We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"I'll go on a diet after the holidays." Right. Sure you will, just like last year.
Being fat in the US is highly correlated with social class. Like academic degrees and choice of clothing, being heavy is a social marker of sorts for men and women.
In a sexist way, men are given some leeway for a few extra pounds but only if they are wealthy, powerful, or brilliant.
Black women, recent immigrants, working class and lower middle-class, and the poor seem to display the most consistent overweight. (In the midwest US, fat in women seems to be near-universal outside of urban centers. What is that about?) Cause, effect, coincidence, or what? I have no idea what it is all about.
There was a time, over 100 years ago, when prosperous men displayed their prosperity in their bulging bellies. Fashion and expectations change. In eastern Europe and Russia, fat was good. It meant you had more potatoes than the next house. In the 1600s, fat was popular in western Europe too - see Rubens. Today, see a WalMart aisle. It used to be difficult to be pudgy and today it is difficult to be fit. Fortunately for us, we do live in a fitness-oriented world despite our (mostly) daily lack of manual labor. Fitness makes everything in life better and longer, reduces indolence, lethargy, and fatigue, and puts old age farther into the future. Nothing but sinful laziness stands in our way.
In the Western world today, with its abundance of cheap and tasty carbs, thin has been in for 100 years and being fat has been a public sign of giving up on an energetic life in many aspects: sex, romance, social attractiveness, sports, fun, agility, and overall vitality.
In my view, you can be too thin, you can be too heavy, but you can't be too rich.
Ok here goes......Growing up in the late 50's and 60's; I never saw a "fat" person. But, I lived in a semi rural area, we farmed and our friends were farmers. The only "fat" person I knew was an elderly 3rd cousin that grew up in Chicago. And we only saw her every three years or so.
My thought is that once we took the people off the farms; we started the downward spiral towards obesity. I remember eating very large meals three times a day; and never gaining any weight. Now when I look back, I realize that we worked off those calories with some honest labor.
The unintended consequences of "taking people off the farm and alleviating them of their drudgery" has led us to sedentary lives. With no way to expend the calories that we consume.
Assistant Village Idiot
I live among a large Amish community. And while the men are mostly slim, the women have baby-weight, but are still in shape compared to the middle age office worker. (Out of shape women can't lift and carry 50lb sacks of flour or feed or drive a team of horses/mules on farm equipment-while holding a baby).
And I also watch them shopping in Walmart and the discount grocery stores. They eat a mid to high carb diet, and the kids are absolutely addicted to candy.
Difference. They walk or scooter just about everywhere, unless it's to church (or the grocery store). They mow their lawns with people propelled mowers (not tractors), they hang out wash, they do all daily routine chores the hard way. Their kids actually PLAY outside. WITHOUT ELECTRONIC devices.
And while most aren't farming as their main income anymore (in my area) they are still trying to hang on to the physical labor keeps you busy so you don't get into trouble with drugs, alcohol and womanizing.
mental, spiritual and physical. You apply them all to your life.
Storing body fat is an essential survival trait and for most humans it is genetic. You cannot prevent your body from"trying" to store fat. You can either self limit yur diet such that there is little to store or use physical activity to use up the energy but for many people this will only make the body work harder to store fat. This is less of a problem for people who live a physically demanding lifestyle and clearly that is the intent of nature. Our sedentary life styles do indeed contribute to being overweight but it is predetermined from birth. Staying slim or normal weight is a lifelong struggle for most people. It is human nature to assign blame to someone/something else. Carbs, fats, HFCS, whatever is handy is blamed for what is a natural and predictable result of a genetic predisposition to store fat.
When I lived in the south for a while, I noticed that the majority of kids were chunky. Very few 'thin' little kids (and we are talking 5-year-olds). The only thing that made sense to me at the time was sugary drinks being the culprit. I mean, really, how much fried chicken and donuts can a 5-year-old eat daily to be that fat?
Soda is cheap. Sugary ice tea even cheaper. You can consume massive liquid calories without feeling 'full.'
My kids were sticks. I did not regulate their food intake too much. We had okay meals, but plenty of snacks of the Little Debbie variety available. In other words, I was not the perfect mom. I just couldn't imagine my children willingly eating 2 or 3 times what they were eating in junk food without getting sick or being full. It HAS to be liquid calories...?