Friday, December 19, 2008

Modern society makes us fat


The constant thing we've heard in America for the last 20 years is "You fat, gluttonous Americans, you should feel guilty. You're overweight and it's your fault." But all of a sudden, we're seeing the same problems in places where 20 years ago all they worried about was hunger: in Egypt, and among blacks in South Africa, and in China, where a third of adults now are overweight and obese. In Mexico, nobody was overweight 15 years ago; now 71 percent of Mexican women and 66 percent of men are. When you get to this kind of point, you've got to step back and say, "Wait, what is going on?"

What's happened is that from 30 years ago to today, we've had an exponential explosion in what we can think of as the "obesogenic environment." You see food available everywhere. You can't move more than 100 feet without seeing a caloric beverage. In most of the world, it used to be that people mostly drank water, and today they're consuming more and more sweetened beverages. Fruit juice didn't even come into being until the late 1950s, except for what you squeezed at home, and milk—there was some, but people didn't drink so much of it. The average American has not changed the amount of water he consumes in the last 30 years or so. But he's added 22 ounces of caloric beverages to his diet, and that's 300 extra calories per day. Then you match that kind of diet with human biology. We naturally prefer sweet and fatty foods because of what those foods used to mean for survival when we were hunter-gatherers. They had the nutrients we needed, and they let us store more energy for the hungry season.

Newsgeek


So basically:


  • Foods that are easier to sell, store, produce, refrigerate, are fattier.

  • Foods that "most people" think are tastier are fattier.

  • They're constantly available.

  • Consumption is conspicuously advocated as proof of self-worth/success.



So basically:


  1. The Crowd reduces our tastes to the lowest common denominator.

  2. Corporations profit from selling products that match this need.

  3. People, in fear of the Crowd, imitate each other and form the Crowd.



Crowdism in action folks: it can not only take over your government, but make you a blorp!

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