You Can Never Be Too Thin
or Have Too Many Excuses Why You Aren’t
by Mad Dog
The International Journal of Obesity has come to our
rescue by publishing an article listing the Top Ten Reasons Why People
Are Obese. If you’re lucky, your issue isn’t as covered in indelible
orange Cheeto stains as mine is so you’ll be able to read it.
||It’s not easy finding
someone who doesn’t agree that Americans are getting fatter, though if
you do I suggest not getting into a heated discussion about it or you
might wind up with them sitting on you, which could prove your point at
the same time you concede defeat. Boy, talk about a no-win situation.
But what is debatable — not to mention a $46 billion a year industry
— is what causes the problem and what to do about it. Sure, we can
blame it on eating too much and exercising too little, but that’s so
simplistic and, after all, if there’s one thing Americans like more
than Krispy Kreme doughnuts à la mode with hot fudge sauce it’s a
multitude of excuses. Luckily the International Journal of Obesity (motto:
“Our fattest issue ever!”) has come to our rescue by publishing an
article listing the Top Ten Reasons Why People Are Obese. If you’re
lucky, your issue isn’t as covered in indelible orange Cheeto stains
as mine is so you’ll be able to read it.
The Top Ten list, which is actually
called “Putative contributors to the secular increase in obesity:
exploring the roads less traveled” because they didn’t want it to be
confused with a segment on the Late Show with David Letterman, was put
together by a biostatistician from the University of Alabama. Maybe now
his parents will stop asking if biostatistics is really a college major
and quit pushing him to enroll in bartending school “just as a
backup.” After analyzing over 100 studies that pinpointed reasons
people become obese other than the obvious diet and exercise, David
Allison came up with a list that includes getting too little sleep, not
sweating and shivering because we live in air conditioning and central
heat, smoking fewer cigarettes, and "assortative mating,"
which means birds of a feather mate together, perpetuating and
strengthening an oversized gene pool.
So what is their point? Simply that obesity is a complex
matter when you ignore the top two reasons it exists — too much food
and too little exercise.
Interestingly, supersized portions, the inability to say “no
thanks,” the invention of Twinkie burritos, and never getting up off
the couch except to get more Twinkie burritos didn't make the list. And
yes, there is such a thing as a Twinkie burrito. It can be found in the
new “Twinkies Cookbook” put out by Hostess and Ten Speed Press,
right alongside recipes for such mouthwatering delights as Twinkie
Lasagna and Pigs in a Twinkie, which are not to be confused with
Twinkies in a pig. Oink! Oink! This cookbook not only makes a great
present for the cream-filled sponge cake aficionado in your life, but is
a good diet aid, since after looking over some of the recipes I suddenly
feel bulimic. And I don’t even like Twinkies, not even when they’re
put in the microwave oven so they explode.
Obviously the people behind the Top
Ten Reasons People Are Obese list aren’t advocating that we sleep
more, shut off the A/C, take up smoking, and quit taking prescriptions
that can cause us to shed pounds while dying just so we can lose a
little weight. After all, if that was their intention they would have
given it a snappier title — like “Eat! Sleep! Smoke! And Lose
Weight!” — released it as a book, and spent a week as guests on the
Dr. Phil show reminding themselves over and over that if they punch the
obnoxious, sanctimonious twerp in the face it could hurt book sales. So
what is their point? Simply that obesity is a complex matter when you
ignore the top two reasons it exists — too much food and too little
exercise. I sure hope my hard earned tax dollars didn’t go towards
funding this. After all, you could buy a lot of Extra Crispy KFC for
that kind of money.
I’d rather eat three-year-old stale carb-free potato chips that have
been sitting on the shelf at the long vacant Carb-No-More store.
So what can we do to fight obesity? For starters, pick up our
cell phones. No, this isn’t a lightweight exercise program — heaven
forbid! — it’s MyFoodPhone, a new service that lets you send cell
phone photographs of your meals, post details about your blood pressure,
weight, and what you’ve been eating, then have Dr. Phil call you back
and be totally obnoxious and sanctimonious. Just kidding. Actually
you’ll get a personalized 90-second video every two weeks from someone
“trained by nutritionists” who will let you know that they’re
aware you’re not being honest with them. Personally, I’d rather eat
three-year-old stale carb-free potato chips that have been sitting on
the shelf at the long vacant Carb-No-More store.
There are other things you can do to
lose weight. Vow to only eat the $100 hamburgers being offered by The
Old Homestead Steakhouse in Boca Raton, FL (tax, tip, and $40,000 entry
fee to the Boca Raton Resort & Club where the restaurant is located
not included). At that price you’ll have to eat less. As in 5 percent
of the hamburger at each sitting so you don’t go broke. Or eat the
artificial pork meat Dutch scientists are growing from pig stem cells.
Hey, nothing says I’m not hungry like a test tube full of, well, test
tube steak. Or you could just sleep more, smoke more, and turn off the
A/C. Me? I’ll stick to Twinkie burritos. With guacamole and refried
beans, thank you. See, I just lost my appetite again.
©2006 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read them,
don't eat them.