Did you know that being married is like being nibbled to death by a duck?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Weight Debate

This has been a prevailing topic in a few of my classes this semester, even more so than the War on Terror, believe it or not. On the one hand, you have people that blame "Big Food" and say that it's the fault of "corporate evil" like McDonald's and Burger King that make people get fat, and that we live in a society where people don't have time or money to eat anything else. On the other, you have those who say that it's the fault of parents for not forcing their children to exercise or do anything but sit around the house and play video games (those damn video games! They're of the devil, I tell you!!!).

I am torn, not because of the two sides I describe above, but because I was lucky enough to be blessed with a metabolism that would allow me to sit on the couch all day and eat nothing but Funyions and Ho-Ho's and still never get fat. Ergo, it is hard for me to argue against someone who doesn't have that ability, as no matter how much I try to see it from their point of view, quite frankly I never fully will.

That being said, my personal view revolves more around the subject of exercise (or more importantly, the lack thereof), as opposed to an improper diet. This is another debate in and of itself, as many feel that they just don't have enough time for it. I have my own views on that, as well, but I would like to hear different opinions on this subject. Because, ya know, I care. Ha.


Kell said...

you know my thoughts...

Mr. Twisted said...

Yes, but it would be nice if the other kids could hear them so that they could play, too.

Alessandra said...

I was lucky enough to be blessed with a metabolism that would allow me to sit on the couch all day and eat nothing but Funyions and Ho-Ho's and still never get fat.

aaaaaaaarghhhhhhhhh :-)

you undeserving high metabolism people!!! ;-)

~E said...

Since no one else seems willing to comment on this topic, I’ll take a crack at it... after all, I’m prolly the closest resident ‘expert’ that comments here. =P

1.) I do not think that Big Fast Food ‘makes people fat’ or that they should be penalized for the rising rates of obesity in America. While time may be an issue for most people in today’s fast-paced society, there are always healthy alternatives to the heart-attack-on-a-bun and fried cholesterol. Heck, Subway has based their whole marketing strategy on being a healthy alternative to traditional fast food... how many pounds did Jerod and his friends lose eating Subway? There are even drive-thru Subway restaurants!! It all comes down to a matter of choice, individuals can choose to eat healthy or not. No one forces you to eat anything. And anyone who claims that they thought fast-food was ‘healthy’ is a damn liar... our grandparents’ generation taught us about healthy eating, we’ve been indoctrinated w/the FDA food pyramid since kindergarten, we’ve all had some kind of health/wellness/nutrition component to secondary and post-secondary education, and there are tons of books, magazines, talk shows, advertisements, etc. that expound the virtues of healthy eating and why fast food is not good for us. There is no excuse for not knowing that fast food is not healthy.

2.) As for exercise, I totally agree... it’s simple math, calories in - calories burned = weight loss/maintained. If the calories consumed are more than what’s burned, you wind up pudgy, chubby, fat, obese - pick your label. We do live in a society where we spend more of our time parked on our butts in an office cubicle, in the car/bus, and on the couch - mentally exhausted and stressed out, than anywhere else. I think the combination of poor eating choices with mostly on-the-butt activity is what’s contributed most to the rising obesity rates. Time is an issue for many, for others it may be a disconnect between knowledge and motivation, and for others, (like me) it’s the fear of public ridicule that fat people often encounter when putting themselves out there in a less than perfect state to attempt an activity that they’re obviously not in shape for.

3.) As for the metabolism issue... some are blessed w/a very efficient and finely tuned metabolism that constantly burns and those so blessed are fortunate that they don’t have to do much to exercise and stay trim. Others of us were not so blessed and it takes a great deal more effort just to maintain, let alone lose weight. I’m one of those not so blessed... mine died at an early age and it takes 10 times the effort for me as it does for those who are blessed. I swear, I can just smell food cooking and I gain 5 lbs. =P However, not being fat doesn’t necessarily mean being in good physical shape, there are plenty of skinny people who can’t run, lift weights, or sustain any cardio activity any better/faster/more than I can.

4.) My biggest issue w/the Weight Debate is the automatic assumption by most people that Fat Person = Lazy, Junk Food Junkie, Dumb, Slob. There are lots of reasons why a person may be fat - medical conditions, metabolism dysfunction, genetics, having had children, etc. Sure, there are plenty of people who are fat b/c they are lazy and stuff their faces full of crappy, non-nutritious food... but my experience has been that those actually number less than the others. I never really dealt much w/ harsh fat prejudice growing up... my family all have weight problems and having home-schooled for some years, I was isolated from a lot of the teenage peer-pressure/angst. Meeting it head on as an adult has been a somewhat traumatic and emotionally scarring experience. Society sees a fat person and automatically objectifies and de-humanizes them, this makes it easier and more acceptable to ridicule and hate them. One thing living life as a fat person has taught me is compassion for those not so abled... you never know the reasons why a person is the way they are... you can never assume to know that how you meet them is how they’ve always been, how they’re happy being, or that they will always be that way.