Why are Americans so fat?

Spain
March 16, 2010 2:51pm CST
Seriously United States is the country with the highest levels of obesity. Why do you think this is happening? Could it be the style of life and the stress that pushes people into a drive through of McDonald's? Of is it because the food there is just very... Not so healthy. I must say that when I lived in the States I was very obese... And now that I live in the Mediterranean is a whole different story... Which proves a fact that the Mediterranean diet is the BEST of the WORLD! What are your opinions about this issue?
3 people like this
34 responses
@harmonee (1236)
• United States
16 Mar 10
I think we're fat because we eat so much processed food, so much sugar and our 500 calorie lattes from starbucks every morning. We are so focused on making money, we don't go to the park or out for walks. We like to sit at home, watch movies and play video games. You know it's really out of hand when the Soda Companies are pulling their products out of schools because our children are too fat and they have to make a campaign to get parents to send their kids out for 30 minutes of exercise a day. I think we just need to get our priorities straight. It's okay to take 30-60 minutes to make a meal for your family that is healthier than hamburger helper.
1 person likes this
• Spain
16 Mar 10
Yes I see... Oh I miss Starbucks... Mm mm the Frapuccino was sooo yummy! Ahemmm... Yes, Also I remember we back in HS we only had 30 mins lunch, nasty food and hardly any activities... I guess is up to someone to divide themselves to get in shape... But yes, United States is very stressing...
• United States
16 Mar 10
This is a very serious issue that everybody should be talking about. To many people just don't care enough about their health until they have a problem that they have caused or that may be caused by eating food laced with poisons and growth hormones and a host of other stuff put in the food chain on purpose to benefit the food and health care industries we need to open our eyes to as I like to put it.... "WHATS REALLY GOING ON" I'm working on a project that I hope will help us all understand what we are up againist and maybe even offer some solutions. Also don't be fooled by this so called health care reform BS going on in this country this is another corp. sponsored smoke screen designed to keep the American people blind to what they are really doing. We the people of this country need to get a clue and stop believing the crap we are being sold.
@Lochoa (222)
• United States
16 Mar 10
I think it's b/c we have more money then other countries and we're working all the time so it's easier to go out and buy McDonalds or Taco Bell or some nastyness like that you know? There's prob a lot more reasons but this one's the first to come up.
• Spain
16 Mar 10
I agree... I think is because of the working too much factor... People have no time to prepare themselves a nice healthy meal. Where I live you usually get enough time to go home and eat with your family. Also the "eating schedules" are very different. People here rarely use fast food restaurants.
@Lochoa (222)
• United States
16 Mar 10
I don't know much about what you're talking about but it seems like your answer is more after the fact then how they got to be obese in the first place. Yes our society relies on pills for everything and honestly I don't agree but most people do. I wouldn't say this is the reason why people are getting fat or unhealthy. Yes the economy def reaps the benefits of anyone going to the docs and getting pills b/c it's money being mad and spent.
@valkerion (1831)
• United Kingdom
17 Mar 10
I am sorry, but you do not have more money than other countries lol :) Trust me! Denmark for instance is way way way richer than U.S. and they have about what? 1% of obesity? Sure they got less population, but they ARE richer..So the fact "money" has nothing to do. It's the culture.
@rosegardens (3043)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Fast food is convenient and loaded with fat, salt and sugar. We supersize our meals and that means jumbo fries and jumbo drink. I had the pleasure to meet some foreign exchange students who had classes with me. In Europe, the serving of a soft drink is much smaller and they have to pay extra for refills. Most of the time our refills are free. Our meal sizes are humongous compared to a European meal. We have all you can eat places, and as far as I am aware there is no such thing in Europe. We have so much junk food readily available, and it is less expensive to purchase than vegetables and fruits, especially in the winter. We gulp our food, always in a hurry. Others savor their food and take their time at meals. beatrizguiselle, how did you manage to lose weight when you left the US? What does the Mediterranean diet consist of? Congratulations on losing that weight!
• Spain
17 Mar 10
Yes indeed I remember the jumbo fries, jumbo everything... There you buy milk by the gallon, here we buy by liters! Everything is served much smaller. There are buffets with all you can eat here... But is not like in America, people don´t serve themselves 3-4 times a full plate.... I remember seeing people serve themselves over and over at the Chinese buffet-then ice cream as desert. Time is a big factor... In the US everything is in a rush, the distances are a great deal also... People hardly walk or do regular physical activity. I lost weight by changing my lifestyle. You see I am in Spain, and people here walk to the bank, grocery store, bars... you name it, the distances here are very short! Also I don´t have a car, so I walk and walk all the time except when going to far places. Another thing was the diet... No fried food!!! I cook myself, I use olive oil instead of corn or vegetable oil. The Mediterranean diet is the worlds best diet due to its versatility and variety. One good example would be a salad: Tuna, black olives, cottage cheese, topped with olive oil. There you have your protein (tuna), Veggies (lettuce), dairy (cheese). That´s just how I make my salad, sometimes I use crab meat. Everything is NATURAL and not processed like in the US. Also this diet has plenty of fiber containing foods, and not like in the US where everything is fat... Trust me it is the best of the best.
• United States
18 Mar 10
Fibre is so under rated here. Even though there are commercials about it, it more or less is aimed at a medical condition that is caused by people not eating enough fibre. I noticed when I stopped making my drink for a few weeks I began gaining weight. I make up some juice and put it in a blender with frozen vegetables, and usually have a few servings a day. I guess that helped me lose weight. Walking is great, and you are right. Around here it is hard to get to a store if you want something. I am pretty fortunate, some stores are not too far for me to walk, but I cannot do my major grocery shopping there because they just do not have everything I need. Your salad sounds delicious. I will have to try that. I am such a lazy American, I hate having to prepare anything. That sounds very simple and nutritious.
• Spain
18 Mar 10
Yeah, I highly recommend that, don't forget the olive oil.. that gives it a extra good flavor to it and it makes it just... irresistible! also you can add some avocados as a good healthy fat source.
@hofferp (4739)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Most Americans eat too much, eat too little of the right foods and eat way too much of the bad foods. They don't sit down to eat regular meals; they're always on the go. So what foods do people in the Mediterranean eat?
• Spain
17 Mar 10
Mediterranean is the most varied diet, it has veggies, fruits, fish, red meat... Anything you can think of except fried food... We use olive oil instead of corn or vegetable oil... I know is so expensive in the US.... I suggest you look it up, since I live up here I have lost so much weight... When I was in the US I was a Jack in the Box fan... lol
@hofferp (4739)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Thanks, I will.
@13tyates (1610)
• United States
16 Mar 10
I believe there are many reasons why a large percentage of Americans are Obese. No one thing can be considered the cause of the problem. I think one of the major problems in America today is the readily available supply of fast food! From McDonalds to Burger King and on it is really a bad thing! There are so many other reasons why that it would be hard to list! Thanks for creating this discussion, it really sheds light on this matter! Happy Mylotting!
• Spain
17 Mar 10
Yes! There are lots of factors on this issue, but I believe that this particular one is the one that should be more addressed to.
@13tyates (1610)
• United States
17 Mar 10
That is very true... it does need to be addressed!
@Janey21 (12)
• United States
16 Mar 10
There are so many reasons for the high obesity rates in the US. Unhealthy food is cheaper than healthy food. Also, it is easier to find, especially in poorer areas. You can see fast food chains right next to each other with no fruit or vegetable stands in sight. Also, unhealthy food is made to be very delicious and even addicting. There are loads of chemicals (not to mention high quantities of sugar, salt, and fat, which our bodies crave) that make us want to eat it more. Once you become accustomed to eating it, it is hard to change the habit. Furthermore, your upbringing has a lot to do with it. If your parents fed you a lot of fast food since you were a child, then you are more likely to continue to eat it as you get older. Americans need to be educated about healthy eating habits and have healthy foods available in their neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the big corporations that benefit from America's obesity will curtail any change that negatively affects their pursuit of profits.
• Spain
16 Mar 10
Oh no way, my family has very different customs and never fed us hamburgers or nasty things like that. I got fat because of what the government served on our plates... Surely it would be a good idea to educate parents beforehand about the good eating habits a child should obtain... God! I remember those 200lbs 3 year old babies in Dr. Phil!!! or what ever that show was... lol
• United States
17 Mar 10
I notice in my local grocers there are almost no light choices for foods, pretty much all of it is the regular version. I wanted to buy some sugar free canned fruit the other day, the naturally sweetened without the artificial sweeteners. No where to be found, and there are no artificially sweetened canned fruit available. I wouldn't buy that anyway, but even so it was not there. Just the sugar soaked fruits were available. I live in a relatively poor area. The markets cater to the wants of the consumer. I cannot find regular fish there, it is all breaded. I like it without the bread. If I want something specific that does not have a lot of preservatives, salt and sugar I have to go several miles out to get it. The local restaurants have mostly greasy fried foods, and foods laden with fat and salt. The salads are made with primarily iceburg lettuce and iceburg lettuce has no nutritional value. It costs extra to have more vegetables put on the salad. We are also saturated with fast food places. In fact, there are 6 fast food places within a 2 mile radius from where I live.
• United Arab Emirates
24 Mar 10
Most americans are junk food eaters and when it's
• Spain
24 Mar 10
and when what? Seems you didnt finish your sentence here.
@Ritchelle (3797)
• Philippines
24 Mar 10
i haven't lived in the states but am aware of their chef's shows and wow! even martha stewart put butter, cheese and bologna in one sandwich. how many proteins did she get in just one sitting? 3? that's almost the entire recommended serving of protein in one day of an ordinary person. besides, i've tried living on their sandwiches as a rice replacement and i find myself gaining more pounds. a slice of bread is the recommended serving per eating and what do you need to make a sandwich? 2 slices, right? am not really sure that this is really one of the reasons but 1/2 cup of rice does wonders for me and that is natural, unprocessed and therefore more filling.
• Spain
24 Mar 10
lol yeah... Oh that Martha Stewart... Yeah. I guess thats the way it is.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Mar 10
I live in the Us and we were talking about this in my class I am taking. For me I feel there are many reasons why. Number one we feel too busy working, going to school and taking care of kids I think we feel well instead of making dinner why not go get some fast food. I know that is no excuse I also feel another reason is we do not get enough exercise. We drive everywhere we go even if it is down the street if we ate less and exercised more we would be much better. Being fat is a real problem here in the US and I think we should all try and do something about it. I am over weight myself and have been trying to eat less and workout more not sure what my weight is at the moment but in the past week I have not been doing my exercise everyday which is bad. Nice topic to discuss happy mylotting to you.
• Spain
19 Mar 10
Hey mom*** I know is hard, specially if you have kids and a though schedule. We all like the easy things in life, I mean who doesn't? It just takes perseverance. The key is not in eating less...The key is in eating the right foods and having some sort of daily activity. I lost weight by eating more and staying active. Before I would do 2-3 BIG meals a day... Now I eat about 5-6 times a day and I am very slender. Taking 5 small meals a day is a matter of getting used to it and knowing what you are putting in your body. I wish you the best of luck. And if you ever need help let me know.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
18 Mar 10
I believe that a big part of the obesity problem in the United States stems from the fact that we as Americans are addicted to convenience. Everywhere that you turn there is convenience food that you can buy. It could be the drive thru at McDonalds or it may be the junk food aisle of the supermarket, but there is far too much food that is available that is simply convenient. There really isn't a lot of healthy value to it. I've tried to stay away from that part of the grocery stores and it has made a difference on the weight of our family. What I've come to understand is that if you can simply pop it in the microwave and then it is ready to eat, it probably isn't all that healthy to feed your family.
• Spain
18 Mar 10
That is true, people in general just go for the easy things. Who doesnt do that? The problem is that in the States everything is made ready to eat... Those TV dinners with mashed potatoes... they taste awful, but of course who would buy the potatoes and mash them themselves? too much trouble involved... Maybe if the government could start a campaign promoting what is good to eat.
@edu4625 (188)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Too many people in the United States are eating prepared food which is of course high in fats, salt, sugar, artificial chemicals etc. Plus if you add in the fact that Americans tend to be very busy and feel they don't have the time to cook real foods for themselves. This means they are frequently buying foods from fast food restaurants etc. Also Americans like large portions of food compared to other countries. Sometimes the amount of food they get is more important than the quality of the food. Although models and entertainers are getting skinnier, the average American woman and man is getting larger in size. You also have to pay more money in the Unites States to eat quality foods. All of these factors add up to our current problem of obesity.
• Spain
17 Mar 10
Yes indeed. It would be a good thing if more people could be addressed this issue and stabilize the massive growth in obesity, specially in children.
• United States
17 Mar 10
I think it is lack of natural food, the food here is made for mass production to generate money, so much can, frozen, and process food. In the states you can look on the back of the box or wrapping of some food and the ingredients would be numbers or names you have no idea what it is.
• Spain
17 Mar 10
yeah! Everything is frozen, canned etc... no organic or fresh meals and if they are it is VERY expensive!
@jambi462 (4598)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Americans are fat because they eat crap all the time. On almost every street corner there is a fast food restaurant and there's even starting to be fast food places built inside of grocery stores and colleges. Also our grocery stores mainly carry food that aren't from natural or organic sources and that are filled with plenty of chemicals and weird ingredients that no one really knows about. I feel that if people are more conscience of what they are eating and read the ingredients and nutritional facts every now and then they will be much healthier. The only thing is that it takes you caring to be healthy because no body else will pay attention to what you are eating.
• Spain
17 Mar 10
I truly agree with you... Maybe if the food was not so processed and more natural and fresh...
• Philippines
17 Mar 10
hi! I saw from a documentary that it's because of their love for fast food. People there are usually so busy to make their own snacks that they munch off from take outs and digest all those fats. That's my opinion anyway but maybe it's also because of the stress they encounter.
• Spain
18 Mar 10
Is not that they "love" fast food... Its more a time, stress, distance related problem.
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
17 Mar 10
It should come as no surprise that Americans are fat considering the fact that America is the breeding ground for fast food chains. Based on the statistics, at least 45 million American patronize these fast foods daily. The fat contents of most foods sold in these outlets are high coupled with sweet gassy drinks and creamy milk shakes full of calories and fats appeal to many Americans. These fat food chains are already invading the Asian countries and sooner or later Asians will inherit the obesity of the American people.
• Spain
17 Mar 10
This is very true... But that would only occur if Asians inherit the style of life.
• Philippines
17 Mar 10
american people has a big body structure, their bones, and their heights stands 6'ft tall. mostly they are obese because of the food they eat.. their food they eat contains of 70% meat, if i'm not wrong.. mostly they are preferred to eat can goods than to cooked a vegetable., maybe because of their status.. they are hard working, they always work and work, and they dont have enough time to cooked food because of their busy schedule.. correct me if i'm wrong. this is based only to my opinion..
• Spain
17 Mar 10
Well if you are referring to the white tall with blue eyes, these are most likely Europeans as America is constructed of immigrants. So really retarding the body structure it really varies. Not all Chinese eat rice and know Karate! And yes Americans do buy more canned food and ready to eat because they are always on the go.
@ebuscat (5949)
• Philippines
17 Mar 10
For me aside that there body figured a big one they eat more like animal meat like beef,chicken,pork always they don't eat vegetable like law-oy process food.
• Spain
17 Mar 10
what?
@nangisha (3504)
• Indonesia
17 Mar 10
I think it can be because their diet and exercise pattern. I find that american use so many canned food, deep fry food and unbalance diet. At home we use balance diet rice, protein ( meat, poultry, fish),vegetable and fruit when we eat. We cannot find canned food easily here except sardine because our people prefer fresh ingredients, we also eat varied food. I thinks that why most Asian slimmer than American.
• Spain
18 Mar 10
Well, the problem is more in their schedule and work times and the distances between work and home... it makes it almost impossible to prepare yourself a decent meal when you have to work over 8 hours and it takes you 40 minutes to get back home.
@amarkovi (63)
• Croatia (Hrvatska)
17 Mar 10
I lived in the US for several years, worked a lot and managed to stay within my normal size. The problem is not too much work, the problem is eating habits: everything is ready to eat, frozen or pre-cooked ... very little fresh groceries are used. Of course it's easier and faster to buy already made dough (just one example) and make biscuits or bread than to get some flour, eggs and water and mnix it all together. This is just a silly example but I think you got the idea. Also the lifestyle in the US is basically: home-car-work-car-home ... you are seated most of the time, and that's one thing that drove me crazy. My experience is from LA, so I guess NY (for example) is different ... but walking to work+public transport is a much better way. My opinion is that the eating habits are the main problem: food should be fresh and simple, it's no good if you eat a salad swimming in dressing ... use just olive oil and vinegar!
• Spain
17 Mar 10
yes, I agree.. little time... No fresh groceries and the fresh ones are so MUCH MORE expensive.
@dr0czh (53)
• China
17 Mar 10
Well,I think that is because of the cooking culture and the economy.The United States is a developed country,people have to work fast to earn money.And the fast food is suitable for such life.I think eat more vegetabel and do more execises will be good way to keep fit. Everyone should take care of his health.Too fat is not good.
• Spain
17 Mar 10
I agree, the way of life there is so much harder... everything in a rush and there is not much healthy choices in hand... There are 100 burger kings out of 1 subway.