May 10, 2009

Next subject: Why are Americans so fat?

It's summer in Europe, so the annual migration of obscenely overweight Americans has begun. That's when I really notice it. The Brits are getting fatter and fatter every day too, so it's harder to distinguish Brits from Yanks. But not really.

Now that the economic lie has been exposed, maybe it's time to expose the food lie.

I love McDonalds. I'd probably love crack cocaine too. But damn, that stuff will kill ya, so I stay away.

I sense a change coming though. I may be too optimistic, but maybe the economic collapse will make people want to get back to basics, including what they eat.

Anyone growing their own food?

Anyone saying 'no more' to the processed crap?

Anyone trying to get their inner caveman on?


Lost Cause said...

You mean, besides Gregg Swan?

Andrew from Russia said...

So here goes my contra-contrarian rant on food safety:

I love McDonalds. I'd probably love crack cocaine too. But damn, that stuff will kill ya, so I stay away.
McDonald's/KFC/younameit exist all over the world, yet only the US is overweight. If I were out looking for funny correlations, I would rather correlate the percent of population possessing a driver's license with the percent of overweight population. It seems one can't drive/ride a "healthy" vehicle unless the vehicle is "human-powered".

Anyone growing their own food?
The last time I did, it was in early 1990s. That is, to solve a logistical problem rather than a food-safety problem. :)

Anyone saying 'no more' to the processed crap?
I would rather say "no more" to raw crap, no matter how "organic", if that requires amateurish home cooking. For one, processed crap is a huge time-saver. It is produced in safe and efficient industrial equipment rather than 19th century utensils. It also bears factory markings disclosing its nutritional value for the calorie-obsessed.

One topic not touched here, though, is the intentionally stupid, heavily-lobbied-for product marking rules in the US. I mean those big screaming labels like "Sodium 0 mg, cholesterol 0 mg" (as found on a pack of tea), and the conflation of "natural" with "natural substitute" (this is "safe" but dishonest). The Russian regulators have chosen the EU marking which is by far more informative (requires to reveal the entire composition down to minute ingredients) and rigid (employs a uniform legend instead of arbitrary statements as if 0% cholesterol content in a vegetable product was a surprise).

keith said...

Andrew, the men in your country die earlier than almost every other developed nation, mainly because they're poisoning themselves with processed alcohol.

And here's the list of McDonald's per capita, with the USA far ahead of most other nations:

I'd encourage you to challenge your beliefs. You've got some learnin' to do comrade. I love your country, but you're in even worse shape than the US. And unless you understand what's happening and why it's happening, especially in your land, you won't be around here to comment much longer.

Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

It's the new culture of "athletics". Video games vs. The real thing.

Look at the kids.

Most kids had/ate crappy diets in the 70's but we rode our bikes and played our sports instead of sitting on our asses pretending to be Michael Jordan, Tony Hawk or other superstars portrayed in their video games.

When I was growing up, you would "mimick" your sports idols by going out, playing that sport, and for a moment, you would pretend you were that "pro" be it basketball, skateboarding, baseball etc. but you were actually doing something.

Fat ass parents would rather relive their youth playing video games with their children rather than going out on the driveway and shooting some one-on-one.

Plus, you can't "snack" when you are actually playing the sport.

Remember Little League?


We'd play our asses off and have a few orange 1/4's during halftime.

Andrew from Russia said...

Andrew, the men in your country die earlier than almost every other developed nation, mainly because they're poisoning themselves with processed alcohol.Right, except that "processed" (and that must be a scary word!) has no meaning here - it's the abuse of alcohol in volumes comparable with "quantitative easing" and/or intake of contaminated, technical-grade ethanol.

And here's the list of McDonald's per capita, with the USA far ahead of most other nations:Still, Moscow has them in numerous locations, and they're usually crowded. The obesity pattern did barely bulge with the advent of fast-food solutions. Actually I would prefer them anytime to the old Soviet "cuisine" which had twice-per-year poisoning as a norm.

I'd encourage you to challenge your beliefs. You've got some learnin' to do comrade.I already did. What alarms me from the very beginning is the FUD language used in 90% of fast-food-bashing "research". Obviously the target group is the slice of population who scored poorly in high-school chemistry and biology (and that's the MAJORITY of population!) Any mention of "sodium" is enough to keep this target group awake at night. Not convincing although there are valid concerns e.g. about trans fatty acids.

That's why I say "contra-contrarian". I'm informed about the "inconvenient truths" and find them gaining growing popularity - but I would reject the most of points made. It's not the fast food that is "junk", the problem is, on the one hand, far more delicate (potentially harmful substances that could not be ruled out in 100% organic, home-cooked stuff as well), and, on the other hand, far more dull - reduced to the boring old task of balancing the calories you consume vs. the calories you spend, no matter what the "experts" say.

keith said...

Funny how much we looked forward to those orange slices

Man, times have changed.

Spoiled, fat and lazy. If there's gonna be a change, it'll have to come from the kids. They're parents are hopeless.

Mike Hunt said...

OK, a couple of points.

Hunter gatherers world wide would mean our population would be less that 1 billion globally, not the 6+ billion we have today.

But for high population density and long life expectancy why not look to Japan for guidance? People there outlive other countries and health problems run lower. Still have heart disease and diabeties as people get older but less obesity than the US. Most meals are balanced high protein (seafood) with starch (Sticky rice, root vegetables).

Sadly for me I am a vegetarian by choice because I do not like killing animals. But this diet is very carbohydrate rich and even though I exercise daily I carry a bit of extra weight. If I had the chance of hiking 20 miles once a week I'd be in better shape but alas it's not meant to be based on where I live today.

Food choices are important. Pay attention, people!


jim said...

"McDonald's/KFC/younameit exist all over the world, yet only the US is overweight. "

Yep, but a lot of other places, portions are smaller. I'm in japan, and the wendys burger here is half the size. Same with fries and drink.

onemanstrash said...

i live in Souther california. Silverlake to be exact. It is hipster central. Rents are about 900-2500 for a 1bd. I'm paying 460 for a 1 bed with hardwood floors and parking. I also get 200 off for managing the 12 unit building.

I have been growing herbs and vegetables now for the past 5 years in preparation for the coming collapse of business as usual, GMO's, pesticides and processed foods.
It is so easy. Drip hose, timer and mulch. I grow vegetables and herbs in the beds in the front. I try to grow only heirloom varieties. I share with the other tentants. I also have a 15x15 lot at the community garden near by in the Franklin Hills at a Private French school where i grow things that don't need constant attention.

For now it's just for fun, but i'm ready if we have to do it for real. I try to teach anyone that is interested..there are more and more everyday now.

I also ride my bike everywhere. I can match car speeds when it is clear and beat them when there is traffic. I started racing and i'm in the best shape i've been in my life. My truck wouldn't start at first because it has been sitting so long. I just finished a 100 mile race at night through los angeles with 40 other guys and it was awesome.

THere is a groundswell of people getting ready for change here. They see that they are fat, angry and isolated. Then they see these skinny, young and good looking kids riding in packs of 40-1000 people through the streets on bikes. Now all the fatties with hummers are looking into getting bikes. Fine by me.

I've lost about 10 pound and now i can sustain about 29 mph on my road bike on the flats. I've used your previous blogsite as the source for my knowledge of the impending crash YEARS before it happened lol.

THank you Keith.

work-it-off said...

"If I had the chance of hiking 20 miles once a week I'd be in better shape but alas it's not meant to be based on where I live today."

I lost 72 pounds-- and maybe more since muscle is heavier than fat; I did it by buying a nice 95Xi elliptical trainer. I also own weighted bars, a rowing machine, a BOSU, a bicycle, a stability ball, a total trainer, hand weights. a yoga mat and videos.

I use the 95Xi the most since it requires about 1000 calories an hour and I typically achieve 600 to 750 calories in about 40 to 50 minutes.

In my case, I was creating happyness by overeating. At this point, I've added piano playing and exercise into my life and have a BMI around 24 instead of 34.

FYI: Charles Hugh Smith (of two minds) posted some interesting statistics; they suggest that 23% of us in the UK and 30% of us in the US have a BMI of greater than 30.

Anonymous said...

Andrew from Russia is right!

Anonymous said...


Life expectancy of the 'healthy' hunter gatherer was mid 20s.

it may surprise you but people in 'fat' America having been contiguously increasing life expectancy and over all health.

Overwhelming majority of mom and pop European restaurants are living breathing health hazards, compare to strict guidelines on franchised restaurants.

keith said...

Here's the problem with the "cavemen died in their 20's" argument

They lived in caves
They had no access to healthcare
They could be eaten by bears and lions
One infection and they were dead

Get it?

So, you take today's medical marvels, add to it a natural diet, instead of processed high-sugar crap, add in exercise like a caveman, and presto.

Easier said than done, but something to strive for.

Or you can just go get a twinkie, smoke some cigs, play video games, and die. Life has to be lived, and life without twinkies and cigs may not be much, so you choose.

I think there's a balance somewhere in between.

Anonymous said...

yes, I became interested in nutrition 40 or more years ago when my children were small. I am happy to say that my children (one an organic grocer and one a raw food proponent) followed suit. However, their children are seduced by the junk food. And they are all but one (the tai kwan do expert) not chubby but fat. This makes me very sad. I have to say though that it is not just the quality of food but also the quantity and the snacking. Carbs, sugar and grease. My own diet is largely green leaves and other vegetables and fruits from my organic garden and I am one of the few women I know in my sisties that is not fat.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that interesting. Before I raised my plump cheeks this morning, I thought to myself: why was everyone [pretty much] a normal weight in the 1950's-1970's]? If you doubt me, look at reruns of American Bandstand and Soultrain. I thought of myself as plump in 8th grade, but actually I wasn't, just developing.
5'3", 127 pounds, medium build. I've never been greatly obese, but hit 171 pounds during my menopause years, and am now 150, having put back on weight [which I had lost] since moving to Colorado where I don't walk as much, because the altitude kicks my butt.

I remembered pretty well what our menu was: oatmeal or toast and scrambled egg and milk or juice in the morning and a sandwich, piece of fruit, milk [I like milk], maybe a cookie or 2 [only, and homemade]once in a while.Carrot sticks. We didn't bake sweets often. Dinner was one protein serving, salad and or veggie, and rice, noodles or potatoes for dinner, and milk. Grownups had coffee, but even that was in lesser amounts than nowadays.

We didn't get seconds for the most part. Snack of cheese slice or fruit or ice cream sometimes in evening. Small and portioned. There were 5 of us to feed. Stepmom was rigid..In summer we had root beer and ice cream for floats now and then.

Dad was self employed and food was delicious as SM could cook. It was all from scratch. Dad was firm about that. We never felt we had quite enough, always wished there was a bite more, but after 30 minutes we were fine. We walked to school, there were no vending machines in cafeteria, food cooked on site, things like spaghetti, or chili, or hamburgers, etc. In short, we didn't eat all that much. We went to the movies on Friday with money for one treat; up to us: popcorn, candy, pop.Only enough for small size.

So this morning I fixed a measured amount of oatmeal, put less sugar than I wanted on it, threw in a tablespoon of raisins and put on less milk than I would and ate it.
Sure enough, it's an hour later and I'm fine. So I figured I'll try copying my 8th grade menu.
Less than I want, keeping enough aside to share with everyone, and walking the distance equivalent to the school or library or my friends house from those days [about 10 blocks out and back] and call it good.

What I get is, no one has any idea of appropriate in so many areas of life, or when are you taking too much of anything, more than you need, that I sometimes wonder if this time we are coming out of wasn't the Biblical "time of great ease"? I worry about people stressing because they will reach points where they do actually still have enough and won't recognize it. Thinking they aren't all right when they still are.

Not being able to pig out [I confess to guilt here] doesn't mean you're going hungry. It means you're going 'normal'.

Grandma pkk

SeattleMoose said...

Factory farming and pesticides allow our population to swell to unsustainable levels, concentrate animal waste and pesticide waste, and maximize profit.

Did I say maximize profit?

The centralization of ANYTHING is a bad idea. That goes for food production, government, banking, and anything else. Because it condenses power into the hands of the few and not the many. Self sustaining LOCAL societies are much more efficient and equitable. And left on their own, the populations would stabliize to "fit" what is available.

That would also mean no more world size banks and corporations sitting over us like bloated fat parasites.

The maniacal pursuit of "growth" and profits have ruined this world.

The world is becoming tired of being raped by greedy banksters and CEOs. That path is unsustainable.

I am waiting for the bio food corporations to finally @#$% up our food supply. I consider genetic tinkering with our food supply to be the greatest threat to humanity. Monsanto in particular is pure evil. Cheney willl probably end up on their board.

upon the swanney river said...

Put DOWN the McDonalds and step AWAY from the television!!!

Anonymous said...

it is calories in vs calories out.

a typical person can consume way more than they can reasonable burn off. only the select few who train and exercise full time for a living can burn off more than they can consume.

we eat too much. period.

sure, better quality would help but even using a pure "crunchy organic diet" you can still eat yourself to death.

food is just too plentiful here both "good" food and especially "bad" food.

December 2008

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Aussies of European ethnic descent, who are similar to white Americans in many ways, are not nearly as fat as a group. I know, because I've seen lots of both nationalities naked. I've had some 150-kilo Aussie patients, but not nearly as many as in the U.S.

Asians in both countries skew skinnier than Caucasians, although my unscientific memory recalls them being plumper overall in the U.S. Not many blacks in my hospital's catchment area, so I can't compare that to U.S. blacks. Aborigines and Pacific islanders, especially Maoris and Fijians, are bulky, but that's because thousands of years of natural slection under periodic starvation conditions favoured those with the "thrifty gene" that allowed their bodies to store extra fat in the good times. Modern nutrition means there's a lot of "good times" from a nutritional standpoint now.

So why are Anglo (and Greek/Italian/etc.) Aussies thinner? Food's the same here -- "Macca's" (McDonald's) are everywhere, along with KFC, Hungry Jack (what Burger King is called here) and pizza joints, fish 'n' chip shops, Coke, all the baddies. The food is here, but Oz has a different culture.

The national archetype for guys is the footballer, whether it's Aussie Rules, rugby or soccer. Not every bloke plays it, but that's the image of what's manly. These are running sports, even rugger, where speed means more than size. NFL, NBA, even MLB -- it pays to be big there. And like it or not, sports heroes are the ones who boys model themselves after. Face it -- how many American kids, and young men, buy Oakland Raider athletic gear and the like vs. the ones who get Lance Armstrong Tour de France jerseys? Not all Aussie guys stay fit, but at least looking like the footy stars is the goal they strive for.

As for women, it's also considered uncool to be fat. Their role models used to be tennis players, but now it's more singers like Kylie Minogue. Again, not all of them stay skinny, but they feel guilty if they're not. In the U.S., it seemed that the "It's OK if you're fat" ethos prevailed. That's a piece of political correctness I don't like.

Jayman01844 said...

horrible food, alcohol and no exercise. My grade school pictures from every year in the 60's show not one child that was overweight. What school could say that now???
The first fast food burger place came to town in 1974.(19083)

Anonymous said...

Did you ever watch fat people eat, and eat, and eat. It use to be called gluttony.

Anonymous said...

i like playing video games.

Bukko_in_Australia said...

One other thing -- if you're reading this blog and you're fat right now, do you have any idea how your life is going to end?

I'll tell you -- you're going to spend your last years lying in a bed shitting on yourself. Your knees will be crapped out and you'll have had strokes or heart attacks. Your gut will be so big that your weak legs and poor balance can't cope. You won't be able to walk to the toilet. You'll lie in a bed, in a hospital or a nursing home, pooing in the sheets or a nappy.

You'll have monstrous rolls of blubber on your abdomen, so big they fold over in an "apron" that covers your dick or pussy. Fungus will grow inside these skin folds. The flesh will get raw and oozy, and then it will start to rot as you're still living. And the smell! The things that happen when you're that large are a house of horrors.

Nurses like me will have to clean the faeces out of your folds. Teams of us will have to roll you onto one side as we scrub your voluminous arse and stuff the shit-stained sheets under your body, then onto your other side as we pull the old linen out and put on fresh stuff. But if you're in an understaffed American nursing home, chances are you'll be laying in your own filth for an hour before anyone gets to you. Is that what you want from life?

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, IF YOU'RE ONLY HALFWAY TO BEING FAT, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT NOW!I mean, I don't mind cleaning you up. It's my duty, and I get paid for it. My back would like it better if you were closer to normal weight, but I can deal with your future fatness. I'm mainly saying this for your sake.

Because if you're young, or not yet morbidly obese, you need to get serious before it's too late. Once the fat is on you, it's almost impossible to get rid of. Our bodies are evolved to hang onto it. I don't sneer at fat people, just shake my head in pity, because I know they're stuck.

I used to work at a hospital that did a lot of gastric bypass surgeries -- drastic operations, where they would open people up and splice the top of their guts onto the bottom part. (Medical people reading this, do not jeer at the oversimplification. Using terms like "ileo-caecal diversion" would only confuse a general audience.)It put these people into a state of permanent malnourishment, where they had to live on vitamins and nutritional drinks. They'd literally vomit if they tried to put too much food into what was left of their cut-away stomachs. But it was that or die. No one was approved to get this surgery unless it had been documented that they had been trying seriously to lose weight for years. But most people, even with willpower, can't do it. Slow metabolism defeats you.

Think of all that before you let yourself go any further. Do you really want your life to end with a future-Bukko or -Buckette scouring your fat arse?

tico said...

Obesity - Prozac correlation?

Obesity is a psychological disorder that manifests itself in inability to take care of oneself properly (self hatred/inadequacy). Then the fat bastards cry that it is a disease (uniquely American one I guess). Down in Rio right now.. No fat people!

mimi said...

You can't blame McDonald's - they are trying to offer healthier options - you do have the choice of getting a salad and/or a grilled chicken sandwich. If you choose the supersize combo - that's on you. But you walk into a grocery store in the US and 80% of everything you pass is just processed crap - the good stuff is only on the permiters of the store - fish, meat, dairy, produce - pretty much everything else in the middle is crap. With women working - there is less time for home cooked meals and more of a migration to pre-prepared/processed food - I don't think the UK is at the same level of women participating in the workforce outside of major cities. Also - when you have a city where everything is closer together and there is good mass transit - like London or even NYC - you have a lot more people walking instead of driving - there are lots of NYC women that are in fantastic shape - they may belong to gyms but they also walk everywhere. Most of us living in suburbs really don't have the option of biking or walking to work or even the grocery store. It would take me an hour and half each way to walk to my nearest grocery store. Add to that in poor cities/neighborhoods - sometimes the only place to buy food is a 7-11 or a small deli - you can usually buy a quart of milk but hardly ever a fresh piece of fruit and often the ring dings are cheaper than a banana. It's no wonder we can't afford national healthcare when we live in a society that encourages a lifestyle leading to heart disease and diabetes. If more people made living wages in the US - they might be able to afford the more expensive grocery store with an appealing produce section and might have more leisure time to make their own meals. I work very hard at staying thin and I do try to cook at least 3-4 nights a week - but the last thing I want to do when I get home from work at 6-6:30 is cook a meal. So much for "bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan" - my hubby can fry up his own damn bacon - he's just lucky I'm not always too tired to let him forget he's a man

degoboy said...

I live in LA( California). Everywhere i go i see overweight people both in the Hispanic immigrant population and in older middle-aged boomers. Men have more of this weight issue than Woman. Asians seem to have less weight problems overall than other races. Avoiding having a big boomer gut as you age is a big problem and has to be overcome only with strict attention to eating habits and constant exercise. I get mine by going to the gym and by going to the beach here in Scal and do beach running, surfing, kayaking, cycling 3-4 times a week. Also work on my garden plot and doing other assorted house & yard work.
The big problem is the proliferation of fast food outlets in Scal, which puts tons of fats and processed refined sugars into your system, and little or no veggies. Too many folks dine on fast food junk here in Scal.

Lady Di said...

Yeah, I made the switch several years ago to an organic, Mediterranean diet. My kids eat the same diet, and they're lean and healthy. Heck, my almost 13 year old girl is as flat as a board still from her hormone free diet. Have you seen how developed 12 years olds are these days? It's the crappy diet, people.

The next step for me is to grow my own - just haven't made the time for it yet.

stazone said...

food in the US is poisin. yes Americans have been dumbed down into eating for the tongue so you can't lay all blame on them. however failing to look in the mirror is the sole reason for their poor health, as individuals and as a nation.

Rontrell said...

Long periods of starvation, endemic parasitism, being mauled or killed by wounded prey, dying stranded and alone in some crevasse (Google "Otzi," for example) and a million other downsides of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle are conveniently omitted from this romanticism of the Neolithic age. Crop failures due to insects, drought, monsoons, cold, heat, and incompetence were also to be expected.

Modern agriculture has its faults, but the single greatest correlate with obesity is poverty. Most obese Americans are poor. Blaming the victim is no answer.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jul;82(1 Suppl):265S-273S.

The economics of obesity: dietary energy density and energy cost.Drewnowski A, Darmon N.

"Highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the United States are found among the lower-income groups. The observed links between obesity and socioeconomic position may be related to dietary energy density and energy cost. Refined grains, added sugars, and added fats are among the lowest-cost sources of dietary energy. They are inexpensive, good tasting, and convenient. In contrast, the more nutrient-dense lean meats, fish, fresh vegetables, and fruit generally cost more. An inverse relationship between energy density of foods (kilojoules per gram) and their energy cost (dollars per megajoule) means that the more energy-dense diets are associated with lower daily food consumption costs and may be an effective way to save money. However, economic decisions affecting food choice may have physiologic consequences. Laboratory studies suggest that energy-dense foods and energy-dense diets have a lower satiating power and may result in passive overeating and therefore weight gain. Epidemiologic analyses suggest that the low-cost energy-dense diets also tend to be nutrient poor. If the rise in obesity rates is related to the growing price disparity between healthy and unhealthy foods, then the current strategies for obesity prevention may need to be revised. Encouraging low-income families to consume healthier but more costly foods to prevent future disease can be construed as an elitist approach to public health. Limiting access to inexpensive foods through taxes on frowned upon fats and sweets is a regressive measure. The broader problem may lie with growing disparities in incomes and wealth, declining value of the minimum wage, food imports, tariffs, and trade. Evidence is emerging that obesity in America is a largely economic issue."

les said...

A recent study showed that 4 hours of labor a day will keep the weight off. 4 hours of actual labor not paper pushing or mouse clicking. The study had focused on the Amish. Despite having the "obesity" gene, people maintained healthy body weight thru labor.

xxxooo said...

"Get it??

So, you take today's medical marvels, add to it a natural diet, instead of processed high-sugar crap, add in exercise like a caveman, and presto.

Keith, I don't understand your point... Elephants have a possible lifespan of more than 70 years and whales have a possible lifespan of over 80 years.

Based on what I've read, hygiene is the most important reason why humans live longer these days.

Old age through health care make actually do bad things to the environment, etc...

les said...

I think we have a gross misconception of the life expentancy from past generations.

10 years ago I researched my genealogy. I was surprised to find how many of my relatives in the 1800's lived in to their 70s and 80s. But there was a lot more children deaths especially under the age of 5.

If one was to factor out childhood death, the life expectancy of the 1800s would be as high as that of modern society.

Plus, how many of our seniors spend the last 10 years cooped up, drugged up or bedridden.

wind solar and sugarsnaps said...

> The food is here, but Oz has a different culture.

We are the Ricky Lake, Oprah culture, everyone is a victim and there is no such thing as personal responsibility.

And THAT is the answer.

will shill for coin said...

I bought Harry Dent's book The Great Depression Ahead.

Here's a paragraph I though was interesting, and this is everything for us individually to get right.

> Stagflation will be the buzzword in 2009 as it is in 2008 among economists, just before the worst deflation crisis since the early 1930s. It's not that the government will not try to inflate its way out of this next crisis. It's that the massive write-off of real estate and business loans will outweigh those efforts and contract the money supply - which means fewer dollars chasing goods, or deflation in prices.

Anonymous said...

I never thought I would say it, but I wish I were Amish.

Anonymous said...

It is sad keith. I'm a stay at home dad and you can't believe all the fat cows that bring their kids to the park. They can't even bend over and play with their kids. Those kids don't stand a chance. Its all crap that they get fed (sugar drinks, chips and candy) One mother could not believe that my kids love whole wheat toast. Or you see a 4-5 year old kid strapped into a stroller being pushed by their whale of a mom. I let them walk and at the end of the day their are hungary for a good meal and fall to sleep. We really need to help the kids and the future.

Anonymous said...

Have greatly expanded my veggie garden this year past the typical tomato patch to include lots of greens, carrots, beets, turnips, beans in rotation and intend to freeze the extras. Totally off the processed stuff ... except for yogurt. I wonder what your video guy has against dairy? As long as its organic without rBST and other bad stuff?

Anonymous said...

Moved to Italy when I was 28 active male weight 210 after four years of eating everything in sight and drinking hundreds of gallons of wine, came back at 190. I don't know what that means, but I have kept eating like I did in Italy and have not gained a pound. I think it has to do with boxed food, soda pop and cheap beer.

keith said...

Italy amazes me. First course, the second, then an entree, then desert. People under 40 look great. And then BAM, they do turn into bowling balls later. Careful. But something to be said of natural foods.

And oh, man, is the food great. Best in the world by far. By far. I'd gain 100 lbs. to eat and drink like that every day. Screw it. Only live once.

I think the meediterraneans have it right though - salads, olive oil, meats, red wine, and walking walking walking.

Asians with the chop sticks are onto something too... slow eating. It may be inefficient, but it works. Slow down. Savour your food. Take an hour or more. Taste. Americans are in such a rush. And that's a shame, but with crap food I guess I'd be in a rush too.

fish R food said...

How very timely - I just finished putting in the garden this weekend. Of course, I only do tomatoes, peppers and a few herbs, but by July we should be rolling in the fresh and tasty veggies.

We love beef, but buy ours from a guy up the road who raises them in his front yard. Never pumped full of crap, not corn finished, and oh so good!

Anonymous said...

Daily commute here in Brazil, with my electric-powered skateboard, helps me burn a few:

More videos on the right side.

Anonymous said...

Yep, that European 2-pack a day cigarette diet makes them so skinny. It's a miracle!

long beach, ca said...

to agree with a previous post, the poor seem to be more obese and the wealthy seem to be more fit in america. healthier food is more expensive. all that fat and grease and high fructose corn syrup are cheap.

Anonymous said...

My goal is to eventually have a substantially self-sufficient home and property completely off the grid - kind of like a Monticello thing.

Unfortunately, however, as a result of the bubble in DC, I can only afford to rent a POS cardboard townhouse that has no land whatsoever.

Mike Hunt said...


You say the grocery store is too far away. If it takes 1 to 1.5 hours walking that should equate to 4 - 6 miles that only takes 20 minutes on a bike. So you can bike to get groceries. I used to do that when I lived in the US just to change it up- when I could fit two bags of groceries into a backpack.


The big danger of obesity is acquired diabeties, which is a killer in Oz and nearly everywhere else in the world. Painful too as your feet start to go numb. The risk of blindness is high as well!

I'm 6'2" and about 195 lbs. In the US I'd be considered thin or normal but I feel fat. My fighting weight is about 175 lbs but that means I need 3-4 hours of physical activity per day. Trouble is I live in a fucking hot city (Bangkok) where walking outside for more than 3 minutes makes you a sweaty mess. Impossible to do with work clothes.

My workplace is more than 1 hour drive from the city so I spend 2.5 hours each work day in a car. Plus 10 - 11 hours in the office. Pretty unhealthy already.

Still, I find time to work out 6 days a week but during the week my sessions are ususally under 1 hour. Here is a typical breakdown of workout activities:

Monday - run outside 7 km (4 miles), takes about 35 minutes

Tuesday - bicycle outside 25 km (15 miles) - takes a bit more than 1 hour on a cycling track.

Wednesday - run up and down the stairs in the condo. The building has 9 stories and I alternate walking and running for a total of 12 times the length of the building or about 110 stories. I came up with the 110 story run as a tribute to the WTC attack (the WTC had 110 floors each I believe)

Thursday - rest day

Friday - stationary bicycle 1 hour workout

Saturday- weightlifting 1 hour followed by a 30 minute treadmill run

Sunday - weightlifting 1 hour followed by 1 hour hard resistance on the elliptical trainer.

What's missing is the long workout 1-2 times a week that would normally be an 8 hour bike ride or an 8 - 10 hour hike in the mountains. Now that really helps keep the body fit!

Sadly Bangkok sucks for these activities. Best recreational activities here are being an alcoholic and screwing the horny locals in droves- both of which don't particularly get me fired up.

Been to Chiang Mai and biked into the mountains- that was fun!

It would be awesome to be a bike messenger in San Fran!

-Mike H.

Anonymous said...

Ever notice that most of the people that stand on the escalator all have big aft asses?

Mike Hunt said...

Oh and about the caveman diet-

Give me a box of soft baked chocolate chip cookies and a time machine and I'll become the king of the cavemen in one day.

I'm sure if cavemen tried the food available today they would kill before going back to the hunter-gatherer diet!

Our bodies haven't been able to keep up with our tastes.


Wind Farmer said...

Back when I was in high school I worked at a place called "Bun and Burger." The heaviest folks would always order a cheese burger, fries with cheese and a DIET soda. I believe diet soda causes obesity and diabetes. I believe it's addictive. There are so many people who just have to have their diet coke.

"An exciting new study in the Journal of Behavioral Neuroscience has shown conclusively that using artificial sweeteners not only does not prevent weight gain, but induces a whole set of physiologic and hormonal responses that actually make you gain weight."

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Mike H: Being a bike messenger in S.F. would be great if you're a masochist, or if you have a grudge against your knees. I used to ride my bike to work there. It was cheaper than paying to park my Fiero, but my main motivation was that it allowed me to brag about what a good Greenie I was.

The hospital was only about 3 K away, and it was straight down on the way in from our house on top of Mt. Sutro. Great fun going in, except for the time I dumped the bike on a slippery Muni track and broke my left hip. Four months off work -- thank goodness the California state government gives good disability payments!

Going home was pure hell. There was a 200-metre difference in elevation between hospital and house. 200 metres is nothing if you're moving horizontally, but after 8+ hours walking around a medical ward, it's a bitch to pedal that vertically.

Our hill had lots of "public stairs" on it -- like sidewalks going up the side of the hill, with concrete steps. I'd usually sling my 30-lb. bike across my shoulders and walk up -- 167 steps on the first flight, 188 on the second. Every one is burned into my memory.

Riding after midnight through junkie alley at the end of Haight Street and Golden Gate Park was always... scenic. Never met a freak I couldn't outrun, though. S.F. is COLD, in a wet way, with those wind-driven fogs that are so thick that the water precipitates off the eucalyptus leaves and rains down on you. You keep moving or you start to grow mould.

The whole thing kept me so fit it almost killed me. I reckon saying "I'd like to be a bike messenger in S.F." is like saying "I'd like to drive a truck delivering explosives to the mines in Appalachia because of the beautiful scenery."

Anonymous said...

When I stopped eating processed foods--most packaged items that don't have whole grains as the first ingredient--I finally lost the extra 20 lbs. I've lost and gained over and over most of my adult life. And it has stayed off these last 6 years. I tell everybody---this is the True Secret to weight loss. Don't let industrial agriculture into your life anymore than necessary. Whole foods as much as possible. If you eat the amount of fresh produce you need, there simply won't be room in your stomach for the processed crap. If you have to have some candy or ice cream occasionally--or a beer--do it after you've filled up on fresh produce and dairy, whole grains, legumes--for the day so that you won't and can't go overboard. Good food drives out bad!

gutless and lazy-more fit than you said...

eq1: Why are Americans fat?
It's sick society that promotes poor lifestyles that includes excess stress and poor values.
The sick society is primarily highlighted by a culture that is dominated by business and profits. Just look at the supermarkets. 90% of the items there are bad for you, crap and junk, yet they are heavily marketed and promoted. Is it any wonder that most Americans KNOW it's bad for them, yet they eventually give in the to marketing pressure and BUY. So we have a culture that puts profit OVER health. PLUS, there is an enourous amount to stress and pressure in U.S. culture (work mainly), and it's a natural human reaction to over eat when they psychologically constantly feel threatened. Ultimately, poor values come into play. When heavily pressured (marketed 24x7) to buy junk food, they give in.

Note: Weight is 80% diet related, not excercise related. If you dont believe that, go to any gym. You can see people working out 1 hr a day, every day, on cardio work, but if they don't change diets, they loose minimal amounts of weight.

q2: Anyone growing their own food?
A2: Yes, me. Raised boxed garden beads. It's fun. It's freasher. And you know exactly where it came from.

q3:Anyone saying 'no more' to the processed crap?
A3: Yes, my family. An easy aid is to just buy from the perimeter of the supermarket.

q4:Anyone trying to get their inner caveman on?
q4: Yes, me. I love to grill. Our normal diet is high protein, low carbs.

Note: Weight is a poor KPI. A better measure is percentage of body fat. We are 11% or less.

Bottom line: Dieting does work. A change in lifestyle that reduces stress, and a complete change in perm. diet is required to have a lean, strong body.

See: for an effective workout lifestle.

gutless and lazy -eats better said...

A Crossfit diet for life:

gutless and lazy-supersize THIS! said...

Regarding fast food... It's not the burgers that get you.

Its the fries and the Coke/Pepsi with 20 spoons of sugar in it.

But as far as I'm concerned, fast food = poison.

gutless and lazy said...

Ultimately Americans are fat because they are unhappy.

They feel unfulfilled and empty inside because our society and culture is SEVERELY lacking.

So they try to fill their emptiness by over eating, which ironically, just makes them even more unhappy.

Our diet and obesity is just a cultural symptom. We are sick and overweight, because out culture is sick. Get it now????

gutless and lazy-takes no prisoners said...

Crossfit is everywhere:

even in hot, 3rd workd hell holes like Australia, Bangkok and Scottsdale.

Now quit finding excuses and get fit.

Michael said...

I dropped 20 lb. since Mid February (which scares me, because I thought I only needed to lose 15 lb.), mainly by cutting down on the eating out everyday and eating a lot more vegtables (and hence less processed foods). My alcohol comsumption, I can happily say, has little changed.

Our modern diet isn't exactly healthy, but it's not any one thing. No one every died/got sick because they went to McDonald's once in a while, they died/got sick because it became a lifestyle.

It's an example of a seeming good thing gone bad. Processed fast/food started as a good thing (readily available alimentation) simply gone too far. Cut down on the processed stuff, the sugar and highly refined carbs, elimate artificial trans fats COMPLETELY, and watch a nation get healthier.

Oh, and don't eat too much.


Anonymous said...

Buh buh buh Europeans and ultraliberals, especially from California, never criticize the obese Barney Frank, Bill Richardson, Michael Moore, Ted Kennedy, Charles Rangel, etc, etc, etc. So is it OK when ultraliberals are as fat as Jabba the Hutt?

Anonymous said...

Based on what I've read, hygiene is the most important reason why humans live longer these days.You're right. Flossing is one of the secrets. See, if you don't floss constantly, the residuals with bacteria break down your system through millions and millions of tiny infections. As your immune system constantly fights those infections off, it gets weaker and weaker, thus reducing your life expectancy.

I must floss 6 times per day minimum. I always have it with me.

Mike Hunt said...


Thanks- I'll look into cross fit Bangkok.


I respect your opinion since you actually lived in SF. Soulds like you had a great place with a fantastic view. Seems like it would be hard to give that up.

I didn't think easy biking hurts your knees, though your knees get killed by high impact like running. I did a 100 mile bike race and about 60 miles in my knees started to hurt but other riders told me it's because the setup wasn't optimized.

If you moved back to SF city, what area of the city would you recommend? I thought that the North & West parts of the city are more rainy. Gotta love the bay area microclimates.

I'd like to know the areas of the city with the best weather (least rain), good views and away from the ghetto.

Thanks Bukko!


les said...

Ranch dressing

I've seen people dip their pizza, fried chicken, hamburger, and every deep-fried food imaginable in it.

Those that love ranch are usually fat.

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Mike: I liked where our house was, on the west side of Mt. Sutro, because we had a 180-degree view out over the ocean. But it caught the full force of the blowing fog. Kinda mystical, the feeling of being in seething mass of air/water, like a mix of two of the "four elements." But if you don't like rain, stay away from anything west-facing, and avoid the Sunset District. (Should be called the "Fog District.") Richmond is better, but still foggy.

Bernal Heights, the Mission, Hunter's Point, Tenderloin/Downtown, even trendy SoMa -- full of ghetto crims and freaks. Castro's OK, but I wouldn't want to live there because I'd be a minority, if you know what I mean.

If you have hella money, St. John's Wood, Pacific Heights and Russian Hill are excellent. You'd be surrounded by rich S.F. elitists, though. Many people would consider me one, but I can't stand those people. Too fey.

You know where I like? Diamond Heights. Right in the centre of things, high enough so you get good views and slightly less fog, plus it's not full of yuppie arseholes. I mean, they're there -- it's San Francisco, after all -- but there's still working class people. Neighbourhoods need some "real" people to keep them from becoming all jerky.

Who knows? We may move back to S.F. After the collapse has played out more. If there's not societal breakdown and anarchy. Maybe in a decade. If we're not dead-broke, or just dead. Meanwhile, I try to live life with the philosophy of "enjoy the ride, don't just focus on the destination."

Mike Hunt said...


Thanks for your insights. I'll keep that in mind- still a few years before moving to S.F. but it would be a great city for my wife & I. Maybe after the next big one...

I'll look into Pacific Heights. If I see you there I'll be glad to buy you a Fat Tire (CO beer) or something like that.



gutless and lazy said...


I didnt read all the threads, but I lived at 1966 Pacific Ave for 13 years. Pacific Heights. A condo. Sold it in 1995. Not far from the corner of Pacific and Gough. 4 blocks up from Cow Hollow. I loved it. It's quite, nice neighbors. It's 4 blocks up from Union St. Presido park & golf course not far away. You can walk in 5 mins to everything there on Union St. Sports bars (The Bus Stop), 2 sushi places, an old theatre, etc. If you stop by City Nails where I got my hair cut, tell Annie that "Pac Heights" Chris said hi.

Mike H. said...


You still out in the Bay Area?


gutless and lazy said...

Hi Mike,

Nope. I got out of CA in 1995, just in the nick of time. I live in Mass. now but I am the process of moving to RI now. I miss the ocean.

gutless and lazy said...

Correction. I meant 2005, not 1995.