Aug 10, 2009

Why Are Americans So Fat?

Excellent Question! The "Obesity Epidemic" has been getting a lot of press recently. Americans are too big and getting bigger. Being very overweight seriously raises your chances of all sorts of miserable problems including having to see doctors like me more often.

There are lots of theories for why we are fatter than any other time in human history. Doctor D is a bit concerned that no one is talking about a potentially deadly cause of this trend. Here is Doctor D's unscientific theory of why so many of us are so fat:
Dieting makes people fat!
Think about it, how many people on diets loose weight only to gain back every pound plus some? Everyone believes dieting is wonderful because obesity is bad, but what if diets are making the problem worse? There have always been heavy people, but so many people who get heavier indefinitely till it kills them is a recent problem. People keep getting heavier because they keep dieting.

Stop it now, before you get even bigger. And whatever you do, do not watch “Biggest Loser.” That show is a public health threat. I'm serious!

(Tune in next time to learn why dieting causes obesity.)


Anonymous said...

Shhh you've got me hooked- and thanks for the link to my blog!

Anonymous said...

This is one of my pet peeves -- but only because we bring it on ourselves. Our American diet is unbelievable. I have travelled overseas extensively and when eating in a restaurant in another country, the portions are half of the portions we receive in our restaurants here. It's no wonder we have the weight problem we have in this country. I don't diet (well, I did once). As I neared the end of my diet, I thought to myself "what am I going to eat when I reach my target weight?" I am 5'3 and at that time, I weighed anywhere between 125-130. Certainly not obese but more than I liked. What I eventually did is I changed the way I ate. I do not diet but choose my food. When I feel any type of hunger pang, I immediately satisfy it with something healthy but I do not watch the calories. For instance, I love cottage cheese with honey (lots of honey) -- obviously high in calories but it satisfies me for a long time. I don't eat UNLESS I actually feel hungry. I also don't deny myself -- if I really want something that's in front of me, I'll eat it. In this way, I don't crave something for a long time and go nuts when I finally give in.

I also run about 30-40 miles a week -- but don't push myself beyond what I feel like. If I'm too busy, I don't run at all. I just don't get worked up over it because with my particular personality, I would go nuts.

I have a very good friend who is a Type II diabetic. He's certainly overweight -- by a lot. He's always complaining about being a diabetic (he has to take shots) and complains about his weight and tells me that he doesn't eat that much but the insulin keeps him fat. Not knowing anything about the effects of insulin, I take him at his word -- until I watch him eat. For instance, we went to Subway not too long ago and he ordered a 12 in sandwich with all the fixings, mustard, mayo, etc. He could have satisfied his hunger with a 6 in sandwich. He eats out most of the time because he says he's too busy to cook or he opens a can of soup (soup, IMO, has too much sodium). He has to wear special stockings (some kind of prescription stocking) to keep the swelling of his legs down. I'm just saying that while insulin may have something to do with difficulty in losing weight, he ain't gonna lose it eating the way he eats even if he got off of the insulin.

I'm not saying my way is the best way or the most healthy way (I sometimes forget to eat -- yesterday I realized I had not had a meal and realized my headache was because I had not yet eaten). I did not have my first meal until 6:30 p.m. (not a good thing). I now range from 110-115 lbs. If I get below 110, I try and put on the weight because that's not enough weight for my frame.

I have ZERO medical background and don't know nor understand the physiology of dieting nor the effects it has on our body. I just know it did not work for me and I had to make a lifestyle change in the way I eat. What I do know is if I eat more calories than my body uses, the calories don't evaporate into the air but they stay with me and find a place to reside in the form of excess fat on my body. I also know that I can't obsess about calories -- so I just eat to satisfy my hunger and try and make the food that I do eat worth eating to keep me healthy.

Anonymous said...

C''mon Doc. I know we shouldn't be picky about typos / spelling in blogs, but this is one of the most common errors on the internet.

Try "lose weight" not "loose weight."

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