Americans are getting really, really fat. Over in Italy, when an American walks by they say, There goes another big butt. In Italian of course. But screw them. What do they know? Damn Europeans.
But even some Americans say we have the fattest Army on Earth.
If the American people are getting fat (and personally I think that is the case) the reason is clear. We have a really, really lot of food to eat, and we have people who sit around, called advertisers and merchants, who do all they can to figure out how to get more food down our throats.
Say what you will about people being responsible for their own eating habits. Like nobody put a gun to your head and forced you to eat a Big Mac. True, but human beings are animals like any others; if there’s a lot of food around they will eat as much as they can of it.
And Americans have an awful lot of food around. In fact, the food industry produces about twice as many calories a day a person as a person can eat. So if you eat 2000 calories a day, there are still 2000 calories a day out there for you if you want them. In other words, there’s a dramatic surplus of calories and the food industry has had to figure out ways to get us to eat it so they can make money.
Whether or not people get all bloated and sickly and have a hard time moving around is of complete indifference to these people because they just want to make money.
This is America. We are consumers. If we didn’t consume our economy would just die like that. So it is patriotic to consume and eat yourself into a state of high and listless hog-hood.
We have people who are paid a lot to sit in rooms to figure out how to sell sugar to children. Personally, I believe such people should be punished. Severely. They should have a gun held to their heads and be forced to eat many, many sugary treats.
So some wise guy—and there is actually a history to this—came up with the super sizing gimmick. For a few cents more, hey man, you can get yourself about 25% more calories. They can do this and make money because given that twice as many calories are produced as can be eaten, calories are damn cheap. So to get business, they threw in more calories for a few pennies more and still they could make money on the deal.
The CDC has a really interesting slide show that shows the growth of fat in this country since 1985. It’s amazing to click through these slides and see the different states in the union get fatter and fatter and fatter. So now a whole heap of states have 20% of their populations overweight or obese. I use this slide show when I teach a writing class with the consumer society as its theme. It’s really convincing. We really are a nation of consumers in the most elementary sense.
So go to this site. And click in the upper right corner on the power point presentation.
End of mini-lecture. I must be gearing up to go back into the classroom.