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Why are people fat?

24

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  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    I don't like this. I've got probably 100 places to eat or get food within 5 miles of my house. 3 of those are Kroger, Whole Foods and Fresh Market. Fast food is much, much more available on a percentage basis, but this 'availability' argument makes no sense. Fast food isn't more available because it's more prevalent, it's exactly as available as everything else.

    You are privileged enough to live in relatively upscale suburban settings, then.

    I'm not going to talk about inner cities, and all the trouble that comes with that, but suffice to say poor urban areas suffer from these problems. Instead, I'll talk about my recent road trip from Michigan to Texas and back; through Arkansas and rural Texas especially, there was literally nothing but McDonald's or Jack in the Box in any given one-light town. That's not just us riding on the expressways either; we had to go into towns for some of the stuff we did, and nowhere were there any produce stores other than a super walmart every 30-50 miles. There certainly wasn't anything close to a Whole Foods or Fresh Market anywhere within a hundred miles of most of the places we drove through.
  • AnnesAnnes Tripped Up by Libidos and Hubris Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    All of the complaints above about how "real food" is way more expensive that "cheap crap" is directly tied to corn subsidies. "Cheap crap" is made using all the various ways we've learned to process corn since the beginning of the corn subsidies. If you'd like to read about it. the bestselling book The Omnivore's Dilemma is focused on the issue.

    That being said, I'm not sure how things are supposed to change for the entire country (rich urban people excluded, of course)with both of these issues and Prime's "middle of nowhere" example all in play.
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Annes wrote:
    That being said, I'm not sure how things are supposed to change for the entire country (rich urban people excluded, of course)with both of these issues and Prime's "middle of nowhere" example all in play.

    A desire for people to eat healthy is the answer. You can eat healthy at any fast food joint if you make a conscious effort to do so. What you think McDs menu would look like if their sales suddenly shifted to 90% salads/10% burgers?

    Of course the most rational appropriate choices aren't always the ones that feel/taste/are the best. If that was the case everyone would do cocaine because it makes you feel good.
  • WagsFTWWagsFTW Grand Rapids, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    MAGIC wrote:
    Of course the most rational appropriate choices aren't always the ones that feel/taste/are the best. If that was the case everyone would do cocaine because it makes you feel good.

    It's a hell of a drug.
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Thats what I hear.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Yce1O.jpg
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    One speed: GO!
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    MAGIC wrote:
    A desire for people to eat healthy is the answer. You can eat healthy at any fast food joint if you make a conscious effort to do so. What you think McDs menu would look like if their sales suddenly shifted to 90% salads/10% burgers?

    Of course the most rational appropriate choices aren't always the ones that feel/taste/are the best. If that was the case everyone would do cocaine because it makes you feel good.
    Sometimes ...

    http://consumerist.com/2007/05/the-myth-of-salads-why-why-fast-food-salads-arent-necessarily-going-to-help-you-lose-weight.html

    http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/are-fast-food-salads-and-veggies-nutritious.html

    with sub-articles:
    http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-5-best-fast-food-salads.html
    http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-5-worst-fast-food-salads-you-should-avoid.html
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Surprise, surprise: salad dressing, syrup-packed oranges, deep fried chicken slices and fried noodles are bad for you?!

    Discretion. That's all it takes.
  • BasilBasil Nubcaek England Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    snow20flamecj8ys5.jpg
  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Annes wrote:
    All of the complaints above about how "real food" is way more expensive that "cheap crap" is directly tied to corn subsidies. "Cheap crap" is made using all the various ways we've learned to process corn since the beginning of the corn subsidies. If you'd like to read about it. the bestselling book The Omnivore's Dilemma is focused on the issue.

    More information can also be found in the documentary "King of Corn". The part where they make HFCS in that film made me start trying to avoid the stuff as much as possible. Ick.
  • WagsFTWWagsFTW Grand Rapids, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    If we did cocaine, we would all look as great as Charlie Sheen.


    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/health/4430360/detail.html


    charlie-sheen-loved-cocaine-hookers-confessions-ecards-someecards.png
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Tushon wrote:



    Again,

    A) Dump a half cup of ranch dressing on my chicken salad pumping it from 450 cals to 1400 cals
    C) Put a fraction, but still taste improving amount on increaseing it to 650 cals.
    D) Opt for a light oil based dressing and only add 60-70 cals.

    Pick your poison. You dont have to eat everything put in front of you.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    MAGIC wrote:
    Again,

    A) Dump a half cup of ranch dressing on my chicken salad pumping it from 450 cals to 1400 cals
    C) Put a fraction, but still taste improving amount on increaseing it to 650 cals.
    D) Opt for a light oil based dressing and only add 60-70 cals.

    Pick your poison. You dont have to eat everything put in front of you.
    You certainly do not have to, but it is human nature to eat all on a plate.

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/15261-plate-size-important/

    TLDR: Adults eat less (and sometimes very much less) when given smaller plates and/or utensils. Children tend to eat the amount they feel appropriate, perhaps because they haven't been indoctrinated into "finish everything on your plate" referenced earlier in the thread.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Canti wrote:
    People want to pack as many calories for as cheap as possible

    But why? This would be advantageous if we were taking down wooly mammoths, I agree, but not needed now?
    MAGIC wrote:
    Of course there is big money and government involved but business follows the consumer. If demand shifts supply will as well and we will see the price of healthier alternatives drop because the focus will be put on producing them at a cheaper cost to meet demand.

    Not right away in the case of subsidies, but I agree, subsidize 2x, 3x, 4x over what we need and the torches and pitchforks will come out. The problem is that demand for corn comes from demand for a lot of other things (feed for beef, sweetners, etc) - pretty difficult to reduce your demand for everything that corn ties onto BUT it's conceivable to drive demand for other feed and sweetner sources. All you need is massive disease related to homogenizing food sources and you've got your demand for corn alternatives.
    There certainly wasn't anything close to a Whole Foods or Fresh Market anywhere within a hundred miles of most of the places we drove through.

    I completely understand. This definitely ties into the availability argument, but I'll wager that the smaller the town, the more likely they've got access to locally-grown produce. I can't think of a small town I've been in that doesn't have a weekly farmer's market. Or any town, for that matter. Chicago has 2 per week, and my mom lives in BFE S Illinois and has her choice of 4 markets in the surrounding 3 towns.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Annes wrote:
    If you'd like to read about it. the bestselling book The Omnivore's Dilemma is focused on the issue.

    +1 for a good book
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    MAGIC wrote:
    Of course the most rational appropriate choices aren't always the ones that feel/taste/are the best. If that was the case everyone would do cocaine because it makes you feel good.

    McD's always comes up, but look at a fast food place like Chipotle. It's actually not that bad for you. It's not "good" for you, maybe, but it's certainly better than McD's. You *can* get food that is better for you on the go. I'd argue that it even tastes better, and wouldn't be a bad first step on finding a taste for better-for-you food.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    ardichoke wrote:
    More information can also be found in the documentary "King of Corn". The part where they make HFCS in that film made me start trying to avoid the stuff as much as possible. Ick.

    It's 'King Corn', and others are 'Food, Inc.' and 'Fast Food Nation' (although this movie did an excellent job, then threw it all away by trying to be sensational by going through an entire meat processing plant kill floor. FFD through that part, stupid and unnecessary) 'Super Size Me' is OK, but the whole 'McD's food doesn't mold' thing is complete BS - no food molds when it dehydrates on an open shelf faster than mold can form.
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Tushon wrote:
    Adults eat less (and sometimes very much less) when given smaller plates and/or utensils. Children tend to eat the amount they feel appropriate, perhaps because they haven't been indoctrinated into "finish everything on your plate" referenced earlier in the thread.

    I know that it took me about 3 months to get used to smaller plates. I feel sick when I eat "normal" portions now.

    So really, when I go out, I usually look at any price and half it, counting on making 2 meals out of it. You can't really do that with a hamburger, I agree, but... I don't eat hamburgers too often.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    There is just a certain kind of deep satisfaction that comes from a double quarter pounder with cheese that you don't get from a six-inch turkey sub on whole wheat.

    I can't explain it, and I'm not trying to make light of the situation; there is a definite deep urge to have something like that as opposed to the healthier alternative. Why is that? Why does the thought of a five guys burger literally make my mouth water while thinking of a subway healthy choice make me go "meh"?
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Tushon wrote:
    You certainly do not have to, but it is human nature to eat all on a plate.

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/15261-plate-size-important/

    TLDR: Adults eat less (and sometimes very much less) when given smaller plates and/or utensils. Children tend to eat the amount they feel appropriate, perhaps because they haven't been indoctrinated into "finish everything on your plate" referenced earlier in the thread.

    You keep citing articles that try to push the blame of unhealthy eating onto everyone but the consumer. Think before you put it in your body.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Or restaurants could server smaller portions (inb4 "market will fix all")
    MAGIC wrote:
    You keep citing articles that try to push the blame of unhealthy eating onto everyone but the consumer. Think before you put it in your body.

    I'm not asking for people to not think before they eat. People in this thread have asked for reasons that people are overweight; I am providing contributing factors. Humans are not islands unto themselves in any respect and everything that I have linked has to do with how and what you "choose" to eat.
    there is a definite deep urge to have something like that as opposed to the healthier alternative. Why is that? Why does the thought of a five guys burger literally make my mouth water while thinking of a subway healthy choice make me go "meh"?

    There IS a definite deep urge to eat high fat/high sugar foods, calorie dense foods. I already linked to and talked about this earlier and if I wasn't clear, oops! The difference is that our mind of 10k+ years ago wants as much of those foods as possible, and we have grown technologically in leaps and bounds while our brains haven't changed all that much (especially the primitive parts that control food desires).
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Why serve smaller portions when I can put enough food in front of you to stretch your stomach to the size of a cow? Then you will come to me 3 times as often to fill it. Market won't fix that. Only the consumer can.
  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Slightly off topic, but all you tree hugging hippies and your fancy certified organic fruits and vegetables are why Maryland is currently overrun with stink bugs. Please, someone DDT the fuckin fields already.

    Our fruits and vegetables were just fine before the were "certified organic". Its just marketing to drive up the cost of my tomato, and overrun my neighborhood with these....

    brown_stink_bug_adult.jpg
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    People are fat because of people. Only you can choose not to be fat. Society isn't helping you not to be fat, but I am still fat because I don't do anything about it.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    We can make it easy to be more active, eat/live healthier as a society, or we can not, and either choice has consequences for how individuals behave. If you (collectively) choose to ignore societal influences on individual actions, I'm kinda done passing information along. I'm not in any way denying the ability of individuals to overcome outside influences and make healthier choices for themselves, but there are most definitely influences on our choices, which vary in strength, coming from our upbringing, our genetics, and our culture.
  • AnnesAnnes Tripped Up by Libidos and Hubris Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    If we get rid of massive corn subsidies the prices of all the shit you shouldn't be eating would go way up. Would still be cheaper than healthful, whole foods, but it would be way more competitive.

    And then there's flawed study about fats and how the USDA picked up and ran with it until this day. Grains as the main basis for a diet is just silly and plays right into the subsidies' hands.

    Will cite if desired off work hours.

    Also, I'm LOVING this thread. So many contributors!
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    I'll be the first to say I am fat due to my ignorance. I grew up in an unhealthy family so the bad habits started since I could chew solid food. Health education in school is well "look at this pyramid". I really didn't know what to do and for the most part didn't care until I realized how important image is in our society and how important knowledge and practice of good healthy habits are to a good life.

    Now that I am 5'10 210 lbs, but should be 170 and I know why. Health and the science behind what my body does with food has become a pretty big interest of mine. It is significantly harder to lose weight than it is to maintain it though. So, I am currently struggling to get my body fixed after a lifetime of abuse.

    I don't place a stich of blame on corn subsidies, fast food, serving sizes, or how good bad food tastes. It's all up to numero uno to make the decisions.
  • GHoosdumGHoosdum Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    Hmmm... this study stands in sharp contrast to the "Sweet surprise" HFCS ads that have been on television lately.

    By the way, when I was a kid the Food Pyramid hadn't been invented yet. We still had the Four Food Groups.
  • AnnesAnnes Tripped Up by Libidos and Hubris Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Mar 2011
    MAGIC wrote:
    I'll be the first to say I am fat due to my ignorance. I grew up in an unhealthy family so the bad habits started since I could chew solid food. Health education in school is well "look at this pyramid". I really didn't know what to do and for the most part didn't care until I realized how important image is in our society and how important knowledge and practice of good healthy habits are to a good life.

    Now that I am 5'10 210 lbs, but should be 170 and I know why. Health and the science behind what my body does with food has become a pretty big interest of mine. It is significantly harder to lose weight than it is to maintain it though. So, I am currently struggling to get my body fixed after a lifetime of abuse.

    I don't place a stich of blame on corn subsidies, fast food, serving sizes, or how good bad food tastes. It's all up to numero uno to make the decisions.

    I'm not placing the blame of my own fatness on any of the things I've been arguing. I didn't realize that was the discussion we were having. I'm just discussing what it is that make being fat in America so incredibly easy and quickly becoming almost impossible to avoid if you eat like a "typical" American (Unless you're Eli. Fuck that guy.) You can see it happening around the world as the American way of eating spreads.


    If that's the discussion we're having, I'm fat due to absolute lack of willpower.
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