out and store it under the vanity away from sight. Weighing yourself every day, no matter how well-intentioned, is a recipe for disillusionment and failure.

scales-horror

eXercise is vastly overrated in addressing obesity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big proponent and work out at least 5 times a week, but exercise alone will not prevent you from being a fat slob. (See Nutrition & Rationalization).  One thing that exercise will do is add muscle and aid your overall fitness. Just do it, but don’t rationalize that exercise alone can cure your obesity.

Youth is truly wasted on the young and you will never regain the looks and the shape that you had when you were 25 and ripped. An important key to doing something about your weight is to be realistic in your goals. Gaining weight as we grow older is just a fact of life, so plan your frustration accordingly.

Zero Sum Mentality-If you are not torpedoed by genetics or stupidity, then chances are that if you are overweight or obese, you can do something about it. It’s a mental thing and there is no one-time fix. One of the greatest impediments to avoiding being a repulsive fat slob is an all or nothing mentality. It took you months, years and perhaps decades to get to where you are now, so it’s laughable for you to expect a month or two of Fen-Phen or dieting to restore you to your former glory. It’s not going to happen, so make your goals realistic or you will fail miserably in your attempt to look like anything less than a disgusting mound of self-propelled blubber.

For other great ABC rants click here!

 

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Goat is Retired. He does come out occasionally to help Erich and to write Christmas Reviews.