Tuesday, January 22, 2013

18 Reasons We Are Getting Fatter Every Minute!

    Pizza the Hut ate himself to death in the classic 1987 film Space Balls, in the movie it was funny, but in real life, it's not. And it is spiraling out of control, today Colorado is the thinnest state in the nation with a 19.8 obesity rating, but in 1995 that would have been the highest rate! Here are 18 reasons why our waste lines are exploding, our health care costs are crippling us, and people are just getting more lazy.

1) TV: Perhaps the number 1 culprit, the average American now watches over 4 hours of TV daily! As the TV shows also keep getting more and more stupid, we get more and more fat. When I first began work as a police officer in the NYPD the pay was so low I was forced to get rid of TV to survive, and I am so thankful everyday for that! TV lets you watch other people's lives or fictional lives, but prevents you from living and enjoying your own.

2) Video Games: I was a kid in the 80's so we were probably the first generations to get hooked on video games, admittedly and regrettably I played a lot of video games as a kid and throughout most of high school. But then along the way I discovered something better, women. If it weren't for an interest in the opposite sex I may have very well still been playing Street Fighter in my 30's, but instead my interest in meeting women totally eradicated my interest in beating Super Mario Brothers. I learned very quickly that most women would prefer you have the body, rather than the video game skills.

3) Technology: Technology has made us more and more lazy each day, although it is definitely necessary, and totally cool, sometimes it impedes us. It's too easy now to use online ordering than to walk to the store and buy something. It's made manufacturing jobs easier, manly construction tasks easier (guilty, I love my yard/house power tools). Etc!

4) Culture: I don't know how or when it began, but in some parts of America fitness is actually looked down upon! Some parts, very few... but in most parts diet is definitely looked down upon! If you ask for something lower in calories you are seen as being anti-social. If you don't eat all you can eat at the all you can eat buffet you are looked at as if you failed somehow in monetary decision making. We celebrate most things with an excess amount of food. And overall in culture we are letting the age old excuses of it's just genetics trigger us into accepting being out of shape.

5) Economy and diet:  This is one of the one's I am deeply upset about, if you are a family with two working parents and two kids, you can spend $30 to cook a healthy meal after a hard days work while you are barely surviving on 2 incomes, or you can order pizza for $13. American families now have to deal with the constant temptation of the dollar menu, it's real hard to convince someone barely making ends meet to spend $8 on a healthy meal when you are competing with the f--king dollar menu.

6) TV: What's that? I already mentioned TV? I know! I'm mentioning it twice because it deserves it, the 2nd time is for the ads they brainwash the public with, you can lose weight with this diet pill, or you can get fit with this stupid device for $19.99 if you act now! The truth wouldn't make sales, my commercial: "You can lose weight and be fit with a lifetime of commitment  a lot of time, and more money than it costs to eat cheap fast food." (there's a reason why I'm a firefighter full time and personal trainer part time)

7) Cars: We were born with legs, we were not born with automobiles. In Arizona I actually get made fun of for walking or biking places even though I have a car. God forbid we walk a mile and burn off calories. As we depend more and more on cars newer cities in the United States that have little to no good infrastructure for public transport and American's are born into the mentality that you "need" to drive everywhere instead of walking or riding your bicycle. Sooner or later you have people that will literally drive 1 mile to a store to buy something they could have walked the mile and carried due to the car culture.

8) Medications: As I've learned studying medicine both in my free time and in nursing school, here in America we don't fix the problem, we medicate it. Oh you are overweight? Take some blood pressure medicine! Oh you smoke? Take some respiratory medicine! Oh you are depressed? Take some medicine! There's a few reasons behind this that could be a book let alone another blog article but here's my humble opinion for entertainment purposes only so that no one sues me:
  • Drug companies won't make money telling you to lose weight/get healthy by diet and fitness instead of drugs, they will lose money
  • Doctors won't make money telling you to workout, they also might be sued if they just flatly tell you, you are having these problems because you are out of shape.
  • People rely on the quick easy fix, medication, instead of hard work.

9) Availability Of Healthy Foods: I have one health food restaurant on my corner, there are 6 fast food restaurants on the same corner. This is a countrywide epidemic as well as a growing problem in this world. I went to South Africa and asked for a good place to eat and was led to an American fast food chain, argggghhhhhh!!!!!

10) Misinformation: I still haven't wrote the well needed article on label reading, but consumers are to misinformed on fitness and diet, low fat, all natural, 90% lean, and healthy written on a label doesn't necessarily mean it's healthy. In fact on some labels I've read it's the exact opposite!

11) Time Management: Our work days are getting longer, our pay checks are getting smaller. How are people supposed to remain fit if their employers don't help out of if they don't have enough time off. I am fortunate as a firefighter to be in a job where we have at least a weight set of dumbbells in our fitness area, most people are not so fortunate. I remember the days when I worked in advertising of working out on my "extended" lunch break in shoes, slacks, and golf shirt, since everyone in my office was so out of shape they would wonder why I came back from lunch constantly sweating and late, I lied and said I sweat easily when I walk.

12) Education on fitness: In probably the most obese time of our country school activities and fitness programs are being cut to save money, more and more kids are growing up with just video games and TV as entertainment instead of playing outside or being more physically active.

13) Diet in Schools: Too often school cafeteria's are not enforcing healthy eating, congress has actually declared that Pizza is a vegetable! If schools were to really enforce healthy eating, some people may have been upset at first, students and parents, but in the long run, these people would not pull a Ghandi and go on hunger strike, they would learn to eat healthier and I'm sure appreciate it!

14) The Internet: Yes... I must even insult myself as my fitness blog ends in a dot com. But too many times people sit in front of computers for hours and hours, sometimes it may be educational or useful, or even profitable, but a lot of times it's social networking, or online gaming, or gossip pages, limit your internet time for the day, and prioritize your gym time!

15) The Fast Food Phenomenon: If it's fast food verses healthy food, fast food doesn't win, it annihilates. We have become so accustomed to fast food as if it's the only option, small restaurants with better food suffer, so do small business, and of course so do our waste lines. Again this is not just an American problem but a world problem. But also again, how can you convince someone with only a 30 minute lunch break, or no lunch break to go to a restaurant where the food is going to take 20 minutes to cook fresh or to prepare meals from home which may take a couple of hours on your only day off.

16) Economic Stress: Forget about just worrying about the cost of food, most people these days live paycheck to paycheck barely making ends meet! They worry about being jobless and homeless. I can't heatedly go up to a guy that is barely scraping by in his studio apartment and close to living on the streets and say, "Hey man! You wanna join my gym for $25 a month, and spend a lot of time and a little more money trying to eat healthy." 

17) Portions: It is unreal how big the portions are especially in America and the other leading overweight countries. We need to seriously reduce our portion sizes at restaurants, and at home, as well as the drink sizes. I personally live in one of the hottest climates in the country here in Arizona and even here we have little to no need for a gas station drink that is bigger than most human beings stomach. Healthier countries around the world have significantly smaller portions.

18) Genetic Wiring: Ok I hate to use the G-word, but unfortunately it factors in, sugars, salts, and fats are needed for survival, and around up to the 1800's they were not substances that were in abundance. Today they are in excess like a cancer, slowly killing us, and crippling our economy (oh except of course for the guys selling it). You have to learn to defeat genetic wiring and resist temptation. It is in our nature to go after these foods in excess for survival. But we must learn that now that we have these foods, we don't need to overload on them, we need to portion them, use them in only the necessary amounts, and we need to educate our kids on this too.

    As always, I don't write these article in hopelessness but as a wake up sign and a call to hope. A lot of these factors are preventable, and if we could just stop one factor at at time, or maybe one a week even, we can lead ourselves and our bodies to a healthier more fulfilling, and longer lifestyle.

WHAT WE CAN DO TO STOP OBESITY: Ok well as some of you know from my other blog, I have traveled all over the world. I have been to many countries where it seems an obese person doesn't even exist. So what's the secret of these thin/fit nations? In my humble unscientific opinion, I would love to say it's my church, the gym. And that the gym is the answer to everything, with more gyms we could solve this problem, but it's not. I've trained in gyms around the world, there workouts are no better or no worse than ours, their training styles are relatively the same or at least the same principles, and nor are their facilities any different, so the winners.... Portions, and public transportation. In traveling to over 21 countries, of all the items I listed above, portions and people walking instead of driving seem to be a leading factor in having a healthy body weight, this makes sense as it follows nature, as stated you were born with legs and not a car, and you were born with a stomach to hold reasonable portions, not to explode at an all you can eat buffet.

     So the good news, is that at least one of those is extremely controllable  Eat less. I know I won't make millions of dollars selling you diet pills that don't work and will cause you health problems later, but I can easily pass that on to you and I hope it helps. Building a million to billion dollar public infrastructure for transport is not as easy, but each of us can maybe think about walking a bit more, or biking for our daily needs instead of always driving and widening our waste lines.

If you enjoyed this article please "plus one" it, or re-post on Facebook etc. As always feel free to comment or message me with any questions. Have a great gym day/night.

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You may also enjoy:

25 Signs We Are Losing The War On Obesity

20 Shocking Facts On Obesity

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, consult a doctor or medical professional before beginning any diet, fitness, or weight training program.


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