So, yes, genetics and ethnicity play a role.
And, yes, sedentary life style due to evolving technology and poorly designed urban areas that keep people inside plays a role.
And, Endocrine disruptors in some foods that may alter fats in the body can play a role.
There are many other theories.
But could we please call a spade a spade and admit that we have a SERIOUS problem. I know this is "touchy" topic for some, and that some people may get "offended," but the health of the nation is at stake and we are facing not a problem, but an EPIDEMIC. The Center for Disease Control has obesity in its top 10 (although last on its homepage) and if you haven't seen the frightening animated map of the nation, changing from light blues (<10%>30%) in 2007, you should take a gander. Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are leading the pack with 32%, 30.3% and 30.1% respectively.
But what else is playing a role? FOOD! And not just food, but the kinds of food and the amount of food. You gain weight by eating more calories then you expel, seems like common knowledge. You would think.
So the actual reason for this post is: I just left my first class at MIT called Food Systems and the Environment where we were discussing the history of our food system and how we got to where we are today. And what is more obvious than ever, is that our system, as much as we feel comfortable in it, IT IS NOT WORKING. There is more food then ever before being produced and much of the problem lies in the distribution of that food and the knowledge transfer that is not occurring for one reason or another, to millions of people. So while most of the impoverished world is living on less then a dollar a day, we have websites popping up that infuriate me, and thus the reason for my post.
So here is the coup de grâce:
Brought to you by: This is Why You're Fat which received 1,520,464 hits since it was released on Monday and was sent to my by my friend Emily. This site collects photos of exhibitionist food endeavors. While many find this really humorous, I would argue that it is definitely a societal problem to act this way, while much of the world is going hungry. Call me the party pooper if you want, but I doubt many of these people have ever experienced actual hunger. So here are my "favorites"
Turbaconucken - A chicken inside a duck inside a turkey, all wrapped in bacon. (via nycfoodguy)
Giant Breakfast Burrito - A seven pound breakfast burrito stuffed with potatoes, eggs, onions, and ham bits, lots of cheese on top and smothered in red chile. (via dogsarefunyes)
The Meat Ship- Made from bacon, sausages, pastry, franks and pork mince. (via supersizedmeals)
Brick Of Cheese (via laist) The fact of the matter is we have made this "okay," "cool" and even "funny." I would argue that this is not okay, global warming is not cool and hunger is not funny. And if you think the way we consume food in this country doesn't have a rippling effect through the world, then we are failing to educate people on the severity of the issues we face as the resources run out. I challenge people to change the cultural "norm" and challenge the "status quo."
"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. " ~Author unknown, commonly misattributed to Charles Darwin