The CDC says in reference to obesity "American society has become 'obesogenic,' characterized by environments that promote increased food intake, nonhealthful foods, and physical inactivity. Policy and environmental change initiatives that make healthy choices in nutrition and physical activity available, affordable, and easy will likely prove most effective in combating obesity."
Pity the poor glutton who sees far more propaganda urging him to Super Size It than to Eat Right. Once our bellies get stretched to accommodate larger portions, a vicious cycle kicks in. We eat more because we have a bigger hole to fill.
TV commercials are a good example of corporate irresponsibility.
How many car commercials have you seen that show people driving safely at moderate speeds? Almost none. The vast majority show drivers, with no other traffic or pedestrians around (an unnatural, uncommon condition), speeding and whipping around like lunatics. Car manufacturers convey what they consider "excitement" via acting out a death wish.
A similar thing occurs in food and restaurant commercials. Huge sandwiches, with triple bacon and cheese, are shoved in your face, with skinny people wolfing them down.
"I'm starving" has become a sick joke, a silly phrase that merely means "I haven't eaten for a few hours and my stomach is rumbling". It makes me cringe when I hear someone say "I'm starving", because it's a cruel mockery of people in poor areas who really are dying for lack of nourishment.
With all our excess fat, most Americans, and I include myself in this assessment, could probably survive for months without a meal. We are the Overfed. The USA is the only nation in the world where the poor people are obese. In all other countries, poor people are thin or emaciated, withering away. Americans are drowning in blubber.
I've noticed that every restaurant, especially fast food joints, dumps tons of salt on the french fries. We know that salt, sugar, and fat are killers. So why do they pour enormous piles of salt on the french fries? To make them taste better? It's insane.
Healthy eating campaigns aren't working. There are still too many movies, sitcoms, and commercials showing dainty glamorous (or thin regular people) chowing down on over-sized mounds of food.
Take a look at the graph above. It's not just Americans, though we lead in the over-consumption of frivolous goods and fatty foods.
Yes, the "Eat Healthy" campaigns are all dismal failures.
Why? Because ...
(1) they don't have enough celebrities in the ads
(2) peer pressure
(3) kids bossing their parents around and demanding Happy Meals
(4) junk food commercials continue to distort reality by showing skinny models eating huge sandwiches and salty fries
(5) TV food commercials appeal to the lower animal instincts, rather than reason and rationality
(6) Fast food restaurants supplanting local dietary culture in developing nations
(7) Worldwide emulation of the "fat happy American"
(8) Comfort food (fattening and sweet) increase in consumption due to bad economic policies and home foreclosures
(9) Failure of Hollywood to glamorize the ascetic, frugal, self-controlled individual
(10) Perception that fatty, salty, overly sweetened foods are somehow "patriotic" and "not weird like tofu"
(11) "Big is Better" myth (you must keep increasing the size of your income, family, online social network, home, car, land, etc.).
CDC Fruits and Veggies Matter
CDC Obesity and Overweight
CDC US Obesity Trends by State
Obesity 2010 Conference
Jamie Oliver Food Revolution
AJC "Campaign Encourages...Healthy Eating"
Australia "Go For 2 and 5 Campaign"
The Root "Michelle Obama's Healthy Food Campaign"