Americans are in Better Shape than Europeans (in some ways)
On my trip to Europe last summer, I noticed something peculiar when walking down the street: there were almost no really fit and muscled people anywhere. Sure, there were plenty of skinny and scrawny people everywhere, but rarely did I see a person walking down the street with some serious muscles.
While in the US, we're generally more unhealthy. I find that the tail ends of healthiness are bigger in the US than in Europe. We have a lot more grossly obese people, but we also have a much larger segment of the population which is in really good shape. Europe has a ton of skinny people.....who can't bench press 50 pounds. (I hope no one is offended by my generalizations. This is just based on my observation. I could be wrong)
Anyone else have thoughts on this?
Yes of course, and i guess all such things also because of your environment where you live, your living facilities and living style also matter to your physic and fitness. Which you could also find in some other continents of the world. As of different color size and shapes of people.
You may be equating visibly muscular with health...and that's not always true. I've hiked in Europe and I'll tell ya, many of those "scrawny" 80-90 year olds can easily beat me on the trail. You would have to look at overall health, not just what we "see."
That your report is very superficial and that you are wrong as well! I am pretty convinced that an average Scandinavian is in better shape than an average american living in Florida or Mississippi! That's based on my personal observations from travelling around - just like you...
Originally Posted by Vman
You bet we are :P We have almost no obesity at all. 95% of the people you see on the streets here in Sweden have no visible problem with overweight, and the vast majority aren't even very chubby. It's almost an odd thing to see a person who is truly obese even in crowded cities, and more often than not, these people are tourists or at least somehow handicapped, such as confined to wheelchairs.
Originally Posted by Gorbag
I reckon the difference is that in Sweden at least, steroids are illegal unless for medical purposes. Gym owners will ban you if they catch you using it, but some people I've chatted with in the states, well they reckon that up to 70-80% of the regulars of their gyms openly use 'roids. That just doesn't happen here. There are random blood checks done on regulars in many gyms and if you get caught, it's a crime punishable by law.
The fittest people I've known have not had bulging muscles. They've been 'scrawny muscular' - because whatever sport they practice require that sort of lean muscle. Have you ever seen a good parkour artist, mountain climber or horse back rider with 'serious muscles'? No? That's because they don't need it and it would just get in the way from leaping off buildings and doind ridiculously awesome stunts. They can still bench press their rown body weight, just saying...
Re-read my post. I'm saying that the average American is less healthy, but it seems to me that very few Europeans are in extremely good shape, fit and muscular. There are plenty who are skinny sure. But muscles? You really don't see that as much as in the state.
Wait a second. Private gym owners blood test their regular customers for roids and turn them into your govt if they come up positive?
Originally Posted by Reindeer
I really think you would need to travel the whole world to get a clear picture. As a basic observation the USA do seem to do everything to extreems, good and bad.
Caution! My replies may contain traces of nuts!. My posts are just my opinion based on my experience with the primal way of life, there is no assurance it will work with others in the same way.
Started Primal 15th October 2012
Start weight 200lb
Loss so far 33.8lbs, now 166.2lb
Goal was 168lb's
The only explanation that I can think of is related to sports as you mention. In the US, American football is number 1. So, most males start lifting lots of weights as early as junior high. Even if you're not on the football team, you have to go compete with your classmates and lift as well.
In Europe, it's mostly soccer. No reason to really do bench presses at the gym. I really don't think it's steroids. I've been living in the states for a long time, and I've known of only two people who actively did steroids to gain muscle. If it was 70-80%, I'd probably have known hundreds.
All I know is that I always feel "big" when I am at home (Germany) and reasonably small or average here (Southern U.S.; even at my highest weight).