Obesity

It is said that there is an obesity epidemic in the United States. I know for a fact that I am classified as obese, as I weigh much more than the “ideal weight” for a 47-year-old man who measures six feet. The so-called ideal weight for me is something like 175 lbs, and I weigh closer to 245. Some people are much heavier than that, and some are heavy for their size. Either way, the United States is packing on the pounds.

A lot of why waistlines are increasing is due to the American way of eating. Most other countries eat a protein-packed breakfast, heavy lunch and light dinner, drinking water or a glass of wine with dinner. The US has everything all backward. Breakfast is many times a donut or a bowl of cereal, both of which are loaded with sugar. Lunch is more like a quick snack and dinner is the big meal, many days within a couple hours of going to bed.

Then there’s the portion sizes—humongous portions. Double burgers, triple burgers, fries galore. One meal sometimes exceeds an entire day’s calorie allotment, not to mention the dessert and drinks. Just for reference, at Cracker Barrel there’s a dessert called an Apple Dumpling. It’s like an apple pie filling, between two crusts and loaded with pecan streusel. Served with ice cream, this dessert alone clocks in with 1710 calories and 1600 mg of sodium. Imagine pairing this with a dinner of what’s called Barrel Cut Sugar Ham. Excluding the sides, this 24-oz cut of ham contains 1020 calories and a staggering 5450 mg sodium. Nearly three days’ worth of sodium allotment in one slice of meat.

Sodas are another source of larger waistlines. Go to a McDonalds in many countries and you’ll get 300, 500 or 700 mL drinks (roughly 10, 17 and 24 fl oz). In the US, drinks come in 20, 30 or 40 fl oz (about 600, 900 and 1200 mL). Europeans who ask for a large drink in an American fast food place are astounded by the size of the cup, as they’re not used to such monstrous sizes. After all, our small is about what their large is.

Paraphrasing George Carlin, he once said that everything in this country is king-sized, especially the people. Well, he was not wrong. Many, many Americans are overweight. Some are, through no fault of their own. Others, because they overeat and sit on their phones and PS4’s all day. Too much food, not enough activity. Perhaps, once the coronavirus pandemic subsides, there will be a resurgence of the Pokémon Go activity that got people moving again🤷‍♂️.

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