I often hear people calling those who are fat things like ‘lazy’, ‘lacking control’, ‘gluttonous’, among other negative comments. Although that may be true to some people to an extent, I think a lot of the obesity problem this country is facing is due to the environment we have grown up in.
How the Modern Economy has made people fat
The modern life definitely has made things more comfortable for the average person. Take for example someone who is on an internet message board while sitting in a cozy chair in their air conditioned house writing about how fat people are ‘lazy’. After they make condescending comments like this, they get up, walk 10 feet to their refrigerator, open the door and pick out a plastic container of pre-made food they bought from the supermarket. They then microwave this food for 5 minutes and hardly without ANY EFFORT whatsoever, they have a meal. Whereas back in an era of the 1950’s it would take 2 hours to prepare a meal, nowadays it takes mere minutes.
People take in more calories than they expend
There are 3,500 calories in 1 pound. Because life is incredibly easy for us these days, we are taking in more calories than we use. Take where I go to school for physical therapy for example. I go to school on the 6th floor, but everyday I choose to take the elevator straight up and straight down. I’d definitely be giving myself a great leg workout with some cardio benefits if I chose to take the stairs every day. But modern conveniences like elevators just make me think ‘why bother?’. I remember a couple of times where I would voluntarily choose to take the stairs over the elevator and people would give me a look like I was walking around wearing my underwear on my head. It’s like if you choose to be healthy and fit, people seem to become enraged with a face that says ‘HOW DARE YOU!’ It’s like people around you are trying to suck you down into a vortex of never-ending calorie accumulation, until you find out one day you can no longer fit into the clothes you used to wear.
Modern Technology has made life too Comfortable
As with the elevator example above, modern technology has simply made things too convenient for us. Besides taking an elevator up and down an office building, we can also drive our cars to and from work, or take public transportation. We are burning so few calories and accumulating so much weight, trains are widening seats and making them sturdier. I don’t blame train companies for doing this, as I’ve seen some people who look like they could snap a train seat like a toothpick.
Not only is traveling made easier, but things like cooking and preparing food has been incredibly simplified as well. Take french fries for example. Back in 1930’s if you wanted fries, you’d have to first go out to the marketplace and buy potatoes. Back then, the average person did not have a car, so you’d then have to likely lug them home. Once you carried them home, you’d have to slice them, peel them and then finally cook them in hot oil. That is a TON more work than we have to do nowadays.
These days if you want fries, all you have to do is go to a Burger King or McDonald’s or any supermarket and you can get them already made where you just stick them in your mouth and chew and swallow. Modern technology and machinery have made food production incredibly simplified and have certain foods like french fries down to a science. So back in the day where people burned plenty of calories preparing food, now we hardly are burning anything when it comes to that.
Now, because technology allows us more comfort and leisure and allows the mass production of food, we are burning less and less calories and becoming fatter and fatter. We have so much leisure time we don’t know what to do with ourselves.
Corporations Profit off you being Fat
The companies that profit off of you being fat are LEGION! The fatter you are, the bigger your stomach which means you’ll eat more food and spend more money. Many companies benefit off of you eating their fat-laden food, including big names like Taco Bell, KFC, Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, Pizza Hut, Subway and multifarious others.
These companies profit big too. At this moment as I look at Yahoo Finance, McDonald’s Corp. has a market cap of $100 billion. The Coca-Cola Company has a market cap of $180 billion. These companies have gotten to be such huge, bloated behemoths because people not just in America, but all over the world buy their products, which are made by sophisticated machinery that allow mass production.
Also, as you probably know, with all of their money, they can lobby politicians to pass laws that favor them and constantly blast you with advertisements so you can’t escape. Last week I was in a movie theater watching Superman and I literally sat through 2 commercials for Oreos and 1 for Coca-Cola. I almost wanted to go out to the lounge and spend an exorbitant fee of $5 for a bottle of coke, but my better judgement overcame my desires.
This is just the food corporations too, don’t forget hospitals, pharmaceutical corporations or people trying to suck you in with the latest hot diet fad.
I do believe people have a personal responsibility to keep themselves healthy and avoid becoming overweight or obese. However, this was much easier to accomplish in earlier times when people had to physically work much harder to survive and weren’t afforded modern luxuries like cars, computers and other contemporary machinery. These modern day conveniences, along with many corporations and special interest groups who are eager to profit off you being overweight or obese I believe play a major part in making people of today fat.