Back when I was in college my husband and friends enjoyed a big plate of food. Many a hungover Sunday was spent in Union Town Cafe watching them race to finish the Mule Skinner (A few brain cells have been lost since then, but I think that was 3 pancakes, 4 eggs and 4 sausages or slices of bacon) and a monster size butterhorn along with it. I could put away quite a bit of food back then, since I was pretty active, but never as much as them. When I started trying to keep up with them, eating things like Macho Nacho's from Casa De Que Pasa (enough for 5 people, but shared between 2) I quickly put on 20lbs. I realized I was not meant for that kind of eating. Now that I'm in my 40's and far less active, I can only eat a third of what I did back then, much less what they ate.
These days when I look around and see the increasing number of obese people in my community, many of them half my age, it blows me away. I wonder what they're doing different from what I did at their age. I thought I ate a lot, but I know I was also quite active. So what are these "kids" doing different? One significant difference I see is when I walk into a restaurant and order a meal, and I'm served enough food for 2, 3 or more people. These people are ordering this food and eating it all, while I'm taking half of it home or sharing it with my family. And, what is their activity level? Probably not half as much as what I did in college, and I thought I was lazy.
Now, what really blows me away, is all this talk in the news about how our country is becoming a nation of fat people, yet we celebrate eating contests like they're some kind of sport. I'm sorry people, eating yourself into oblivion is not a sport. It's amusing to watch, it is a contest, but it is not a sport, and it is not healthy. In the spirit of these crazy food binging contests there's a new show out called on Food TV called href="http://www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows/Man_v_Food">Man Versus Food. I have to admit, I get caught up watching this show. I actually think Adam Richman is kind of cute, but my attraction to the show is essentialy the equivalent to watching a train wreck. It's tragic, but I can't take my eyes off of it.
Today (the thing that got my mind on this subject) I ran onto an article on the MSN City Guides Site called href="http://cityguides.msn.com/citylife/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5698755&page=1"> The Big Food Hall Of Fame. An article celebrating the top 10 restaurants who serve the biggest meals. All I could say after reading that, was we're one messed up country when it comes to food. We want the largest amount of food on our plates for the least cost, yet we complain about our waistlines. Rather then treat food as nutrition and sustenance, we treat it as a competition that must be gulped down in mass quantities so quickly it's never even tasted.
So, why is it the media and the medical world seem perplexed as to why we're a "growing nation"? Why are they shocked, why can't they see the plate served before them? The writing is written with a squeeze bottle in butter on your over sized charger plate. We're getting fat because we eat too damn much too fast and move too little.
My solution to the obesity problem? To teach everyone to stop, slow down, taste and digest their food. Stop when they're full, and most of all MOVE. Walk walk walk, and avoid joining any eating contests, or being showcased on FoodTV eating the biggest "whatever" as fast as you can at some diner out their in Fat America. Fifteen minutes of fame really isn't worth it.
Fear not the butter, but the lack of taste for the speed in which you eat.
Fear not the growing waist, as it won't happen to you if you move more often.
Happy new year and Bon Appetite ( and I do mean that - slow down and Bon Appetite!)