There are some people who,
if they don’t already know, you can’t tell ’em.
This week I “learned:”
Many Americans have skewed perceptions when it comes to their weight, often believing they are thinner than they really are, even when the scales are shouting otherwise, a new poll finds.
30% of those who were overweight thought their weight was normal. 70% of those who were obese thought they were just overweight. The article goes on to point out that people are less likely to seek help and more likely to leave medical issues untreated if they aren’t aware they have a problem.
Why don’t people realize they’re overweight? Maybe because their pants size hasn’t changed:
via The Style Blog
(It’s not just men’s clothing, either. Last time I shopped at Banana Republic the woman told me with a perfectly straight face that they haven’t changed their sizing. Which is such absolute bull, because the size 6 I was trying on was a little big. I wore a size 6 ten years and 25 pounds ago– at Banana Republic.)
Also on my radar this week- the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) recently conducted a study that looked at fast food meals heavily marketed towards kids. I “learned” the worst is the McDonald’s Mighty Kids Meal (Double Cheeseburger, French fries, and chocolate milk), weighing in at 840 calories and 37 grams of fat.
I took The Dogness to the vet this morning. While they whisked him away for some tests, I read the poster on the back of the door. I learned that a dog is a healthy weight if his waist curves in towards his haunches and you can easily feel his ribs. Underweight if the curve is pronounced and you can see his ribs. Overweight if the waistline is undefined and you have to make an effort to feel the ribs. Obese if the waistline rounds out and the ribs are hard to find, under a layer of fat. The Dogness is looking a little, ahem, sturdy, but you can find the ribs by poking in a bit. The vet advised a little more playtime and a few less table scraps.
I’m not comparing dogs to people or anything, but it struck me that the principles were the same. I’m just throwing it into the mix because it made things so much simpler in my mind- I’m not trying to achieve a certain weight or a certain dress size, because then the focus is on numbers. I should work out and eat better until I lean out the fat that sits on my midsection- until my weight curves in and my ribs aren’t obscured- everything else will follow.
I learned this a while ago, but it seems relevant: belly fat, specifically, puts you at greater risk for diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and dementia.
Another random old fact: my daughter is in the lowest 5 percentile for weight. And every time the nurse reminds me that the table is skewed, that the “average” 6 year old is probably too heavy anyway. Is this medical fact or is the nurse trying to reassure me? I don’t know. I just thought I’d mention it.
What’s the takeaway here? Nothing we don’t already know: America is overweight and in denial; clothing suppliers use vanity sizing; marketing to kids is evil; my dog is a lazy bum and needs more exercise; I should play outside more and eat fewer table scraps.
What’s my point? My point, I think, is this:
These companies have no problem lying to us and manipulating our kids. On some level we are aware that it happens. What is really sad is the moment when we buy in and start lying to ourselves.
When people discovered that the cigarette companies were marketing to kids, they were outraged. And it was good. The marketing changed, and Philip Morris has to sponsor smoking cessation campaigns. AND, the attitude of the American public changed. You can’t smoke anywhere now, and when you do, people shake their heads in disappointment or give you dirty looks. People sure as hell don’t give kids cigarettes anymore.
Soooo… if we know that McDonald’s is bad for our kids, shouldn’t we quit buying it for them? And shouldn’t we hold fast food chains accountable for the targeted marketing they do, and health problems they help cause?
Where is the outrage?
Tap tap tap… is this thing on?