Ok, lets get rid of the obvious answer to this question. We eat to maintain our bodies, allowing us to grow and exist in the world. The more scientific answer is, we need energy to function.
Now lets think about the less obvious answers. Everyone knows that Americans, and actually most people in developed countries, are getting fatter. We Americans seem to be leading the way in this problem. In fact, here in my home state of West Virginia, we are one of the fattest places to live in the country, which means we are one of the more porky places to live on the planet!
Getting fat is a function of eating. In other words, eating too much or overly caloric meals causes us to get fat. So knowing this, why do we overeat? I have been told that some animals will eat themselves to death! I am wondering if that includes humans? Recently I was talking to one of my former students who is now a nurse, and she said it is routine to see at least one person a week at the hospital who weighs in at 600+ pounds, and there have been patients who weigh as much as 800 lbs!! Why would a person allow themselves to get that large?
Enough questions, let try and find some answers. Why do we eat too much? I think most of the time I eat because it is enjoyable, especially when it is a cream filled chocolate doughnut or a hamburger with all the toppings bulging out the sides. So tell me this doesn’t make you salivate, a tray of hot lightly salted french fries and a bottle of Heinz ketchup just waiting to be your friend. So tell me you are not salivating right now! I will bet your stomach is telling you to head for the kitchen stat!
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do that to you, but if you think the people who make this delicious stuff will apologize for making you want to devour more food, don’t hold your breath. Lets face the facts, we are a decadent society with way too much calorie rich food available to us. And much of the food that tastes really good is cheaper. Contrast this with the fact that a large portion of our people who do not have enough food, should I say nutritious food, are starving in a new and different way. Like most of us they would rather eat a chocolate, cream filled doughnut which does very little good for the nutritionally starved body. Don’t give me that stuff that you would rather have an apple, that is just the cerebral part of your brain attempting to overrule the survival part of your brain. The doughnut may provide you quick energy for your escape from a wild animal but…it will also make you fatter, which in the long term, will make your escape less likely.
Who do we blame for this dilemma? Is it us, the consumer’s fault for eating so terribly? Is it the manufacturer’s fault for making such delicious bad foods so that they can increase their profits? Is it society’s fault for not educating its population on proper nutritional lifestyles? Is it the demise of the family and the traditional family meal? Is it Micky D’s and all the other fast food vendors? Is it the scientist’s fault for not yet having a consistent answer on what is the best way to eat? Is it the medical profession’s fault for not being more insistent on their patients eating properly? Has government dropped the ball in enacting legislation mandating food be more healthy? Should TV only show healthy nutritional advertisements? The answer is oh so clear to me. Everyone is at fault! We are all in this together! The advent of a modern industrialized world has left us all grasping for answers to so many questions. The simple truth is, our society cannot afford to get fatter. The medical cost of this fat epidemic is going to bankrupt this economy! I am all for the introduction of a single-payer health plan but in order for this to work, we are all going to have stop our visits to Dunkin Doughnuts. Writing this has made me terribly hungry, I have to go find something to eat. You all have a good day.