Friday, May 28, 2021

"My 600-lb Life" shows why obesity is out of control and more people are overweight

No, it's not just your imagination: more people are overweight than ever before. But how did obesity get so out of hand? The reality TV weight loss surgery show "My 600-lb Life" demonstrates why. I'm going to parallel with my own story of how I lost 100 pounds. 

Ideas about body size have changed. When I was a kid (circa 1960s and 1970s) obesity like on "My 600-lb Life" was a thing for carnivals. In high school, "overweight" was less than what I weigh now, even after I lost 100 pounds. Few of us were overweight and now almost everyone I know is thinking about weight loss. And it's harder than ever to lose weight because...

Food quantity has upgraded and quality has downgraded. When I was young we ate three meals a day of real food, in normal portion sizes, at the dinner table. Now, food is pub grub and snacks and sweets, eaten anytime, everywhere. "My 600-lb Life" shows extreme examples of overeating junk food, but even regular food is just a calorie explosion of sodium, sugar, HFCS, fat and junk with no nutritional value. 

Portion sizes have ballooned. In the 1960s, a Coke at McDonald's was 7 oz. Now Big Gulps are 42 oz. People drink pop by the 2-litre bottle. Cookies are humungous. Cake slices are 3x what they used to be. Weirdly, everyone's obsessed with weight loss. Yet we're food addicted to horrible food choices. 

Manufacturers don't want us to lose weight. How many commercials show super skinny people eating huge portions of junk food? That's because Madison Avenue and food producers want us to think we can have our cake not gain weight. It's in their best interests to keep us overweight and getting more obese. 

Food addiction is the hardest to break. With this growing wonderland of food all around, we have too many food choices to make. An alcoholic or drug addict never has to touch their abused substance again. But everyone has to eat. It's like trying to quit heroin while still using 3 times a day. 

Nobody moves anymore. You hear people bitching about how kids don't play outside anymore. But the irony is the adults are doing the  bitching on Facebook! We're all guilty of sitting around wasting our lives playing on phones and computers. How can we expect our children to learn healthy exercise habits when we ourselves worship screens all day?

So what do we do? Give up? Celebrate obesity? I can only speak for me, but how I lost 100 pounds was to keep trying, one day at a time. When I fall, I don't stay down. I get up and start over. 

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