I'd like you to think for a moment about just how widespread obesity is. According to the American Obesity Association
, "Approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million obese, and 9 million severely obese." In other words, about half of all adults in the U.S. are overweight, and about a quarter of all Americans are obese.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control notes that the number of obese adults in the U.S. has doubled in a decade
Obesity is so widespread that it will actually start to shorten our life spans. According to this article
, "U.S. life expectancy will fall dramatically in coming years because of obesity, a startling shift in a long-running trend toward longer lives, researchers contend in a report published Thursday."
Now consider just how easy obesity is. Basically, it is this easy:
- You see a piece of cake sitting on the counter.
- It looks yummy.
- So you eat it.
That's it. And poof, you have just started down the road to obesity.
Think about it. If you weigh 150 pounds, your body is only going to burn about 1,800 calories in a day. The piece of cake contains 400 calories, say. That piece of cake, therefore, contains nearly a quarter of all the calories you are "allowed" to eat in a day. A hamburger can easily contain twice that many calories. So can a couple of slices of pizza. So can a bowl of ice cream, if it is real ice cream.
So what you end up doing, if you want not to be obese, is forcing yourself not to eat all day long. The food is all around you. But every time you see food (ANY kind of food), and every time your body has the completely natural and hard-wired reaction of, "Food! EAT!" you have to override the reaction. Which obviously is quite difficult, or half of the people in the U.S. would not be fat.
I think that people in 2050 will laugh hysterically about this because it is incredibly sad
. The conversation might go something like this:
Grandkid: You mean, anything you ate made you fat???? How could you not eat????
You: It was incredibly hard. Every time you saw food, you had to consciously think about it and tell yourself, "NO!"
Grandkid: But how could you do that? Millions of years of evolution have wired in the "EAT!" message every time you see food. It's not like you can override a hardwired reaction that is wired into your brain. It would be like only allowing yourself to take one breath every 60 seconds or something like that.
You: True, but that's how it was back at the turn of the century, and over half of the population was F-A-T fat.
Grandkid: Yuck!!! Don't talk about it!
Something will have to solve this problem in the next decade or two. Either:
- Medical science will deliver a pill that overrides the hard wiring in the brain, so that the sight of food does not trigger the "EAT!" reaction. Or...
- Medical science will create a pill that blocks absorption of calories. Or...
- Medical science will create a pill that causes the body not to store fat. Or...
- Food science will create foods that taste normal but contain zero calories. Or...
- Vertebrane will do the exercising for us so we can eat a lot more. Or...
Because the way we try to do it today, quite obviously, does not work at all for the majority of people. It is nearly impossible for the majority of people to override the hard-wired EAT! signal in the brain.