You know, I get so tired of hearing people assigning blame and avoiding responsibility for the obesity epidemic that’s crushing this country. I’ve heard people say that it’s the fault of the fast food industry pushing junk food on us. I’ve read that it’s the fault of the big agriculture companies, promoting high fructose corn syrup. I’ve even seen people defending obesity by claiming that it’s genetic and therefore unavoidable. Give me a break!
“It’s the fault of the fast food industry.” This is complete and utter nonsense! Nobody is forced to consume the high fat, high salt, low nutrient crap that passes for food at most fast food joints! Further, you can’t blame any company for selling what the public clearly wants. Some say that fast food is cheaper than eating good, wholesome food. They are wrong! If one shops wisely and factors in all the medications that won’t be needed to treat obesity related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, good food costs the same as or less than junk food.
“It’s big agro pushing HFCS on us.” Well, here’s a radical idea: put down the soda pop, and any other processed food (another subject for a different day) that contains excess sugar including pasta sauces, low fat yogurt, and commercially made breads. If you start to read the labels before you buy, you will be surprised at just how pervasive this stuff is. It is true that it’s the go to ingredient for many food producers because it’s comparatively cheap. But-and this is important-it’s not the fault of anyone except the person eating this stuff that it ends up in their mouth!
“It’s genetic.” While it is true that genetics may predispose someone to obesity, it does not guarantee that obesity is inevitable. Being predisposed to something simply means that unless steps are taken, a certain result will occur. (For example, I’m of Norwegian heritage so I’m predisposed to sunburns unless I use sun block.) Factors like lack of exercise and poor nutrition play a bigger role than genetics in obesity rates. People who blame obesity on genetics might as well say they are fluffy or “big boned”-which is patently false as our skeletal structure has nothing to do with adipose (fat tissue) accumulation. This is nothing more or less than plain old excuse-making so that personal responsibility can be avoided.
And that is the real issue that gets under my skin: people who won’t accept responsibility for their own actions! If someone is overweight or obese and asks for my help, I’m there for them. I’ve been fat and unhealthy and I know both what that was like and how to do something about it. I now eat sensibly and exercise six days a week for at least an hour, usually with P90X or another Beachbody product. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible by any stretch of the imagination. Conversely, if someone makes excuses to me, and they won’t put down the damn fried chicken, Twinkies, and Coca Cola, I have zero sympathy for them.
Who is at fault for obesity in America?