A heads up on this article. You may be offended by reading this. It is not the usual feel-good stuff that is all too often found in the media. It takes a hard, honest look at the current overweight problems facing America and to a lesser (but growing) extent, the rest of the world. If you are particularly sensitive, easily discomforted, or easily offended, please stop reading. You have been warned...
It seems every so often, "reports" are published in the mainstream media suggesting what the real cause of being overweight is. The most recent one I stumbled on suggests this time we have intestinal parasites and these parasites are causing our bodies to react in a way that makes us gain weight. This "report" claims that the CDC claims these intestinal parasites infect 85% of Americans. I browsed the official CDC website, and while their site seemed to be broken, I could find no page that backed this "statistic". I went further and explored the WHO official website, and while I could not find a general statistic on global infection rates, I could locate individual countries' infection rates. Bangladesh seemed to have the highest, in some areas it was as high as 87%, in areas where food quality controls do not exist, no public hygiene, and no sanitation, areas far worse than the worse ones in the US. What this tells me, if a location with conditions this bad has an 87% infection rate, there is no way we can have an 85% infection rate in the US. Even if the rates were this high, intestinal parasites cause weight loss, not weight gain. I have links below from two medical institutions, notice that the symptoms of intestinal parasites is weight loss, not gain. This has not stopped people trying to capitalize on this idea by using alarmist tactics, scaring readers into believing there are massive conspiracies to poison our food supply to keep us fat and sick. If you ever, ever come across an ad for such a product claiming these beliefs, do yourself a favor and keep moving along.
Last year, it was the "report" of an "obesity virus"; a couple of years ago it was "colon buildup", and a few years ago it was the killing of intestinal flora. And if it is not new reports, its other reasons we are given for being overweight; bad childhood, media pressure, alien abduction, thinking fat thoughts, society's fault, etc is why we are overweight. Rarely anymore do you see, in the mainstream media, reports or articles simply stating it's our own fault we are overweight.
As long as this is the general consensus, the rates of being overweight and obesity will continue to climb. This is unfortunate because it is preventable. Unfortunately, this is a trend, the trend of "victimology" that has become ingrained in American society (and now beginning to grow in other parts of the world too). With the few, genuine medical reasons (and every doctor I heard talk about those says at most, these cases are less than 3% of the obese and the usual figure is 1%, and prior to our current time period, historical obesity rates were 2 to 3 %), lifestyle is the primary cause of being overweight. Take a look at the world today; thanks to the Industrial Revolution, we have more food available and comparatively low prices than at any point in human history. Virtually every society before us, food was a scarce commodity, and most of peoples' incomes were spent on food. To make dietary matters worse, since the 1950s, refined carbs including high fructose corn syrup were introduced. These carbs are quickly absorbed and much more easily stored as fat than natural carb sources. On top of that, again thanks to the Industrial Revolution - and especially to the Information Age, our work has become far less physical, with many people holding completely sedentary jobs. The introduction of television and later personal computers encouraged an even greater sedentary lifestyle. Considering these factors, is it really a coincidence that obesity rates have skyrocketed over the last 50 or so years - and continue to climb? When I was a child during just the 70s and early 80s, overweight kids were rare; now just walking in the mall or cinemas, overweight kids are becoming a common sight. However, as long as we as individuals and society continue to look for other things to blame, obesity as well as health problems and deaths resulting from obesity will continue to increase.
Accepting that we may be responsible for our own weight situation (or any situation for that matter) is one of the hardest steps to take; it took me well over a decade to do so. But it is a powerful step. Thirteen years of denial and looking for blame in other places only left me with yo-yo weight loss; four months of admitting I was responsible for being fat allowed me to drop 80 pounds, be in the best shape of my life, and completely win the heart of a very beautiful Chinese woman. Fourteen months later the weight is still completely off. Because one is responsible for their own weight situation does not mean they are inferior, lazy, dumb, or a bad person, it simply means they made poor choices in their lifestyle. Far from meaning you are weak, taking responsibility empowers you. Everyone makes mistakes. Acknowledging that fact gives one the mental means take control over their lives, and that is very powerful. I apologize if this article has angered you, but if it has I hope it has angered you into taking action today.