Fat People

Last month when I was in line waiting to vote, I spotted an extremely fat woman. She was so fat, her ankles rubbed together. Judging by the three gallon bucket of soda pop in her hand, I’m assuming she was not the victim of elephantiasis or some other disease. Everything about her was fat, even her head, which was the size of a bowling ball and covered in pink-dyed fur. How she was able to get around with hundreds of pounds of fat attached to her is a mystery. I would think the mere act of toting around so much weight would result in weight loss.

Last week, I stopped at the ghetto market for a few items and spotted a couple in the snack aisle. The man was something like a large ball with arms and legs. I estimated his diameter was close to 24 inches. That would mean his belt was 75 inches. His wife was of similar size. My first thought was how they were able to, you know, enjoy the marital bed. Is it even possible that they find one another attractive? I suppose it is possible that all of their energies are focused on moving around their girth and finding enough food to maintain their weight so sex is a non-issue.

Anyone familiar with American poverty knows that our poor people are fat, very fat. There are exceptions like drug addicts or those spindly ectomorphs you see loitering on street corners. Black woman, of course, are almost always fat. This is something most everyone knows. The ancients drew images of African women with giant stomachs and buttocks. In all probability, this is a genetic issue with West Africans. Even so, across the ethnic spectrum, American poor people are fat. Even our Mexicans are fat now.

In fact, Mexico is the world’s fattest country. This is mostly likely due to the fact that food is cheaper now than at any time in human history. It’s extremely hard to starve your people these days. Food is just too cheap and plentiful. Even basket case countries like those in sub-Saharan Africa have more than enough food. That’s most likely the cause of the population boom in Africa. The Malthusian limit has been pushed much further out so the population has exploded.

Public health officials tell us that obesity is a crisis in America. Being fat supposedly results in an exploding number of maladies like diabetes and heart disease. This drives up health costs thus collapsing the technocratic schemes cooked up by the managerial class. It’s important to remember that public health officials are usually wrong. For example, they said AIDS would jump from the bathhouse and heroin den into the middle-class suburbs. That never came closer to happening.

Even if obesity is a public health problem, it’s unlikely that there can be a public policy to address it, other than deliberate starvation of the people. Our Germans probably have the same obesity rates as Germans in Europe. The same is true across the ethnic landscape. We’re forbidden to notice that blacks and Mexicans are very fat, compared to everyone else. That means we’re forbidden to note that honky obesity rates are not too far off from Europeans rates. That would be racist and everyone knows race does not exist.

The point of this observation is to note that biology is beyond the reach of public policy. If fatness has some serious detriments to the population, then it will sort itself out over time. If fatness becomes associated with low status people, then there will be cultural pressure to not be fat. Smoking rates have declined not so much due to public policy, but from the fact famous people stopped smoking. It stopped being cool with famous people. Fatness will follow a similar path. We are seeing that with black actresses and singers.

Still, humans have never had to deal with the problems that come from too much food and too much free time to consume it. We really have no idea what will come from it and how it will hurt or help society. There could very well be a huge upside to having lots of fat people. Perhaps when the zombie apocalypse comes, the zombies will eat the fat people and be satisfied, leaving the rest of us to regroup. That’s unlikely, but nature tends not to reward that which is deleterious to a species. Nature is self-correcting.

There’s no reason to think that public policy in a liberal democracy would be capable of addressing problems that stem from excess. Liberal democracy evolved in an age of great inequality and scarcity. Having a super rich aristocracy could not work while the peasants were starving. We now have a mega-rich aristocracy while the peasants are munching snacks and playing video games. They are doing these things at public expense. The bottom half of America is receiving direct and indirect public assistance these days.

Would the super-rich aristocracy of today have the will to impose rules on the bottom half, with regards to their welfare? Mayor Bloomberg came the closest with his soda and salt bans, but they went no where. Even his peers snickered at his prudery. Would these same people be willing to back exercise requirements and fitness exams in exchange for welfare benefits? Probably not. A feature of the modern aristocracy and their attendants in the managerial elite is a fear of confrontation. Hence the passive-aggressive culture of the rich.

We’ll just have to rely on nature to solve the obesity problem.

103 thoughts on “Fat People

    • Frankly, “The obesity epidemic is a physical manifestation of the blubbery softness of the American soul” is just neo-Puritan asshattery. That could just as easily be uttered by Mayor Bloomberg.

      People are fat because our cup runneth over.

      • Disagree. The causes of obesity are well known, as are the ways out of it. The capacity is what lacking: the will, and, increasingly common, the desire.

      • I disagree with this comment. People are fat because we have abused the cup that runneth over, which we have because of the “blubbery of the American soul”. This is not about fat. At it’s root evil. This about the plagues. God works over generations. Cancer rates are exploding across most demographics. Diabetes and other fat related diseases are increasing rapidly as well. The gorilla in the room is the 55 million dead babies sacrificed to satisfy evil lusts. Homo-sex marriage and non-stop unjust war are also cause for His correction. Either this is true, or God is a liar! Whether you believe the Holy book or not does matter. Even the secular know that you can’t kill 55 million babies and get away with it. This planet doesn’t work like that.

        The tools God uses are plagues, war, famine, pestilence. The nation must repent, which means stop pissing off God. This will take generations to fix. Almost all of the old testament’s historical accounts have been corroborated, the history of the people groups and tribes is real. If history is our guide then this will not be fixed until we stop what we are doing.

        Love the article. Thanks.

  1. I agree that the “health” technocrats don’t have an answer. So would it kill them to be a bit more humble, given the repeat mistakes and special-interest-pandering of the past?

  2. building codes for doorways mandating they (the doors) not be wider than ‘x’ inches.

    • Food must be priced with a weight multiplier. People are scaled at restaurants and stores to determine their BMI and that is the price multiplier. The fat couple buying chips would pay five times what I would pay. of course, the thin would then dominate the black market ding-dong economy.

      • You would soon end up in court arguing why obesity is not a right. And, if it’s a federal court, you would probably lose.

      • If BMI were based on Physiology rather than simple Math (BMI is defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height, and is universally expressed in units of kg/m2, resulting from mass in kilograms and height in metres.) I would perhaps support it’s use.

        When Dr Keyes caused the change to low fat diets the world began to get fat. Any measurement technique can be useful but it will not be the cure until the cause is established. Food is by definition P+C+F (protein, carbohydrate and fat). Obviously when you reduce (or elevate) one you by definition change the percentage of the others. Each is necessary in SOME proportion and there in lies the problem, how much.

      • Frankly I am shocked Z. Perhaps I misread this? How did I miss you as being a broad stroker? And where is is written in our Constitution that rules and laws must be mandated by government to dictate individual choice to health? BTW, there are many Americans, in particular children, who go to bed hungry every night. If it weren’t for the programs that provide breakfast at school many children would only have one meal a day – lunch. I know this because I support our local food bank.

        However, the reason for the hunger is as varied as there are reasons people eat the wrong things and become fat. We, in a free society, can offer solutions to individual problems but you can’t dictate through rules to cover every possibility in the human condition. Isn’t that what socialism sets itself up to do?

        Give me liberty to be healthy or not. Or give me death.

  3. >Would these same people be willing to back exercise requirements and fitness exams in exchange for welfare benefits?

    How about eliminating both? That would solve the obesity problem, but the will is not there.

    • Think of welfare and transfer payments as riot insurance. We are at the point where eliminating the welfare state means people swinging from lamp posts.

      • Yep, fully cognizant of that. However, it doesn’t have to be done all at once, gradual ratcheting back of welfare benefits might be enough, combined with removing the breeding incentives.

        Which reminds me of another solution that nobody wants to talk about: why are the eco-warriors not ardent population reductionists? National Geographic is one example of complete blindness to this option. They just keep pushing for finding sustainable food production increase methods for “developing” nations. How about sustainable population levels instead?

        • “why are the eco-warriors not ardent population reductionists?”

          They are. Just not in public. Paul Erlich is just one example. Bill Gates is another.

          • I disagree with both Guest-to-Guest and Fuel Filter. You don’t think the population reductionists have been public about their intentions? It sure seems to me that they’ve been pretty blatant.

      • Huh. The simple answer is right in front of us, throttle the blood supply, institute drug testing reforms gradually and phase most of the program out over time. Just like the ethanol subsidies and all the other lunch hound programs.

        Best place to start taxing fat is in air travel. You know those ‘Does your bag fit’ devices they have next to the gate? Need I say more? Even sat next to some one in Coach who literally overflows their seat? No possible way out, sometimes even if the plane isn’t full – you’re stuck in your seat, getting up-close-and-personal contact with someone who almost always has bad breath and a reach-related personal hygiene problem. And the only way the flight crew is going to give a shit about The Blob is if you happen to be Steve McQueen.

  4. Back in the 80’s I worked at a landscape nursery that had a great foreign exchange program. I learned a lot about my country from them.
    At one point we had 2 Germans , a Brit and an Aussie.
    Lunch time was a hoot most days, but the one thing the Germans pointed out was how many huge stores full of food we had, and the amount of waste we produced.
    As far as welfare goes, until the EBT starts limiting what can be purchased with those magic cards, people will continue to live off of them.

    • I guess the corresponding argument would be one my sister-in-law, an ex-pat living outside of Paris often laments: the high cost of food and the lines which occasionally form to obtain staple goods. She once asked us to bring a 5lb Sam’s Club peanut butter with us just because it is not economical to buy peanut butter there.

      Naturally, my wife packed it in her carry-on bags, and the TSA confiscated it as a potentially hazardous “gel”. I’m sure the break room at Newark still has it on a shelf half-eaten.

      • Confiscation is actually pretty good when you consider the alternatives. I once witnessed an agent don a plastic glove and proceed to stick his hand into a pristine 5lb PB jar, then return it to the owner as if no wrong had been done. “No, really, you can keep it,” the poor girl told the agent.

  5. Size lends authority. Think of how many organizations or meetings you’ve attended, where the largest, loudest person in the room tries to dominate.
    Throughout history, obesity was a sign of wealth. Like fine clothes, esoteric language, or a bulging purse, the poor know the signs of their betters at a glance.
    I live on an Indian Reservation. Genetically, tribal members are healthiest on a modest, mostly vegetarian diet, but the free time to snack, the poor food choices from sloth and convenience, and lack of exercise, combined with the free food purchasing power of their governmental handouts, are making them ‘Good Injuns” , per General Sherman’s prescription.
    Most mammals pack on weight to survive future famines as a survival instinct. Humans have had a food surplus for less than 200 years, and it will take ages, if ever, to overcome selective breeding for survival. Operant Conditioning and peer pressure are only effective to a point, and directly opposed to governmental wishes, despite public proclamations, because every government knows well fed people do not rebel.

    • Emeritus, that was General Sheridan, not General Sherman. That may seem like a small point to some, but Sherman was an honorable man and Sheridan was despicable.

  6. >The ancients drew images of African women with giant stomachs and buttocks. In all probability, this is a genetic issue with West Africans.

    Aha! That’s why they switched to importing Somalis instead.

  7. The Swiss have an extraordinarily high salaries compared to other Europeans and the cost of living is one of the highest in Europe as a result. Imagine an entire country with a cost of living equal to or higher than San Francisco! As expected, food prices are nearly double or triple those of Germany and other border countries. Yet the Swiss are generally a quite lean people – rich and poor – and like the rest of Europe, variety is plentiful and they eat well.

    The quality of the food in Switzerland is as good as anywhere else in Europe thanks to low cost stores like Aldi, Lidl and Edeke, For example, a liter of milk in Germany costs around € 0,58 while in Switzerland, you’ll pay 1,56 CHF. (Current exchange rate is €1.00 to 1,07 CHF). Europeans tend to favor local farm markets, especially on Saturdays when they are in the center of almost every city, town and village and you can buy everything that’s in season along with meat, cheese, bread and flowers and of course clothes and other household items depending on the size and location of the market.

    But it’s not so much how much Europeans eat, but what they eat that’s the real cause of the problem. I believe obesity in the US is more akin to the rates in the UK. And your two countries are well known for consuming a great deal of pre-packaged meals, pre-cooked meals, take-away food, snack foods and of course sugary-drinks.

    Here’s an interesting link about how people shop. As the photo shows, Germans buy a great deal of bottled drinks – and not just beer. Mineral water is very popular because we generally have a very high levels of chalk in our tap water. But it does have some benefits – the Romans who settled here were spared the illness of lead poisoning because over time, the calk naturally lined the pipes and isolated the lead from the water. (Or so the legend goes).

    http://thoughtcatalog.com/madison-moore/2013/05/15-photos-of-a-week-of-groceries-from-different-countries-around-the-world/

    • I don’t think it is a coincidence that Americans started getting fat right around when the government came out with the food pyramid and its emphasis on high carbohydrate diets. As a Eurasian honky, I do best on a low carb diet. This time of year, I put on twenty pounds because I a) suspend most exercise and b) eat holiday items cookies and pie. After Solstice, I’ll go back to my normal routine of a low carb diet and my normal exercise. The result will be I lose twenty pounds.

      • Nailed it! Low carb is the way to go! Eliminate carbs and sugar (essentially the same thing as our bodies are concerned) from your diet and you lose weight easily. Meat, eggs and dairy are the ways to improve your diet. Ignore all that propaganda about saturated fats, too, and eat more of them!

        This was all known through research in the ’30’s by German and a Austrian scientists. Problem was their research papers were irregularly translated. Then, after WW II, all things Germanic were relegated to the dustbin since they were “obviously the work of NAZIs”, right?

        The federal food pyramid, with its emphasis on eating carbs, was a huge scientific blunder and directly led to the current wave of obesity.

      • My Asian husband has lost about thirty pounds on a low carb diet. He also feels loads better and a bunch of nagging skin troubles cleared up. (In race doesn’t exist: Asians are supposed to have lower BMIs than Europeans. He’s still a bit fat by Asian standards.) I’ve tried it and…Nothing. And I felt worse. Same thing when I cut out dairy. I don’t know if it’s because I’m constantly in a pregnant/nursing/repeat cycle or what. My hunch is that eating an ancestral diet is smart and women who are childbearing have different needs. My body fat drops like a rock in pregnancy because of how many calories I need. I take off my wedding jewelry by eight weeks because the rings fall off.

        I’m visiting family in New England and even the fat people here are still human shaped, not beach balls.

        • Body fat and hormone levels seem to be linked in women. Girls with very low body fat reach menarche later than fat girls. I would assume that pregnant woman will both eat like a horse and consume a lot of calories. If the woman is not eating, then the body will consume body fat and even muscle to provide nutrients to the baby.

          For men, it is a different thing entirely. Testosterone levels tend to decline at a steady rate, but otherwise, our hormone levels are fairly fixed through adulthood.

      • Right on, Z. Trying to resist temptation this time of year is not only fruitless, given the endless bounty of enjoyment available literally everywhere; it also makes you seem the control freak asshole to your fellows, who merely want a one-month respite from all of the endless health-hectoring themselves.

        Go ahead folks. Have one too many eggnogs. Eat some of those beautiful cookies the lovely women who love us slaved over.

        Life is short, and when you’re dead, even you won’t give a flip over how many hours you logged on your readmill.

        • A few eggnogs and cookies may be okay, but I have learned by experience that if I eat candy and/or drink cokes, I will catch colds or flu. I have become convinced that excessive sugar (including high fructose corn syrup) wreaks havoc with one’s immune system.

      • The only thing funnier than that add, is the fact California is the second largest rice producer of the US. I wonder how much longer that will continue with the current water situation? It amazes me that for as much as California get’s excited about all the environmental issues, they grow some of the most water-demanding crops in the entire country – alfalfa, almonds and rice. This in a state where 80 percent of the state’s developed water supply is devoted to farming.

        • Yep. Steve Sailer has written a lot of about this. They also squander a lot of water maintaining the world’s best golf courses. I grew up in the American South, and there’s no shortage of places to grow rice so the country would not suffer a rice shortage if California stopped growing rice.

          • true. but there are few places (or more accurately, no other places) in this country where you can grow things such as almonds.

          • @ LetsPlay – I have followed VDH for quite some time. It’s refreshing to get a conservative opinion of the SF Bay and Central Valley situation. Not quite as entertaining as Dr. Michael Savage perhaps, but certainly something the liberal, Silicon Valley/SF Bay Über-neo rich can’t possibly comprehend.

            I know you don’t necessarily appreciate that my 10-years in the SF Bay are worthy of an opinion, but like to think I learned a few things about America and Americans that the average German, or European, will never come to understand. I’m not bold enough to say I will fully understand many things about America, but I appreciate it and Americans more than many here.

          • Hi Karl – If I recall correctly, my criticism was related to your extrapolation of experiences ala Bay Area, to all things Americana. No harm, no foul. We are all learning here.

            What I like about VDH is his “dissenting” voice or “call in the wild” that is contrarian to popular media and beliefs. Especially in the halls of academia and places like Stanford and Berkeley. It is amazing that where the “best and the brightest” go to be further educated, they instead are brought to heel at the altar of liberalism and group think. Even in the sciences and engineering, this is noticeable.

            I guess maybe throughout the ages the same occurred as students were “sponsored” by the rich and if you didn’t do the bidding of the king or the church, then you were a heretic. But you would think that we had advanced beyond such things. Maybe not so much.

            But VDH provides an understanding of the politics and the unintended consequences of liberal policies on things like water, farming, and the environment that go largely unnoticed by the population at large and unreported by the media with fake news being the trope du jour.

      • That there is pure advertising BS. Go to Asia and you will see plenty of fat people. However, not so much in the younger categories as they still rely on the “hoofing it” method or “biking” modes of transportation. Exercise is key.

    • I’ve met quite a few folks from Europe and I’ve observed their habits. Despite the fact that they freely consume butter, cream, chocolate, pastries, rich desserts and other foods we Americans have been trained to consider “unhealthy,” not a single European I’ve met is fat. The secret?
      1. They never have second helpings.
      2. The portions they do eat are smaller than average American portions.
      3. They walk or bike everywhere.

      • For us Continentals, we don’t eat much processed food either. Most cook fresh. Not all, but I think the majority of us do. The French are pushing the lines a bit as they have very large food stores such as Carrefour and Bricomarché which are starting to offer more and more processed foods. But I think most French still prefer open markets. Also, most Europeans buy daily, we have small refrigerators and our kitchens are much smaller than standard American kitchens and we generally don’t have pantries either. So we typically buy what we need for only a few days rather than stock for a month at a time. Less food in the house means less casual or boredom eating habits.

        • I lived in Japan for eight-plus years and it was the same thing there; tiny fridges and kitchens and little shelf space. Although I must admit, Japanese parents were beginning to worry about obesity and their kids, it was nothing like I saw when I moved back Stateside. “Times are changin’, now the poor get fat,” I would sing tunelessly to myself.

  8. “We now have a mega-rich aristocracy while the peasants are munching snacks and playing video games.”

    You forgot to mention getting their cummies. Every day in every way the peasants are encouraged to get their cummies at every opportunity in ever expanded and varying ways, many of which were formerly derided as “perversions.”

    It all seems more and more like Huxley’s Brave New World.

    Is this entirely the accident of democracy or is there some design here?

    • GOOD question.

      But whether attributable to individual concupiscence on the part of millions, or behind-the-scenes grand design by an evil few, the author of both is the same: Satan. So in a way, both come down to the same thing.

  9. I look at photos of dead-ball era baseball players. The faces are noticeably gaunt, sometimes remarkably so. You never see that today. These men made real money for their day, and ate on the clubs expense on the road. But there were no snacks, no convenience stores, little convenience, no refrigerators even. What we experience as hunger was something they did not even regard as a distraction. I remember being in that state when I was 20 or so and my lifestyle between work and school really didn’t allow for eating. It was not unpleasant. Now it is unpleasant, so I took countermeasures to the DNA inheritance of 200 ancestors who fought a different war. Maybe one in ten persons can thrive with what I do.

    Just as the solution to scarcity and famine was science, so too is the solution to fat. At that time we can have a large population of poor people who are both unmotivated and thin. As one of the dead wise men said, everything that advances is also in decline. Decline is one thing we can predict, advance, generally the one thing we cannot.

  10. For the record, I weighed 185 when I picked apples 5 and a half days a week. I will never be skinny.

    But there is clearly something different about our food. Yes, we have too much prepackaged junk and we don’t walk or do manual labor. I can’t eat the way my grandparents ate. I’m talking about simple stuff like beans and cornbread. A friend mentioned their family had ice cream regularly as a child. If she did that now, she’d gain weight. Eat a sandwich for lunch and gain weight. And the weight gain is not in the normal areas. People did not get pads of fat behind their neck. The government and medical industry have not helped with their totally wrong nutritional advice.

    I am waiting for someone to look into the problem with estrogen in city water systems. It seems to be covered up. I believe they’ve finally restricted adding hormones to animal food. It could be a factor.

    • There are body types and metabolism varies from person to person. Normally, I check in at around 210. I strength train three times a week. I’ll cycle 1500 miles a year. But, I eat 2,000 calories a day. I weigh my food and count my calories. I just have a very efficient digestive system.

      • I don’t even do well on low carb. I have to stay below 30gr of carbs to lose weight and then plateau. I really wish it was as easy as people make of it.

    • What changed about our food is that the good flavors derived form saturated fats, were eliminated due to that “fake news” about such fats causing high cholesterol and thus attacks. So, to enhance flavor in foods, manufacturers added lots of sugar. Then, too, the emphasis on selling sodas, which are nothing but pure, flavored sugar water. (would you willingly eat 8 teaspoons of sugar? That’s how much sugar you get in a single bottle of Coke!) And that diet soda crap hits you as well, since the artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas mimic sugar in the body (and offer a source of poison as well) , so your metabolism treats diet soda the same as regular soda, training your body to store fat rather than consume it for energy!

      My favorite image is the fat girl ordering two big slices of pizza (carb-loaded since its bread dough) but offsetting that, in her mind anyway, by ordering a diet Coke!

      • @ Old Codger – Agreed. It is frightening how much of our food is “contaminated” with sugar. I say contaminated because it is almost impossible to buy anything today that doesn’t have it added as sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar or some other form of sugar that shouldn’t be in our food to start with.

        An article in the Bild (one of our German newspapers) stated that every German consumes approximately 35-kg (77-lbs) of sugar each year – three times as much as 50 years ago, six times as much as 100 years ago.

        • I seem to recall something about German beer not being adulterated with sugar because the test was to put some on a bench and make the brewer sit, in his lederhosen, on the bench. If there was a ripping sound as he stood there was sugar in it, so much social rejection.

          Karl, am I even remotely close to the truth of this here?

          • @ Watcher – Not sure about the lederhosen test. But the Bavarians dominate the German beer purity standards which go back hundreds of years. Off the top of my head, I can think of several brewers that go back 400-years at least. You can probably Google the history of German Beer laws and get more specific information.

      • The “Golden” Recipe for the food industry: “Salt – Sugar – Fat” and then the cocktail mix of chemicals approved by your government at the behest of lobbyists for the food conglomerates.

        Check out, if you haven’t already, the book by Michael Moss “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.”

        https://www.amazon.com/Salt-Sugar-Fat-Giants-Hooked/dp/0812982193/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481535860&sr=8-1&keywords=salt+sugar+fat+by+michael+moss

        I know, many will say, “but no one forces you to put this crap in your piehole,” except, maybe they do. It can be tough to resist,

        I understand when Zman talks about his metabolism but that changes with the years. And in my case, a major injury from a car accident can completely alter things in more ways than just the injury.

    • Hormones and sleep cycles and artificial light play roles too. It’s been proven that sleep deficits correlate with weight gain, and that electric lighting — something humanity never had for 99.99% of its history — messes with sleep cycles… and thus with weight.

      See: http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/502825

      Also bear in mind: When everyone went to bed as soon as the sun went down, and there was no refrigeration to boot, nobody did any late-night snacking!

    • To your point, when cattle, turkeys and chickens are given growth hormones, antibiotics, etc, of course you’re also consuming those substances in whatever form they remain in the animal’s flesh. I can usually guess if a person likes to eat steak often because they have a big thick torso just like cattle given growth hormone do. Also dairy products seem to add a lot of fat to chin, jaw and face while also adding to sinus woes and bloat to torso.

      Regarding the post, poor people seem to eat a lot of junk food, in part because it’s cheap, in part ’cause it’s yummy and easy, ready to eat. Of course processed crap not only makes you fat and unhealthy, but because it doesn’t provide the nutrients your body needs, you will crave more food until the body is satisfied with the nutrients it seeks. Eating even more junk food, will probably lead to a hospital visit for some health crisis that occurs earlier in life than it needs to, like Crohn’s Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome or heart disease.

      Some people claim that poverty prevents people from eating well, but I’ve found you can eat really healthy for less than the cost of junk food. Rice, beans, tomato, lettuce, for example, makes a cheap, healthy and satisfying meal. So it’s a choice, a preference. Kids should be brought up on healthy cheap wholesome foods, know how to cook it themselves and to notice how they feel, how their skin looks, whether their weight increases or falls, after eating different kinds of foods so they take that basic knowledge into adulthood and then later teach their own kids. You don’t need to be able to buy steak and lobster and brie in order to eat well.

      • It’s true, but the problem is that we have a lot of people that do not know how to cook. It’s sad but true.

  11. Pingback: Our poor people are fat, very fatIowaDawg's Very Own Blawg | IowaDawg's Very Own Blawg

  12. Fat people cause problems across the board.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1478266/Obese-American-passengers-break-the-seats-on-the-Queen-Mary-II.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2084188/Giant-coffins-cater-growing-numbers-obese-Americans.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/scotland-obesity-coffins-too-big-crematoriums-10457621.html

    I’ve read of cases of where burning a fat person in a crematorium is dangerous because they the have so much fat it makes the the crematorium run dangerously hot.

    And oh it impacts the medical field as well, patients are too fat to fit in a MRI machine or worse break the table. There was a case years back where local hospital had to send a fat man to the zoo for a medical procedure becaue they are too fat.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2086306/Obese-patients-Zoo-scanners-used-large-fit-hospital-ones.html

    And if you want to see a lot of fat people go to a all you can eat buffet, I’ve seen men who need to use two chairs because they are so fat.

  13. It might be possible to start a turnaround next month as part of Obamacare repeal. Simply allow insurance providers to discriminate on premium costs on the basis of BMI – IF they can show cost data to back it up. This could lead to two potentially useful results, namely to add more realism to the BMI standards* and reverse the perverse incentive structure that allows people with low impulse control to privatize the immediate pleasures of overeating while socializing the longer-term costs.

    *Evidence of BMI creep: I recently looked at the BMI chart in my doc’s office. The BMI I held in my latter military years, when I was well able to meet fitness standards is no labeled as ‘obese’, not just ‘overweight’. Evidently standard eating is now aspirational by public health bureaucrats rather than data-driven.

    Partially OT: Why is an under-control BMI an elite status marker_? My current theory is that it is a proxy indicator the Impulse control that is necessary to achieve elite status, in the entrant generation at least. Sorta like home ownership which is the result of middle class virtues rather than the key to achieving middle class status.

    • Al, I have a low-tech but hi-fidelity personal BMI creep measurement device – a pair of snug-fitting jeans I wore in my 20s. I try them on once in a while, and that tells me everything I need to know.

      Regarding the under-control BMI as a sign of good impulse control: I’m no elite but I subscribe to using that metric.

      • What I meant about BMI creep was that the BMI standards seemed to have been creeping in (i.e. to encompass more folks in the bad upper categories). Since they are set bureaucratically, it’s anybody’s guess as to why. Old Codger is right that simply using the current tables would penalize the fit males in particular. More precise measures would have to be devised than the over-broad measures in use now.

    • First have to come up with a new BMI! The current one doesn’t account for the fact that muscle weighs more than fat by 15%! Lots of fit muscular guys would pay higher premiums due a higher BMI.

    • Here’s the issue with that: there is no guaranteed way to lose weight. There just isn’t. Yes, you can starve someone. I’m sure that the public will think that’s a great idea. Even people on starvation diets gain it back. People that have surgery gain it back. And those BMI charts are completely unrealistic. People aren’t fat because they lack will power.

  14. The. number of smokers were reduced because of peer pressure, shaming, health care cost concerns … We harrassed them by removing their habitats for smoking … you see then out on the street corners in their cubical wear … shivering … having their much needed smoke break … alone ….

    Why can’t we shame fat people who need motivation to stop gorging themselves with crap? I have no pity for fat people. It’s a self-curable condition. Same with drug addicts.

    • Fat people have horrible squeaky screechy voices, turn bright red and the bat-wings beneath their arms wobble along with their wattles if you shame them. Best to spray them with charcoal lighter, set them ablaze and be done with it. Make sure to take photos for use as mitigating circumstances evidence at your trial.

      • No, it’s great. Obviously.

        Would “social pressure” or “social health-conditioning” be acceptable alternatives to “fat shaming”? As a society we shame people for so many poor behaviors. Given that obesity is damaging, why does it get a pass?

    • That is some unspoken fat shaming – a kind of glass ceiling.

      I work in a corporate headquarters. Nobody in the top 3 levels of management is a smoker – and none of them are obese. They aren’t all skinny fitness nuts, but none are true fatties. The fatsos seem to hit their own version of a glass ceiling (insert gravity joke here). Maybe it’s the perceived lack of control or discipline.

  15. Importing low cost carbs and then losing their source when the Vandals took North Africa did in the Romans.

  16. On a related note, I saw this whilst perusing the interwebs this morning.

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/12/05/thin-air/

    Short version: obesity rates are lowest in Rocky Mountain Region of Colorado. The article attributes this to “Altitude Anorexia” or some such. My observation is that the obesity data is pretty useless unless it’s adjusted for age and race. Our high-country mountain regions are packed full of young, athletic ski bums, mountain bikers, and sports enthusiasts. They come in their late teens or young 20s, hang out and have fun, and mostly leave before they are 30. I suspect the obesity rate is similarly low in the twenty-something beach communities of SoCal.

    Also, they are overwhelmingly white. Denver used to be one of the thinnest and fittest cities in the country. It’s been dropping in the ranks for the past 20 years. The Denver Pravda can’t seem to figure out why, which shows how little time their writers and editors actually spend in the barrios of Denver.

    • Unpolluted air and low humidity makes it easier to exercise as well.
      Ever try doing anything outside in Houston, when the humidity is at 90%
      Colorado is also a foodie state. People watch their diets and carbs are boring as a source of tasty food.

  17. I’ve always wondered why the internet considers the kardashian balloon butt attractive. I suspect this is an image of beauty coming from black culture. Fat is fat. i can’t think of any rock songs celebrating baby’s fat butt.

  18. Obesity and the ensuing diabetes are largely caused by processed food containing a lot of carbohydrates, which have been pushed by USGOV with its infamous food pyramid. It won’t change until Rev. Malthus steps back into the room from his smoking break, and the warmers get their wish for another little ice age….

  19. Some time ago I read an article claiming:

    In the US wealthier people started getting fat before poor people did as they overindulged on the plenty & could afford it first. Later the poor started ballooning as the bounty became available to them. The wealthier finally realized the problem & began slimming down. The author expects (or hopes or whatever, I don’t recall) the poor will follow.

    I don’t remember enough to tell where I read it or what type of person wrote it.

    Anyway, there’s not much we can or should do & gov involvement will hurt the rest of us like having DC decide school lunches, vending machines & bake sales.

  20. First world obesity is simply an element of the Tragedy of the Commons. When your medical care and provisions are provided for you whether or not you’ve earned them, personal responsibility will take the hit.

    Back in the ‘60s, the Marine Corps had, aside from a few colonels who would never get their star, few overweight men. Even so, those who served in the field in Viet Nam would lose 10-15 percent of their body weight within a month or two, mostly due to the physical workload. On thinking it over, maybe it was due to the ham and lima beans; even the half-starved kids would curse: ‘Number 10, GI’ when offered ham and lima beans.

    Keeping yourself and your friends alive depends heavily upon your sense of personal responsibility; you will drink water whenever it is available, you will eat whenever food is available, you will sleep whenever the situation allows for it and you will drink warm beer whenever you get your hands on it (oh, and slurping a can of peaches was to die for).

    Of course, wartime necessities are obvious and require but little personal responsibility.
    We’d do well to recognize that throughout most of mankind’s existence, everyday life was more akin to wartime than peace. Rarely was there too much food, too much drink or too much sleep. Eating drinking and sleeping every moment possible in our lives was a profound necessity. Our evolutionary development must have favored those to whom such behavior was innate and required no daily contemplation.

    That innate drive to survive is now (but perhaps not forever) a disadvantage that requires a liberal dose personal responsibility to overcome. Perhaps in a few million years, should modern conveniences prevail, our evolutional development will have bred these traits out of our lives. But I’m not sure we’d be better off for it.

    Well, it’s almost time to microwave some popcorn in preparation for tonight’s game on TV.

  21. My wife is a doc. Sometimes, she tries to broach the idea that one of the children she sees should maybe drop a few pounds. She treats children who are 6-7-8 years old who weigh upwards of 130lbs…full adult size. these kids have a range of issues from diabetes to early-onset puberty (and all its attendant problems) to self-esteem problems and and depression. She came home from work recently, and looked upset. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me she got called a racist at work by a parent. “It’s a cultural issue. You don’t understand.” That was (among other things) the excuses offered by the parent. In the parent’s “culture”, being morbidly obese at the age of 8 is apparently a good thing.

    This is one of those “problems” that is along the lines of climate change. It’s a natural process. Many people will make gobs of money “fighting” “the problem”. Nothing will be solved, but much money will be spent on a great deal of conflicting research, to no effect. As with climate change (it is caused by two basic things: changing solar output and geologic change), the basic causes (race, personal behaviors, overabundance) will be ignored in search of the public policy silver bullet. In climate change, that silver bullet comes in the form of high taxation (carbon taxes) and wealth transfers. It won’t work because higher taxes won’t affect solar output, and they will not change geology. A silver bullet will never be found*.

    No, I think Big Fat People will be around for awhile. However, if the latest studies are to be trusted (you never can tell these days!), the life expectancy of the morbidly obese is 10-15 years shorter than for everybody else. In short, they’re going to die off. Over time, other fat people will come to realize that none of their fat parents, fat aunts or uncles, fat grandparents, and even some of their fat children…are dead, and dead much too young.

    Stuff like that tends to have a normative effect on people.

    *That being said, as long as we’re spit-balling here, EBT cards should allow monthly food purchases up to a limit of 2,000 calories per day per person in the household. Basically, you can buy anything you want, at any price, but once you hit your 2,000 calorie pp/pd limit, your EBT card shuts down. You can buy your own food after that, but the EBT card is maxed.

    • Never going to happen, though it would certainly be entertaining. People are notoriously bad at estimating the calories in their diet, to say nothing of general knowledge of dietary caloric needs.

      “What do you mean we’re done for the month? I only bought a few boxes of cookies and that case of Coke?”

      • Ah, but you see, that is the genius of my technocratic plan. Every food item in the store today, thanks to Federal laws, now contains all the food information including things like calorie counts. Swipe that bar code, and up pop the calories on the cash register. It would be quite a thing to see.

        It’ll never happen, but that’s mainly because it would work.

    • No, here’s where you are wrong. We need to get rid of EBT cards. People get commodities, like they did in the old days. It even came with a cookbook to show how to use it. You would not starve but it was not something that people wanted. (I believe Indians (feather not dot) still get these). EBTs are corporate welfare for grocery stores and prepared food places. We should be giving people food to prevent real hunger. If they want a take and bake pizza, they need to buy it.

  22. The no sugar/no carb diet works great, but it takes a week or two of no response by your body before it kicks in. Then it really starts rolling the pounds off, as long as you moderate your overall food intake.

    I am not worried about the morbidly obese. Some are born that way and many others allow it to happen. Personal responsibility and all. They will have a shorter lifespan, and they will suffer indignities and physical complications many of the rest of us will never know. I am not much in favor of forcing them to adopt certain behaviors against their will. It is still a sorta’ a free country and all.

    It is amazing, on those historical photograph internet sites, how few overweight people you see. Back in the day when I worked at the zoo, the keepers would discuss how careful they had to be with the exercise and diets of the animals, so they wouldn’t bulk up unnaturally. Maybe we all just live in a zoo these days.

  23. I can’t believe no one has mentioned the phrase “Fat Shaming”, aren’t there any feminists here to browbeat all of you into PC compliance? Oh dear! I must be in the wrong place.

  24. Zman, you need to visit the central U.S. I guarantee that obesity is just as much of a problem, if not more, in the white population as it is in the black and Mexican populations.

  25. While “will power” and “desire” go a long way to keeping one’s self in shape, the unmentioned in this article is the potent combination of food production and advertising. The food industry laces food products, prepackaged food stuffs, with all kinds of tasty temping, pleasing and addicting ingreidients that overwhelm the majority of people’s ability to resist. “Resistance is futile!” The well known formula of sugar, fat and salt provide the hooks needed to keep the hand-to-mouth action going, all to the benefit of the food companies. On the downside, ingredients, long lists of them which most people cannot even pronounce, much less know what they even are, contribute to self life and cost reductions. MSG, monosodium glutamate, is a great example of how to get cost savings over using regular NaCl. Cheaper to manufacture, source, distribute, store, more taste per gram, etc., all along the supply chain. Never mind the 25% of people who suffer some kind of negative health effects from ingesting this chemical (even though the Glutamate industry paints it as a “natural” derivative and call it Umami. They have even gotten it listed as a new “taste” in epicurean circles to supplement sweet, salty, bitter, sour. Now we have “savory.”

    So when you look at the social engineering and the use of EBT or whatever they are called, people opt for stuff they don’t have to cook. Prepackaged. And it is all laced with all this good stuff that affects you in both positive (I like it!) or in negative (bad for your health) ways.

    That is why obesity is something that cuts across race, ethnic and income levels. Although, of course, the wealthy you are the more you can spend on fresh veggies, meats, etc. and cooking or eating out. And I haven’t even started on fast food!

  26. I once went to for a health check and the nurse told me I was ‘obese’ which may or may not be true. So be it. But she herself was the size of a small elephant and would have had difficulty getting out of her seat.

    Mind you, Labour here had the extra-helpings-sized Diane Abbott as shadow public health minister, but naturally no one on the Left even asked the obvious questions.

  27. Being a sufferer of migraine headaches after ingesting food containing MSG (which started around age 40), I have learned to read labels and keep an eye out for the “tricks” the food industry uses to hide this ingredient. In working with agencies like the FDA, they have come up with plenty of alternative names for this chemical and how it is listed on food labels depends on the amount used. If smaller in quantity, it can simply be lumped into the “spices” category or “other” ingredients as if too trivial to deal with. If you are interested in more info, please see the site http://www.truthinlabeling.com

    http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html

  28. ” My first thought was how they were able to, you know, enjoy the marital bed. ”

    1. Probably not high on their list of priorities.

    2. Waaay too much insight into your thinking processes, zman. 🙂

    • I once had a colleague describe to me a morbidly obese couple who claimed to be having sex on a regular basis. When he examined the woman she had an intact hymen. They were approaching the tunnel but not quite making passage.

  29. “Good Calories, Bad Calories” or its abridged, shorter version “Why We Get Fat;” both by Gary Taubes
    “The Big Fat Surprise;” by Nina Teicholz
    “The Obesity Code;” by Jason Fung

    The above books will provide the answers to pretty much all of your questions and “paradoxes” (hint; there are none) and yes, the Atkins diet does in fact work and also has been shown to improve blood lipid levels.

    And no, Atkins did NOT invent the low carb diet; he applied research done in Europe and the USA to his patients and found it worked on his patients, whereas before, when he placed them on the low fat-high carb diet, his patients did not lose weight.
    (See “New Atkins for a New You,” by Westman and Phinney. These guys run the Duke University Obesity clinic and have treated thousands of folks).

    In short, the calories in/calories out thesis of weight gain/loss is wrong; obesity is driven by hormones, (i.e., insulin resistance); and it is the intake of carbohydrates / sugar (the human body does not distinguish betwixt the two) that leads to insulin resistance, and thus obesity. It is insulin that determines if fat is to be stored or expended.
    This is why you will see marathon “runners” crossing the line 7 to 9 hours after the start and you notice they are not in the slightest slim or skinny. Ever wonder how that is possible??

    Note that the “accepted” science of nutrition / diet always seeks ways to affirm the existing dogma and any study showing results contrary to the “common knowledge” immediately is explained away by invoking some other cause such as the French Paradox, unique genetics, lots of fish , lots of yoghurt, etc..

    Real science always seek to disprove the existing dogma; but not nutrition/diet science. In this regard, it is very similar to the fraud of CO2 caused global warming. (Check out what % of the atmosphere is CO2, but before you do, just take a guess at that number) .

  30. Public policy.specifically food stamp/EBT cards should strict controls on what welfare recipients can buy. Everyone has been behind a welfare fatty in the checkout lane whose car is filled with garbage twinkles and soda. A state panel of dietitians should approve what you can buy with food stamps. No junk food. No sugary drinks . No candy. This is not hard. Of course PC prevents such sensible measures . If you restricted food stamp recipients ability to buy ho-ho’s it you’d be called mean-spirited , sexist , racist , homophobic…the usual…

  31. The best thing society can do about the “obesity epidemic” is quit worrying about what people eat. It is precisely the Federal Government’s attempt to control people’s diets that created the high carb “heart healthy diet” that precipitated the surge in obesity, diabetes and heart disease in the ’70s. So the answer is just stop trying to control people’s lives.

    Just say No.

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