Monday, October 29, 2007

America's most sedentary cities


It's no secret that Americans have grown accustomed to convenience, where cheap 700-calorie cheeseburgers are only a 10-minute drive away.

But this lifestyle is literally killing us.

That's because our eating habits contribute to our ill health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is associated with 112,000 deaths each year in the United States, and contributes to an increased risk of contracting chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
What's also to blame? Lack of exercise and sloth.
Let's not get any current statistics here, and we'll keep on using the same old, tired scare tactics because all we have is correlation, no causation, but we'll keep harping on it anyway.
I want to know if the Neilsen data on tv viewing is able to distinguish between households where the tv is on for background noise while housework is being done (or other things) and households where the tv is on and people are actually watching it. Because I know at our house the tv is on from the time DH gets home from work until he goes to bed, but we aren't always watching it (we're cooking dinner, doing dishes, playing with the cats, doing laundry, etc, etc).
I also want to know what they consider exercise. Because if you ask people do you exercise, most of them will not consider their walk to the bus every day as exercise, or climbing the stairs at work, or chasing their kids on the playground, or mowing the yard, or any of the other myriad chores that require energy to keep your house and life running smoothly.
And you can put all the fresh fruits and veggies in all the corner stores in all the neighborhoods you want, but if the residents of those neighborhoods can't afford to buy them, it does them absolutely no good at all. I'm not even going to discuss the use of low-fat anything, to me low-fat means less filling because the fat is replaced with non-nutritious fillers and sugars to make it taste half-way decent.
This is just another way to demonize fat people as lazy gluttons, and I for one am totally sick of it.


  1. According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is associated with 112,000 deaths each year in the United States

    What the heck does that actually MEAN? I'd almost be willing to bet that it means that out of all the people that die in America in a given year (and considering the American population, I'm sure it's a LOT), 112,000 were obese. And that's it. Because I'd be willing to bet that they never bothered to find out if a person's weight actually affected the cause of their death or not.

    And I have to totally agree with you on the point of some people not being able to afford to buy the "good" food - I happen to be one of them. Oh, I can afford SOME - but not as much as I'd like. In my ideal world, I'd buy everything fresh and make it all from scratch. But the fact is that the over-processed pre-packaged food is the only thing that I can consistently afford. So that's what I buy. And I'm 99.999% certain that if I won the lottery today and were able to buy and cook the foods I'd actually WANT to, I'd probably lose SOME weight. Would I fall into the "healthy" BMI range? Probably not.

    And I used to know a lady from a (don't kill me) weight-loss support forum (no, I don't go there anymore, but I have to admit it was nice to have that support system even if I was misguided) who counted all the outdoor activities she did - mowing the lawn, gardening, etc. - in her exercise for the day, once she realized just how many calories she expended doing those things. But most people just don't think of it AS exercise.

    But I think you're right. It's another way of excusing fatism by saying we're asking for it. And it's bullshit.

  2. Being overweight is nowhere near as big a killer as the government thought, ranking No. 7 instead of No. 2 among the nation's leading preventable causes of death, according to a startling new calculation from the CDC ... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated Tuesday that packing on too many pounds accounts for 25,814 deaths a year in the United States. As recently as January, the CDC came up with an estimate 14 times higher: 365,000 deaths. -- Associated Press, April 19
    It actually means that they over-estimated how many people die just from being fat. But they aren't pushing the publication of this, anything to keep pushing that TEH FATZ IZ BAD FER YU. After all, how else is the diet industry and pharmaceutical industry to keep on making billions of dollars if they don't keep people in fear of DEATH BY TEH FATZ.
    This is such a crock of shit, and if people would just stop and think about their own families, and how long the fat people in them lived, they would know it's a crock.

  3. You know, you're absolutely RIGHT!

    if people would just stop and think about their own families, and how long the fat people in them lived, they would know it's a crock.

    I took that advice, and thought about the fattest person I've known in my family, who sadly isn't alive any longer. But it wasn't the fat that killed her. It was congestive heart failure coupled with depression. Even her doctor said that her fat wouldn't kill her, but the fact that she'd pretty much given up on life after getting the CHF diagnosis WOULD. And it did. Sure, she had some problems - diabetes, for example - but her fat in and of itself did NOT kill her.

    Why do I get the feeling that common sense isn't actually all that common in this world?


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