June 7, 2012

America's Glorification of the Obese

Is it a coincidence that the history of the world's fattest people is dominated by Americans? 10 of the world's 11 fattest people were Americans.

#1. Jon Brower Minnoch, American, 1400 lbs, died at the age of 42.
#2. Manuel Uribe, Mexican, 1320 lbs, still living. (Has since lost 500 lbs and is much healthier.)
#3. Carol Yager, American, 1200 lbs, died at the age of 34.
#4. Walter Hudson, American, 1200 lbs, died at the age of 47.
#5. Rosalie Bradford, American, 1200 lbs, died at the age of 63.
#6. Michael Hebranko, American, 1100 lbs, still living.
#7. Patrick Deuel, American, 1070 lbs, still living.
#8. Robert Earl Hughes, American, 1070 lbs, died at the age of 32.
#9. Kenneth Brumley, American, 1030 lbs, , still living.
#10. Mills Darden, American, 1020 lbs, died at the age of 58.
#11. Mayra Rosales, American, 1000 lbs, , still living.

And you will also probably note half of them are dead.

The USA is also home to the World's Fattest Twins Billy and Benny McCrary, often known as the McGuire Twins, shown here on their Honda motorcycles. They weighed 720 lbs and 750 lbs. They're both dead now too.

In North America the general philosophy is that Bigger is Better. Thus when eating out Americans love eating whatever is biggest because they want to get their money's worth. And frankly who can blame them, the prices in so-called healthy restaurants are ridiculous. It makes perfect sense that people will want to get a bigger bang for their buck.

The problem is that those bigger bangs have more fat and sugar in them.

And this isn't limited to America's eating habits. Big cars, big trucks, big houses, big mortgages, big economic failures, big bailouts...

And the worse the USA becomes the more governments and health officials struggle to get obese people to recognize their problem and do something about it.

And so governments weigh options like:

#1. Increasing funding for school exercise programs.
#2. Creating a Fat Tax on fatty foods. (Although I would argue this should be a tax based on the percentage of fat in such products. eg. 10% fat = 20% tax.)
#3. Use the money raised from a Fat Tax to create Free Public Gyms, Swimming Pools and Stationary Bicycles in an effort to make it easier for Americans to exercise.
#4. Ban advertising for fatty foods on television and in magazines/newspapers (cigarettes are already banned this way).
#5. Charging parents with negligence if they feed their kids unhealthy food.

The problem with trying to enforce some ideas turns it into a civil rights issue. People talk about things like "personal responsibility" and that the government should mind their own business, but its clear that most Americans aren't that responsible when it comes to their health.

66% of Adult Americans are overweight or obese. 42% are obese and 6.3% are "extremely obese". 33% of American children are overweight or obese. (CDC / February 2012)

The exercise and diet industry in the USA is also huge, but it seems to be largely based on short-lived fads and not many real solutions.

And the sad truth is that the only real long term solution is changing your lifestyle to include a healthy diet and exercise. But that sounds like too much work for most Americans.

And why bother when so many people now glorify fat and celebrate it? Brag about it even.

Its a bit like "Look at me, I am so fat I will die before the age of 40!"

But ask yourself, do you really want to die before the age of 40? Its no wonder so many people are hiring personal trainers (even though they charge an arm and a leg) in a desperate need to lose weight by throwing money at it.

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  1. This, quite frankly, is bullshit. I'm extremely disappointed in your publication for posting this garbage.

    Do a little research on fat-positivity/the fat-acceptance movement and the scientific basis for their stance (and yours), please.

  2. Noel, what you call "fat-positivity" is really glorification of the obese. Its like glorifying people dying of lung cancer from smoking.

    You are certainly free to disagree with me, but as the editor of Lilith News I retain the right to approve of articles submitted to me. I felt the article made a variety of valid points, supported their statements with historical data and current obesity statistics and that was more than enough.

    Frankly, I ask you what you would consider to be "scientific" data in support of any social stance?

    Obesity kills people. Its common knowledge, just like cigarette smoking and even second hand smoke kills people. You don't need any additional scientific data to support that statement.

    The fat acceptance movement is deluded and basically driving people to the graveyard faster.

    Suzanne MacNevin
    Editor of Lilith News


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