October 19, 2011

It's not our fault

I honestly believe that.

For the millions who suffer from overweight, and its accompanying Syndrome X, which is a metabolic disruption that leads to cardiac disease, stroke, and diabetes, I want to say: it's not your fault.

There's an animated map of obesity on the CDC's website, which shows how the nation got fatter over time.

No question but that's an environmental change. We're the same genotype we've had for thousands of years. And despite the popular notion that our "lifestyles" have radically changed in that period of time, I don't think that's the case.

We're told we're more sedentary; but in 1985 there was already cable TV and computer games.

We're told it is increased access to fast food; but there were plenty of chains in 1985.

Now, from 1965 to 1985: huge changes. When I was a child in 1965, there were three television stations, and maybe a UHF station that came in on rabbit ears wrapped with tinfoil. We were thrown out of the house to play and told not to come back until it was dark.

If we went to McDonald's the portions were much smaller. When we ate dinner there was always meat and vegetables on the plate, and we were not allowed to snack because it would spoil our dinner.

If "eating more and moving less" was the reason for obesity, it would have already been in full bloom by 1985. But I can tell you what happened in 1992: that's when the Food Pyramid came out.

I can tell you for a fact: people did change the way they ate. Dinner changed from a meat and two vegetables to a pile of pasta.

People started eating more and more and more.

But this didn't happen because of marketing or "lifestyles" or anything else. It happened because, when we eat according to the food pyramid, we are hungry all the time.

And it's not our fault.

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