A very weighty issue….

Everything about our fine country is overweight.  Everything.  From the bloated and obese Imperial Government (IG) to the idiotic hype over so-called reality TV, to the average American’s BMI.  BMI being the Body Mass Index; a simple ratio to height and weight that gives you a rough indication of your level of obesity.  Go check you BMI.

Obesity is a huge problem here in the States.  People are just plain fat.  And I don’t mean a little beer belly or that last post-baby 10 pounds, I mean disgustingly obese. So much so that airlines have standard policies for what happens if you can’t fit in your seat. Standard policies….. The shear volume of morbidly obese people actually acts as a justification for being that fat.  It’s like this….  If you wear something like this (photo below) to a Rotary Meeting you may cause a few raised eyebrows.  Maybe a polite, “What are you doing here?” from the Rotary President-elect all the way to free bracelets courtesy of the local police department.

*DISCLAIMER* The author is not responsible for what happens if you click the photo for a closer look.  Don’t do it.  Just walk away…. There is not enough mind bleach….

Yet, the exact same outfit at Comic Con and you win awards and are the talk of the town.

So here’s my point.  It’s all relative. Not to be confused with a singles bar in Alabama. Einstein had it all figured out with his Theory of Relativity. The concept of relativity carries into societal issues with the phrase, “When in Rome….”

<tangent> The phrase, “When in Rome…” is the number one justification for doing stupid things.  Just because you are in Bangkok, away from your family, doesn’t mean you can live it up like a drunken sailor. Simply being in a different environment doesn’t give you a free pass to be someone other than yourself. Unless of course you are a drunken sailor, in which case carry on. </tangent>

Here’s how social relativity ties into obesity….

The woman pictured above was confident enough to choose that outfit, put it on, travel somewhere while wearing it, and stood like a fashion model for this photo (not taken by me) because she knew that she would fit in with the rest of the crowd.  So instead of being disgusted at the idea of wearing something so hideous, she was encouraged to be even more extreme due to her surrounding.

Fat people do the same thing. The more fat people you are around, the less you notice you own obesity.  Let me repeat this….

THE MORE FAT PEOPLE YOU ARE AROUND, THE LESS YOU NOTICE YOUR OWN OBESITY.

Then it becomes ok that your are so flippin’ fat.

*DISCLAIMER* I am not the model of physical perfection. Recently my BMI placed me in the obese category. Since early Spring I’ve shed a good amount of weight and I’m not that far from my goal.  So I understand this whole being obese thing. I know what I’m talking about. *END DISCLAIMER*

I’m not fat, I’m big boned.

Actually, you are both.  Big bones covered with immense layers of fat.

There are a lot of reasons why people are fat.  I get this.  Not everyone’s bodies are the same. I understand that everybody has a different metabolism.  Righto. I also understand that there are a million rationalizations for accepting your fat as something out of your control. I have friends that could live at the Golden Corral (The Trough) and never gain a pound and others that gain a pound simply looking at jelly donuts.  I get it.  It’s not fair.  And contrary to what our sitting president (I say sitting because that’s really all he does, sits and occupies space.  Hmm.. Occupy White House…..) LIFE IS NOT FAIR. There is no fair.  There is justice, but no fairness. So deal with it.

Your own weight is entirely under your control. And in reality, it’s not weight that is important, but physical fitness.  While I have lost a lot of fat, I’ve also gained muscle weight due to exercise. Even though my net loss isn’t as great as I would like it to be, my level of fitness is considerably higher.

If you really want to see just how fat Americans are, visit a foreign country.  Go spend a week in Argentina (visiting Tiendos Belgrano and having the beef medallions with a pitcher of Sangria) and just look around.  Even though I am close to my healthy target weight, I was one of the fattest people I saw in three weeks. You will see more obese people in 5 minutes walking through Wal-Mart than you will see in a month in Thailand. (Highly recommend the Phi Phi Island Resort. Simply stunning)

So how does this fit, or not fit, into my usual rant on government waste.

Enter the National Institute of Health.  They love spending money. In 2009 the NIH spent $30,096,000,000, 2010, $31,089,000,000, and 2011, $$32,089,000,000.

*TWEET* Flag on the play. Overuse of commas in a single sentence. Roll clock *TWEET*

Check it out yourself.  Page 78 if the 2011 IG Budget.

Of that $32 billion spent in 2011 was $830 million to study obesity.  I just did that for free.  Why did we spend $830 million to study the obvious.

Quote:

Results from NIH-funded obesity-related research include:

  • Finding effective lifestyle changes that can be implemented in communities to reduce weight, lower risk factors for heart disease, and prevent or delay type 2 diabetes
  • Finding new targets and pathways for prevention and treatment of obesity, including the role of sleep, and how bacteria in the intestine may have an impact on obesity
  • Finding that exposure in the womb to maternal obesity or diabetes may increase the risk of obesity or diabetes in offspring, suggesting a critical period for intervention
  • Investigating genetic factors contributing to obesity and its complications.

End quote.

Let me boil this down…

1. Get off your butt. I don’t care how slim and sexy your World of Warcraft avatar is, you are still a fat pig.  Go outside.  Leave your parents basement.  Looking at a webcam of the great outdoors does not count.

2. Bacteria caused obesity? Really? How about, “Don’t eat so freakin’ much.  Worrying about bacteria caused obesity is like trying to sanitize Lake Huron with a gallon of bleach.  The easiest way to prevent obesity is to eat less, eat healthy, and exercise.

3. Maternal obesity? I would love to watch a snotty nose, academic from the NIH try and counsel a group of pregnant women about the potential risk to childhood obesity by being too fat during pregnancy. I would love to watch.  From a long way away.  Very, very, very, very long way away.

4. Genetic.  This is the vice grip of medical causes. You were born like this. Nothing you can do…  Sorry.  Or how about this…  Your parents are obese. Your parents made you.  There is a high chance of you being obese.  You will have to watch your food consumption and exercise more that kids from skinny parents.

*made in China

Yes, obesity is a big problem.  Any by big, I mean a lot of people have a BMI that looks more like the pollen count during Spring in Atlanta… But why did the IG feel the need to throw $830 million towards a study that is summed up in four bullet points that I could have done for free.  And did.

In Other News of the Ironic, Michelle Obama pushed for $4.5 BILLION in spending to feed more children because too many were “going to bed hungry.” Now their parents can spend more of their food stamps on Twinkies and Ho-Ho’s.

Whoops.

The only thing more bloated that the average American figure is the Imperial Government’s budget.

What would you do with $830 million?