Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of corpulence

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of corpulence

by Matt Morain

Super Size, King Size, Biggie Size. Americans are ordering upgrades all the way to out-of-control obesity.

Recent studies have shown that 61 percent of American adults are overweight, up 45 percent from 20 years ago. In addition, children are emulating their parents more than ever, and in the worst way. One in every 24 children was obese just two decades ago. That number’s now one in every eight, with one in every four being labeled as overweight. We’re being assaulted by juvenile extra chins and hefty paunches.

Our country’s portliness stems from an inherent tendency to find the best bargain. It doesn’t matter if we’re only hungry for one cheeseburger. If we can get two more for a quarter, we’ll McMake ourselves McBelieve we’re McFamished.

A new warped thought process has seemed to manifest itself into commercial viewers all over the country. Jared S. Fogel, the Subway-diet inspiring guru, is leading the unintentional brainwashing of America’s TV watchers. People see a man who went from 425 pounds to 190 pounds in a year’s time by eating Subway.

What they don’t realize that he walked nearly two miles a day, ate only turkey and veggie subs with no mayonnaise or cheese, and didn’t snack in between meals. Driving down to Subway and ordering a sloppy Italian BMT with everything on it isn’t going to help drop that spare tire.

The movies, like fast food restaurants, encourage obscene gluttony at the counter. Moviegoers can no longer order popcorn in small or medium quantities. It just comes in Large, Jumbo, and Trough-size now. Patrons feel obligated to finish it too, because nobody wants to see their money go to waste.

Perhaps the biggest example of our slow decline into a state of stout is our “revolutionary” new methods of working out: electro-shock exercise. Apparently, crunches have become much too much work for Joe Love Handles to do anymore. Now, he can strap a belt to his gut and calmly watch television while his muscles get “the same amount of contractions as 100 sit-ups in one minute!”

Again, without proper diet and exercise, devices like this will fail miserably; assuming the consumer actually uses it. Ask yourself sometime if you or someone you knows has a NordicTrack in storage.

The United States of America is being swept by a fat epidemic. We don’t like to acknowledge it. We try to hide it, deny it, or ignore it, but the truth of the matter remains: we’re an overweight country.

If we’re not careful, years from now historians will look back on the American dynasty with reverence until the 21st century. It’s then that they’ll discover that, as the Bubonic Plague was to Western Europe, AIDS was to Africa, and influenza was to the Incas, obesity was the downfall of American glory and culture.

We’ve tipped the scales of moderation, and The Beer Gut of Ignorance prevents us from seeing our feet giving out beneath us.