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I rode a few rides at the amusement park sat., but since I was not with my family, I didn't go for the hardcore ride experience. I watched people for a fair part of the day and I noticed that MANY of them were obese. Not just carrying 5-10 pounds extra, but actually OBESE. I just did a quick search and found a statistic that claims 64% of Adults in the US are obese. I guess most of them showed up at King's Island saturday.

2 of the Dad's that followed the tour bus had the biggest bellies you'd want to see. 1 of them was prolly my age, and the other is younger for sure. I know that it took my utter disgust and then some great resolve on my part to lose my excess weight. What is it going to take for everyone else? our nation will be facing a serious health crisis with obesity-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease. some cancers appear to be related to obesity.

Anyone else find this discouraging too? or should i just keep my big mouth shut?

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Its a big time problem Steve, and it just seems to be getting worse all the time.
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Look at it this way- if everyone else dies of obesity......
More food for you. :?

Yes I do see what your talking about, especially at amusement parks.
My main thoughts were why do people insist on wearing skin tight closes, specifically belly shirts and low riding jeans, if they are about 20-25 pounds heavier than those clothes allow.
I carry a extra poundage and don't have a problem with people carrying extra weight, but I don't necessary want to see where you are carrying it.
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It is not the people's problem remember it is the fast food companies for not offering healthy choices
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I know what you mean Steve. My husbands niece is 19 and probably 300lbs. We went to a BB-Q the other day, and the whole time she was snarfing down 3 heaping plates of food she was talking abut going on a diet. People have to learn how to help themselves instead of blaming everything on someone else.
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There was a young lady (early 20's i'd guess) at gym this morning on a treadmill wearing very tights shorts and a top that showed off her gut. And a gut it was. She was probably 20 lbs overweight and the get-up she had on definitely showed off where the extra weight was located.
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Most of you know Grizzly from over at CR. He visited the US recently for a family vacation and then posted about it. It really bothered me that one of his observations was that a lot of (most?) Americans were overweight. I think it is really a shame that the impression we give as a country is that of over-abundance. Over-abundance about a lot of things though, the cars we drive, the homes we live in, the portions we eat, and of course, the size of our bodies. Another thing that bothers me is this idea that we are headed for a national crisis. I agree obesity is apparently out of control, but whose problem is it? I am really, really, really tired of the American mentality that nothing is my fault. There is no personal accountability any more. We are seeing the beginnings, and hopefully the failure of, litigation against food suppliers because the people stuffing their mouths have no self control and want someone else to blame. If people can't control themselves, and the government feels obligated to step in, what's next? What will the government want to control because the people can't control themselves? I don't like BIG government. I've always thought that the less the government intrudes in my life the better. But it seems as though I am destined for BIG government because the people in this country don't and won't take care of themselves. The more we, as people, refuse to accept accountability and responsiblity, the more power we give to our government to take over our lives. Afraid of John Ashcroft? Perhaps you should be more afraid of your neighbor.
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What a dilemna this is...and great points, Omega. Obviously, since we're all runners who try to be as healthy as possible, we'll probably all agree on this issue. Personal Accountability...something that can't be governed or enforced. Instead of being angry most of the times, I'm usually much more sad. Especially when I see my family members who I'd say that 3/4 of them fall into that category of obese. The ONLY problem I have with them is when some of them DO try to pass the buck...making them look only siller and more sad. :? I've talked to them alot about this. It's easy for us to point fingers and nod in disaproval but WE aren't the ones overweight and have the bad habits to battle every second of the day. Sure, we work our butts off and 'yahoo!' for us! But not everyone can be like us. And for those of you that did lose alot of weight, my hat goes off to you. I'm sure you'll be the first to say that it wasn't easy. But you had the drive and determination to stay positive, determined and look where it got you? But like I said, not everyone has it in them. Hmmm...forgot my point.
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Big 1 to everything above, ESPECIALLY the point that it is OUR responsibility as individuals to take care of our health, however the majority of people in this country either don't want to do the work involved or want an easy fix, i.e. Meridia, Xenical, Metabolife, etc....

It frustrates me to NO end that Americans as a whole seem to want it all, kind of what OL said about the overabundance thing. They want to be able to eat double quarter pounders with cheese, biggie fries and milkshakes AND be thin without having to work out or cut back on their portion sizes, take the time to shop for and cook healthy foods or at least make healthy choices when dining out. I think that's a really sad statement about our whole country and how high the entitlement factor is here. We have it all and still want more, yet we complain when our health and appearance suffers. I know that sounds generalized, and I am sure there are many cases where there are other factors going on, underactive thyroid, etc....but take this for example:

I watched a special on Discovery about gastric bypass surgery, which a very good and unhealthily overweight friend of mine is seriously considering. I love her to death and could care less what she looks like but I am worried about her health. This whole process bothers me immensely, mainly because it's DANGEROUS but also because you are basically deciding to mutilate your body so that the responsibility of choosing what and how much to eat is taken away from you. Many of the people in the documentary spoke about a lot of emotional issues that made them turn to food for comfort, which I can understand, having wrestled with an eating disorder for many years myself.....but having your stomach stapled closed is NOT going to get rid of those emotional issues!!!! Therapy might, but again, that's work and it isn't going to happen in one session.

I was pretty overweight for my height when I started back to running three years ago, having been very ill and unable to do much physical activity for several years, and it was DAMNED HARD to run being fat. Having been thin all my life, it was even more difficult to accept the dimished level at which I could now do things. Everything hurt, I was slower than I am now, I had no wind, but you know what? It paid off....I lost almost 50 lbs and while I'm not really where I want to be yet, I feel and look a lot better and exercising got easier as I got thinner. I'm sure others of you here who have lost a considerable amount of weight can attest to the same. THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET!!

What I want to know is, what makes us any different from other people, and why did we care enough about our bodies to suck it up through the difficulty of losing weight and exercising with a larger load in the beginning and so many others refuse to? What message is that sending to the kids in this country? I too have absolutely nothing against anyone who is overweight, because I've been on both sides of the spectrum, including unhealthily thin, which wasn't good either, but don't expect to have it both ways. You can't, at least not without causing some detriment to your health.

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I wouldn't consider myself obese, but the 'statistics' would probably show otherwise. I'm definitely heavier than I want to be, but I've been much worse. I love to run, but I also like good food and beer. I'm just not one to give up good food for cardboard. Sure, sure, smaller portions. I've gotten better on that one.

I think a lot of it has to do with how you were brought up. Guess I was brought up on good food.

It's the people who whine about it but never even try that frustrates me.
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Hey for forgeting your point you made a very good one or two.
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Chris Farley once said in an interview:

"Man, I wake up, look in the mirror, and it's like I've already lost...every single day..."
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He sure lost, didn't he?
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Me too. You just said it in fewer words. ;)
I love to cook and therefore love to eat. Now that I've finally gotten comfortable around food again, anyway. Which is really why I work out. Yes, I enjoy it and it's good for me, stress relief, etc...but I also know that I can eat more of the things I like to eat without having to be a freak about calories or fat or whatever, as long as I am training consistently.
But there is a big difference between being an elite athlete who watches every drop of food that goes into his or her body and runs 150 miles a week to someone who, in one breath, complains about being overweight, and in the next, when you offer to go walking with them at lunch or rave about how good the grilled chicken salads are at the place you are eating at, says, "oh that's too much work, I don't have time for all that exercise..." and then promptly orders a platter of greasy fried slop.
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Well said, OL. I don't like the idea of Big government forcing decisions on me because others can't or just won't take responsibility for themselves. At the same time though it will be all of us who pay in terms of tax dollars and health insurance premiums as the health of our country deteriorates due to heart disease, cancer and diabetes, etc etc etc.
I don't like to pass the responsibility on, or try to be a conspiracy theroist, but isn't it interesting though how large portions are in restaurants now as opposed to even a few years ago? As well as how much extremely unhealthy packaged prepared food is available at the grocery store? It does seem that the average consumer with not a whole lot of health knowledge might have a hard time deciphering what is good and not good. I think we here in RF are all at an advantage because our hobbies are healthy ones and we research these things. Do you think John Q. Public would easily determine that McDonalds new Crispy Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad has more fat and calories than a big mac, even though its a 'salad' (which it does)? I don't know what needs to be done, but some cooperation from some of the food producers could be helpful, as well as a lot of public education.
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