Someone Is Not Telling the Truth – Is It You?

by DavalosMcCormack on January 15, 2010

You may have heard a fanfare of trumpets the other day when it was announced that obesity levels in the US have flattened. Not fattened. Flattened. That doesn’t mean obesity levels are going down, only that they are no longer going up. Two thirds of American adults and one third of American kids are still either overweight or obese but the fact that those numbers are holding steady is being seen in some quarters as a reason to celebrate. Celebrate! As John McEnroe would say “You cannot be serious!”

And if they are serious then perhaps a new study will make them think twice because it gives an even more bizarre twist to this whole story. The study says eight in ten people in this country say they are in control of their eating and have a healthy relationship with food.

What planet are we on folks? Millions of Americans are overweight or obese or even morbidly obese (and let’s face it, anytime you have to put an adjective in front of the word obese because by itself it doesn’t describe how fat you are, then you know you are trouble) and yet somehow  80% of people say they have a healthy relationship with food! Sure, just as millions of people have a healthy relationship with their spouse right up to the moment they divorce them.

But there’s a wrinkle to this. This latest study was done by the lovely people at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.  Anytime the makers of a weight-loss product (GlaxoSmithKline)  puts out a survey about people being overweight I am suspicious, might I even say a tad skeptical! But this was such an interesting piece of work I took a second look. The GlaxoSmithKline people did a telephone survey of more than 2,000 people over the age of 18. They found that:

  • 79% of people say they are “satisfied with the state of their personal eating habits”
  • But 67% admit to having poor eating habits at least every week, sometimes more often
  • 73% said while they are happy with their eating habits they think most other Americans have bad eating habits.

So either the telephone surveyors phoned just people who were skinny..or they found many people who are in denial!  Either way it makes no sense!

Essentially people are saying “OK, I over eat once in a while, once a week perhaps, maybe more often, ok, maybe once a day; but I’m fine it’s everyone else you have to worry about.”

There is a real disconnect here. Part of the problem may be that when we look around and if everyone looks like us we assume that we are normal. But if everyone around us is fat, and we look like them, that does not mean we are normal. It means we are fat. We have lost sight of what is normal, we have lost sight of what is healthy.

Maybe that’s the real reason why the obesity rate is stuck at “Gross”. We think it’s normal.

Oh, and the people at GlaxoSmithKline would be quite happy if you would like to buy their weight loss drug too.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Juana Guevara January 15, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Me included….I have a healty relationship with food but through my life I had a series of
unhealthy crash diets….I think my body hangs on to my weight because it thinks I am going to “starve” it again. I think one of our biggest issues in this society is exercise.

Few people get enough and I can understand why. When the kids wake up at 5:30 am and go to bed at 8PM and then there is lunches, laundry to do after that after working for 8 hours and an hour or two of commuting, baths, breakfast, dinner….there is no energy left for exercise. Our lifestyle haspoisened us. Let’s pay everyone to exercise for 30 minutes a day…all employers get a tax credit. All employers have employees do exercise like they do in Japan. All kids in school do exercise for 30 minutes. I bet we can bring our health up if simple walking becomes a part of our life.


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