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Savouring Some Statistics?


Monday, February 27, 2012

Steve Siebold, on Day 5 of fatloser.com, says that right now 66% of people in the USA are overweight or obese. He says it's estimated that by 2020 75% will be overweight or obese: and by 2032, 90%.

Hmmmm.

I'm Canadian, not American. But I've started looking around the room wherever I am. And yeah. I'd say most of the time about two thirds of those present are overweight . . . generally speaking, verging more towards the obese end of the spectrum.

The stats seem to be bang on. At the grocery store. At the shopping mall. At a large gathering of professional types. And at a much smaller gathering. Even in the lobby at the Y: although not in the gym itself . . . where less than a third of those observed were even overweight. And apparently doing everything they could to exit that category soon.

Of the overweight/obese observed in the majority of situations, I'm betting many of them are not savouring life with all of five of their senses. But savouring mostly what's going in their mouths: focusing primarily on taste.

I'm going to keep right on savouring taste . . . but only giving taste its due. Enhancing my sense of taste by anticipating and fully experiencing hunger. And also savouring sight, smell, sound, touch. In all their no-calorie or calorie-burning variants!

I'm not savouring these statistics. But I'm committed to fully savouring life.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
NANCY- 3/1/2012 7:46AM

    Oops!
Moved this to to where it should be.

Comment edited on: 3/1/2012 8:35:48 AM

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TRAVELGRRL 2/29/2012 7:01PM

    I have certainly noticed a HUGE increase in the number of overweight people, everywhere, just as you have.

Unfortunately, it can be a vicious circle. The less we move, the heavier we get, the less we want to move. I went to a conference in another city with a very heavy woman I worked with. (Don't even get my started on how awful the plane ride was.) She refused to walk to the terminal (a 5-minute walk), preferring to wait 10 minutes for the shuttle bus. We took the elevator up one floor rather than take the stairs.

It was really eye-opening. I am not thin; I am 20-30 pounds from a healthy BMI, but I often wonder how much I would weigh if I had such exercise-adverse habits and attitude!


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DANASEILHAN 2/29/2012 12:22AM

    Wow.

If you were to look at my food record right now you'd be horrified at my calorie count and my food comp. I am aiming for at least 2000 calories a day and the specific macronutrient ratio that I seem to be hitting (wow, this is the first time it's been this easy) for specific reasons. And before this, for a very long time, since I gave up sugar soda especially, if I cut out the stuff that I know is unhealthy for me, I have TROUBLE getting up to 2000 calories a day. And yet I have been over 200 pounds since 2005.

Even now I have to remember to eat. When I get hungry it doesn't come out as stomach growling (well, OK, not all the time) but by me feeling slightly out of sorts and irritable. And really, this is a miracle. In my high-carb days I would experience *blood sugar drops.* I was mentally unstable. When I craved foods it wasn't the high-animal-fat stuff I'm eating now (and also not craving now), it was high-starch stuff like chips and noodles, and high-sugar soda. And the cravings would come and go, probably in tune with my insulin levels.

Given my experience, and given that I have now read Gary Taubes as well, I think you are all putting the cart before the horse.

How many of you have children? And how many of you have observed that if you force your child to eat a lot of food, it makes that child grow taller?

Stupid idea, right? You'd never do something like that.

Well, what makes you think fat people aren't eating more because their bodies are wanting to grow wider?

If you ask yourself that question, then you have to ask yourself, "What makes their bodies want to grow wider?" Gary Taubes answers that question, at least in part. I recommend you all go read him.

P.S. Eat nothing but green salads the rest of your lives and you'll die of malnutrition. Have a nice day.

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PENNYAN45 2/28/2012 11:14PM

    That is a troubling statistic, for sure. Why so many? Why now?

When I was living in London in 2008 - I did not see that many overweight people.



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LISALGB 2/28/2012 9:59PM

    The statistics are really scary - especially for our children. I work with middle school age children and I've noticed that each year there seem to be more and more in my classes that have weight issues.
It is a very sad thing.

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DBCLARINET 2/28/2012 9:15PM

    I've noticed the same thing. The other thing that my dad pointed out to me after reading an article, I think in Newsweek -- people are pairing up based on weight and slowly dividing us into "fat people" and "thin people." You rarely see a thin person married to an obese person (I don't think I ever have). Thin people or fit people seek out similar people, and obese people seek out similar people, and kids model their parents, so it's slowly becoming more pronounced, the delineation between the "thins" and the "fats."

You also said something that hit very close to home: "...although not in the gym itself ... where less than a third of those observed were even overweight. And apparently doing everything they could to exit that category soon."

I have always tended toward thinness, and somehow my college friends had this illusion that I could eat whatever I want and never gain a pound. Once, a friend made that comment during a summer orchestra camp, and a guy I only knew for maybe a week said, "Nah, she's just one of those people who is so afraid of getting fat that she'll never get fat." I never thought of it that way, but it hit so close to home that I just stood there in stunned silence. It cut to the core. It was the absolute truth.

My mom is by no means significantly overweight -- I'm not sure she's even actually overweight (maybe just a bit overfat based on body composition). But she's always a little unhappy with the way she looks because she's neither inclined toward any activity more strenuous than walking, and she grew up in a poor household where if you wanted your share of the goodies, you shoveled it in as soon as it walked in the door. Weight has been an up-and-down struggle for her, one that was impressed upon me at a very young age. I just remember thinking that would not be me, so as soon as I started putting weight on in college, I sought out ways to stop it fast in its tracks. Overall, I've been successful.

I never, ever want to be as unhappy with my own body as so many people I see around me, and that's plenty of motivation to keep moving and eating well.

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CRYSTALJEM 2/28/2012 8:35PM

    I've noticed the same thing when I look around. In our family immediate and otherwise, it is obvious that food and quantity choices are reflected in weight. The evidence is undeniable in my opinion.

I'm trying to treat hunger like what it really is, a message to fuel my car. I realized I don't go to the pumps and let my car overfill. Why would keep doingnit to my body. Savor the fuel I need and that's all. Well, at least I'm trying. If I'm going to go over board id rather do it on a really special occassion and really be able to savour the flavour then.

Your blogs have really inspired me to look at my my hunger differently. Thank you.

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SALSIFY 2/28/2012 1:02PM

    Wow - 90% by 2032 - that's quite some statistic. Well, I'm doing my best not to be one of them!

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NANCY- 2/28/2012 7:00AM

    I dislike statistics. Granted they may be an indicator... but ultimately we do have the control.

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/28/2012 3:55AM

    It is a pretty bad statistic and probably one that costs countries a huge amount in medical bills. Food and drink are such an important part of socialisation and I don't see anyone vying for the best green salad in the world. Australian statistics are very similar to the US and there have been huge educational drives, mainly aimed at mothers as the number of overweight children is increasing at a frightening rate. People are aware of the problem but savouries and sodas seem to be winning out.

Thank you for the blog, as always, very thought provoking.

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_LINDA 2/28/2012 1:23AM

    Sad, but true statistics. Interesting observation: normal weight parents, obese children. Most elderly people are normal weight, its the younger generation tipping the scales. Currently, my brother and his wife are the only obese people in my circle of relatives. Even though the children of both my sister and brother don't eat particularly healthy (pop, fried food, pizza, sweets etc.), they are not overweight -yet.
Part of what makes food savory is the sense of smell, so learning to spice up your foods makes them more attractive to eat. Lets face it -veggies are dull with no odor. No wonder people forgo them to have the high fat comfort foods. That is why learning to use spices is so important. A lot of our sensation of taste is enhanced by smell -so when you have a cold, everything tastes blah..
I definitely enjoy and am thankful I have all my senses intact to enjoy although the hearing is a little weak..


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OOLALA53 2/27/2012 11:04PM

    Since I've been cultivating hunger, I really enjoy the food I do eat much more. I don't like eating fast. I miss out if I do!

Most of my colleagues aren't very big, though I've seen most of them put on a few pounds over the last few years. But they still egg each other on to have cookies at lunch every day. And they use all the passe excuses. We'll see where it ends.

I think this trend is going to level out. And we can be part of it.

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DONNACFIT 2/27/2012 9:42PM

    Time to start savouring with all my senses (well maybe not smell when I'm in the corral)

Great blog..Thanks

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MEADSBAY 2/27/2012 8:59PM

    I've been noticing how many fatties (myself included) are in most crowd- first noticed it at airports.
Sad!
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