Sunday, January 11, 2009
In an article yesterday, in The Washington Post, there were disturbing numbers posted by the National Center for Health Statistics stating that over 1/3 of the population of the United States is now considered obese. In other words, the statisics for 2005-2006 have indicated that 72 million adults are seriously over weight. Interestingly enough, the statistics showed that the per cent of Americans considered over weight has remained stable since 1980, but the number considered obese has doubled in that time.
We all know that obesity raises the risk of some cancers, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis
and other conditions.
Last week, I wrote a piece asking people "what they thought they actually needed to be happy". The consensus I seemed to get and is my own true belief is the more you have, the more you think you need to be happy and the converse, the less you have, the less it takes to make you happy.
I really think the statistics from the National Health Center are very telling regarding happiness in American society. I write a lot about food in this blog and I love good food, but loving food is about being able to taste it and appreciate it.
Like great pastry, the textures, the subtleties are what make it a totally different experience than eating Twinkie. If you go to McDonalds, you can get a huge milkshake...the last time I looked, they seemed to be almost 1 liter tubs. Most of the people who order these things injest them through a straw as fast as they can. What a different experience and esthetic it is to have a small gelati or granito and savor it.
The small serving of gelati satisfies on a number of levels, the giant Mickey D shake is gone in 60 seconds with out being really tasted.
It was ironical to read also today in the New York Times that the one business that hasn't seen a downturn because of the economic crisis in America was McDonalds.
This becomes a negative energy feedback loop. You eat fast because you think you don't have time. You eat more than you should quickly and you don't taste it. You eat more than you should quickly without tasting it and still don't feel satisfied. Because you still don't feel satisfied, you eat more.