American the sick
One of the totally cool things about my job is that I have spent most of the last 20 odd years or so, outside of the USA working in various countries.
I'm currently in Munich, Germany for a week's worth of meetings and document reviews. What I have seen here, I have also seen in places like Amsterdam and that is the contrast between how healthy people seem here versus the USA.
While I have seen the occasional overweight person here, they seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Almost everyone I have seen here, young or old, are generally pretty slim, seem fit and have a healthy glow about them.
And most people here seem to either walk or bicycle, almost everywhere they go. I'm sure that is curtailed somewhat during the winter months but everyone is out and about here.
Two noticeable things that are missing here, compared to the USA, is a fast-food place on every street corner and a drug store on every block. Within a 10 minute walk of my house in the USA, there is 2 drug stores and 3 fast food joints. Hmmm, wonder what the connection is there?
In Munich, I spent 3 hours walking the other night and I saw 1 fast-food place, a Burger King. I saw maybe 2 pharmacies, they were small and seemed to have about as much natural remedies as they did the usual OTC and prescription drugs.
Even old people, like 70s and older, are out and about. Moving a bit slow but still pulling their little carts behind them with their groceries.
I have also seen no big chain grocery stores. The stores seem to be small and local. Fruit and veggie stands are common.
And the other things missing here is that I have not seen any electric wheelchairs (Hoverrounds), none. I have seen a couple of people in wheelchairs propelling themselves along but none of the electric scooters you see in Wal-Mart and Target.
And it is not just Germany, the same thing struck me in Amsterdam. Few people in personal cars, lots of walking or biking, few fatties and when you did see one, they were generally tourist.
I also noticed the same thing in other countries, such as Nigeria. Now the life span of Nigerians may not be as long as Americans but that may be because of a higher rate of accidental/non-natural deaths and the endemic disease of Malaria that they have there but, except for the affluent Nigerians, most Nigerians are fit and healthy living on basic foods bought locally. And they have no fast-food places there except for the occasional local shops.
Once you get outside of the USA, you begin to see how sick our country has become. Never leaving the borders can give you a classical "can't see the forest for the trees" outlook.
Here are some things that America is #1 at (from lewrockwell.com)
[LIST][*]Of all the major industrialized nations, America is the most obese[*]The average American drinks more than 600 sodas a year - the most in the world[*]U.S. corporations sell more fast food and more soda than anyone else in the world by a wide margin[*]Nobody watches more television per week (28 hours) than Americans do[*]Americans take more prescription drugs than anyone else in the world[*]More is spent on prescription drug advertising in America than anywhere else in the world[*]The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world[*]More people have been diagnosed with mental disorders in America than anywhere else on earth[*]Nobody in the world gets more plastic surgery done than Americans do[*]The United States spends much more on health care as a percentage of GDP than any other nation on the face of the earth[/LIST]
We don't have "healthcare" in the USA, we have sick care. American's are sick and getting sicker. They will continue to follow Conventional Wisdom to their (early) graves.
I spent a few weeks in the US for a vacation in NYC and Long-Island. I remember the way people looked in supermarkets and fast-food restaurants and I kept saying to myself and friends that something looked wrong about them. Of course, there were the obvious obese and even super obese, but even slim people looked weird, could not really say what but it had to do with the skin look, posture, some seemed to have the shakes or not move completely normally, etc. I have been in many places in Europe and North-Africa and I can't really compare. You do find sick looking people but it seemed more like the norm when I stayed in the US.
As long as CW propaganda is ubiquitous, nothing will change for the better.
Here n Canada it's better but we're slowly heading to the same fate.
Whenever I've been to the States, I'm just shocked at the amount of obese people and the huge size of a restaurant meal.
I think a lot of people are killing themselves with hectic schedules. I know people who devote 12 hours a day to working and commuting. No wonder they hit the drive thru and vegetate on the sofa. The problem is that if they decide they want to spend less time commuting and working, all the sudden they don't have enough income.
[QUOTE=magnolia1973;1288836]I think a lot of people are killing themselves with hectic schedules. I know people who devote 12 hours a day to working and commuting. No wonder they hit the drive thru and vegetate on the sofa. The problem is that if they decide they want to spend less time commuting and working, all the sudden they don't have enough income.[/QUOTE]
Indeed, this is the perplexing bit. I keep hearing "Work less!" as a mantra, but if I work 20% (frex) less, I'll need to greatly reduce spending in many areas. My bills aren't going to magically go down 20%, though, so guess where that money's coming away from?
I read an article the other day here: [url=http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/19/health/la-he-obesity-causes-20111219]Obesity epidemic may have roots in 1950s - Los Angeles Times[/url] which speaks to three things 1950s mothers were advised to do which may have contributed to the startling increase in obesity starting in the 1980s.
1. Don't gain more than 20 pounds during pregnancy.
2. Smoking is a good way to keep your weight down during pregnancy. (Yes, some 1950s doctors actually advised that.)
3. Breast feeding wasn't popular, and since breastfeeding can act as a natural birth control, babies came closer together.
And though those factors may well be a big part in the obesity epidemic, choices are still key. All people had to be doing in the last 40 years was to be taking the time to read food labels, and they would have been at least 50% better off. Cereals, "healthy" granola bars, and phonybaloney yogurt all have labels that indicate little nutrition and lots of sugar.
In general, if a lunch hour isn't enforced at a job, skipping it or just taking a 15 minute break and going home early. When the lunch hour is enforced, eating one's own food, or skipping lunch and taking a walk is a good alternative.
And somewhere in the back of our collective minds, we just had to know that food being sold by the boatload through drive-through windows wasn't as healthy as food we made ourselves. So the proliferation of shitfood palaces is our own fault. If we hadn't supported them, (and still support them, though hopefully not MDAers), they wouldn't be on every corner.
[QUOTE]if I work 20% (frex) less[/QUOTE]
Plus most employers won't be down with that. If anything, people that still have jobs are asked to work more, for the same wages.
[QUOTE]In general, if a lunch hour isn't enforced at a job, skipping it or just taking a 15 minute break and going home early. When the lunch hour is enforced, eating one's own food, or skipping lunch and taking a walk is a good alternative. [/QUOTE]
Hahaha, lunch break? Most people I know get a lunch break that is eating at your desk while working. Employers may "give you an hour lunch break" but you'd better not use it, at least not regularly.
I've been in all continents and have been to the USA a few times too, and while I mostly agree, the trouble is the rest of the world is going downhill too. In my local supermarket I can find the best Irish meat and butter you can think of, but I also see very overweight people in those electric wheelchairs. A lot of people simply look unhealthy too. Always makes me sad when I see it.
Europeans in general will be a lot healthier than Americans, but make no mistake about it, there is also a trend towards obesity and "Western" diseases. Even India has its obesity epidemic now.