Many kids suffer from being called fatty, by their friends in school, because their body weight makes them a point of distressing mockery. But, now, the word fatty must aptly describe a nation.
According to Rachna Chhachhi, in Outlook Business Magazine, September 20, 2008 issue, over 60% of America suffers from Obelix syndrome, being grossly overweight. Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food in 1970; they spent more than $10 billion in 2001. Studies show that they are now spending more on fast food than on new cars, computer software or even higher education. Fast food sales are higher than videos, books, movies, magazines and recorded music sales combined.
An average American consumes 3,747 kilocalories, whereas the recommended allowance is 2,000 – 2,500 for sedentary to moderate – activity people. A third of the calorie intake is from junk food. And that’s not all; the serving sizes have gone up too. A typical hamburger in 1957 weighed 1 ounce (28 gms) and contained 210 calories. A typical hamburger today weighs 6 ounces (170 gms) and contains 618 carolies. There are even steakhouse restaurants that offer a free meal if you can eat their 96 ounce (2.7 kg) steak in a certain amount of time – sic!
When the writer, who heads business development in a financial services company, ordered for a quick bite at a restaurant in Releigh, North Carolina, a plate of salad arrived which could have fed the entire neighbourhood in India. However, the lady sitting at the table next to hers was a typical example of an American mother, grossly overweight, sitting with a thin daughter, who was being tutored in the art of matching her mother in size. A family size pizza dripping with cheese had been ordered but as the little girl could not finish her pizza, it was packed and taken home to be force-fed to her.
Really, the average American, like his or her serving size, is expending.
The author of the piece laments – “For the life of me, I cannot understand how a country that has progressed so much, so fast cannot see the health bomb it’s sitting on…..its brings to mind something from Chetan Bhagat’s book, One Night @ The Call Centre, apparently, call-centre trainees are taught that the brain and IQ of an average 35-year old American equals that of a 10-year old Indian kid!” She insists that we read the book if we do not trust her. She goes on to say, and I join in with her, there, that the surest proof of the dismal IQ level, reflects on who they chose as third 43rd President, who was then re-elected again to prove the point beyond doubt.
So, despite food prices rising 4.8% in 2007, the average American family of four still spent 13% of its disposable income on food. A 2003 study conducted by the University of Tennessee showed that a child’s eating habit is strongly influenced by the mother. Another survey found that of the top 24 disliked foods in America, 17 were vegetables.
So today at long last, American mothers are being exhorted to work harder at eating more fruits and vegetables into the family diet, while cutting down on sodas. Duh!
Joke: George Bush and his wife were at a restaurant. When the waiter came to take the order, Mrs Bush placed an order for an exotic protein and fat rich meal topped with a succulent creamy dessert.
“And what about the vegetable, M’am?” The waiter enquired.
“Ah,” said Mrs Bush, looking at Bushy, “He will have the same!”
Reference: Outlook Business Magazine, September 20, 2008 issue