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Old 06-12-2009, 10:03 PM
 
3,970 posts, read 11,825,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
Yes, yes I am.
LOL! One of the funniest exchanges on this site in a long time! Thanks.
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:29 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
12,391 posts, read 24,555,922 times
Reputation: 5662
# of fat people, serious. I have hosted about 40 people from overseas at my house, this is the #1.
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:11 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,120 posts, read 23,634,230 times
Reputation: 11611
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasTheKid View Post
I never suggested obesity isn't a bigger (so to speak) problem in the states than it is in Europe, but really, when it's 1 in 4 versus 1 in 6, the ratios really aren't that much different. Developed nations, with the exceptions of a few Nordic and Asian countries, are full of fatties exposed to processed, salty and excessively sweet "fake" tasting foods. It's the fruit of progress. And for the record, I rejected the claim that there were "no obese people in Europe," not that America wasn't the tubby capitol of the world. In a lot of countries, fat is the yardstick used to measure a person's success, so of course we've got the most. We're the wealthiest country in the world, it just stands to reason we're going to have the most lard bottoms.
Saying there are no obese people in Europe is silly--I agree on that point though I don't think the comment was supposed to be taken literally.

However, I don't agree that there isn't much of a difference between Europe and America when it comes to fatties on a number of counts as I find the difference between 1 in 4 and 1 in 6 to be a rather huge difference. It's a huge difference both quantitatively and qualitatively. 25% as opposed to slightly more than 16% is a big difference and plays out in big and numerous ways. Big! Qualitatively, that statistic is for people who have reached the clinical definition of obesity which is a flat cut-off; your chances of finding much more variation and much more severe cases of obesity here in the states than you will in Europe. Not only that, but you'll also find a lot more people here (percentage-wise) that are just plain ol' overweight but are at the cusp of being obese.

And that processed food deal does not seem to hold true for many of the countries I've been to or lived in--yes, they definitely have those foods as an option, but it does not look like they're being eaten as frequently or in the same huge proportions. It's also more than just the food we eat that's making this country a lardbath.

It's true that being fat has been equated to success, but that has been a hallmark of societies where people were much more hard-up on getting enough food to even survive. I don't think it's a particularly good indicator these days (especially since research bears out that fat people in developed countries correlates negatively with statistics associated with success such as personal happiness, poverty levels and income brackets), and it's outdated as are a lot of indicators used in the past that are pretty silly to use today (number of wives, number of heads taken, number of goats owned, the number and location of piercings and other body modifiers, the blackness of teeth, etc.).

In short, this country is awesome, but let's not make excuses for ourselves. And as a show of my patriotism and that you shouldn't have a knee-jerk reaction to this criticism as no one is really targeting you (TexasTheKid), I declare to eskercurve--you are fooling no one, American boobs are awesome.
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:13 PM
 
26,077 posts, read 28,478,940 times
Reputation: 24788
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granny Sue View Post
Maybe next time you can explain to them that the media only showed the bad parts.
Maybe next time you can explain that people ignored repeated warnings to leave.
Maybe next time you can explain that people showed up in masses to help.
Maybe next time you can explain that local government failed it's own people and by the time the federal government had a chance to get there everybody was blaming them
Maybe next time you can explain that there were just so many helicoptors and rescue vehicles and many many more people.
Maybe next time you can explain that this desperation didn't go unheeded like the media portrayed.
Maybe next time you can explain that some of the recuers came under fire from the residents there when they tried to help.
Maybe next time you can help them figure out a different plan.

Maybe next time you won't believe just the media.
Thanks for giving the other side of the story regarding the Katrina disaster.
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:22 PM
 
184 posts, read 783,630 times
Reputation: 127
Yes, obesity rates in the US are higher than in Europe but I think we need to be very careful trying to compare actual numbers between countries.

Firstly, when people cite actual figures they are generally refering to ones taken from the OECD factbook. The official OECD obesity rates are not all based on real measurements. Only rates from the US, the UK, New Zealand and Australia (and I think two other countries, but can't remember which they are) are based on real medical examinations of height and weight. The data from all other countries are based on self reported surveys (and you will forgive me if I don't entirely believe that everybody reports their actual height and weight accurately).

The other consideration is the number of people classed as overweight (BMI 25-30), versus obese (BMI 30+). The rates of overweight people in the US is comparable to (and in many cases lower than) most other OECD countries. It's not that Americans are more likely to be fat, it's just that of those who are fat they are more likely to be really fat and so pushed up into the obese category.

Overall, I would say that on average most people in Europe appear healthier than in the US (and healthier than in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the UK...) but the obesity numbers themselves don't really tell the whole story.

I'm not trying to excuse people being overweight. I think it is a serious issue that many countries need to deal with, I just think we need to understand where these statistics are actually coming from and what we can really interpret from them.
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:24 PM
 
26,077 posts, read 28,478,940 times
Reputation: 24788
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasTheKid View Post
I never suggested obesity isn't a bigger (so to speak) problem in the states than it is in Europe, but really, when it's 1 in 4 versus 1 in 6, the ratios really aren't that much different. Developed nations, with the exceptions of a few Nordic and Asian countries, are full of fatties exposed to processed, salty and excessively sweet "fake" tasting foods. It's the fruit of progress. And for the record, I rejected the claim that there were "no obese people in Europe," not that America wasn't the tubby capitol of the world. In a lot of countries, fat is the yardstick used to measure a person's success, so of course we've got the most. We're the wealthiest country in the world, it just stands to reason we're going to have the most lard bottoms.
I think that's only half true though...It seems the poorest Americans are most likely to be obese. Rich people are shopping at Whole Foods. Poor people are lucky to have a grocery store in the neighbhorhood, but have plenty of fast food outlets.
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
2,317 posts, read 6,884,577 times
Reputation: 1701
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
I think that's only half true though...It seems the poorest Americans are most likely to be obese. Rich people are shopping at Whole Foods. Poor people are lucky to have a grocery store in the neighbhorhood, but have plenty of fast food outlets.
And it's cheaper (and easier, especially for the impoverished) to eat processed, packaged CRAP that the big agribusiness companies make for us than it is to to cook a nutritious, healthy, wholesome meal with REAL unprocessed, organic ingredients.

Now we should probably get back on topic.
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:41 PM
 
44 posts, read 69,566 times
Reputation: 61
I havenīt been in america yet. Some things that shocked friends of mine who travelled to the USA as tourists or lived in the USA:

1) Obvious: Everything is BIG - The houses, the refrigators, the TVs, the yards, the cars, the streets, the shopping centers, the coffee, coke- and fast food- sizes, the belly sizes ...

2) No discussion: the very high number of fat and obese people. Itīs not a prejudice, thatīs just a fact!
That doesnīt mean that many american arenīt fat and donīt eat healthy - America isnīt only a fat, but also a sport nation

3) Hidden: The gap between wealth and poverty - wealthy, very clean suburbs, run down inner cities and crappy rural back roads and homes and the high number of homeless sleeping in rows

A friend told me, that american cities are cleaner than in Germany - he has relatives in a neighborhood in LA
Others told me, that rural america is poor and lacking infrastructure - they visited friends in rural PA
One told me that he took the wrong way with his car in NY in the evening. Everything run down, litter on the sideways, broken windows - he tried to get out as fast as possible.
A friend of mine - carpenter - was shocked by the low quality of many houses, cheap, but substandard houses; big suburb houses, that are built for only 10 or 20 years

4) Sad: small general knowledge, especially history and geography. I heard from more than one, that some people believe that Germany is still Nazi country or that Hitler is still alive. But maybe this are runnig gags that travellers tell as if it were prevalent. You can guess it better.

5) Crazy/stupid: A student in Texas noticed: gun- shooting of rednecks in the woods
Right- wingers trying to shoot illegals on the banks of the Rio Grande

6) Impressive: the multiculturalism based on "live and let live" - best sign for a group of muslim friends who went to NY: traditionell muslims and jews (among them zionist jews) live in neighbored quarters without (obvious) problems and intolerance!
They are proud to be americans AND proud of their religion, culture and heritage - this must be the solution for the integration of our migrants in Germany too.

7) Pleasant: the friendlyness and easy- going- attitude; in general to deal with americans is maybe easier than with us Germans
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:50 PM
 
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
13,856 posts, read 22,955,873 times
Reputation: 6679
Orwell noted way back that poor people were getting fat, but he had a slightly different explanation.

That being something like when you're poor you often want something pleasurable and stimulating to take your mind off things. (He was largely dealing with urban poor) Going home from your factory job to a miserable apartment makes celery seem less appetizing in a way. Movies, ballgames, even bookstores can all be rather expensive.

Granted my family was different so had music, conversation, etc. At the same time we also had doughnuts. I remember the trip to our friends bakery, when I was very little, for doughnuts and Coke better than many of my memories of being poor. To eat like an ascetic, when everything else in your life is already austere, can be very hard to manage psychologically. Although in times past the poor did more physical labor, which maybe balanced this better. Now many jobs, even for the poor, I think are rather sedentary. For that matter many poor are unemployed people.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:09 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,789,347 times
Reputation: 4125
Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanCiticen View Post
5) Crazy/stupid: A student in Texas noticed: gun- shooting of rednecks in the woods
Right- wingers trying to shoot illegals on the banks of the Rio Grande

6) Impressive: the multiculturalism based on "live and let live" - best sign for a group of muslim friends who went to NY: traditionell muslims and jews (among them zionist jews) live in neighbored quarters without (obvious) problems and intolerance!
They are proud to be americans AND proud of their religion, culture and heritage - this must be the solution for the integration of our migrants in Germany too.

7) Pleasant: the friendlyness and easy- going- attitude; in general to deal with americans is maybe easier than with us Germans
Yes, many British friends of mine have commented that when they first came to the USA they were absolutely terrified and one even got a license to carry a concealed weapon because they were all afraid that they would get shot! On the contrary the majority of the USA is a pleasant place to live and visit - most of the crime exists in concentrated centers of most major cities and you try to avoid them.

And the comment about the solution to integration of migrants in German ... I've noticed it is a huge problem in Europe on what to do with immigrants. Many policies are anti-immigration and there is blatant racism in everyday life (poverty and unemployment in France of blacks is something like 4x higher than any other group). This is partially understood since well ... Europe is home to Caucasian people and historically has been ... but at the same time if one wants to keep the economy healthy then one has to replace a falling, aging population with immigrants. You can't do both at the same time. Let's hope that one day we can all live together without these concernrs ...
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