So, an acquaintance recently posted this pic from the Walmart FB page on her FB page with the following caption:
“This is why America is OBESE.”
And I’m not gonna lie, it irritated me…A LOT.
And the reasons why are numbered below.
1. Is one serving of steak the reason why Joe Schmoe in Arkansas is obese? Is one carb-laden meal the reason why your aunt has struggled with weight her entire life? No, fucking no, otherwise I would be obese, because at many a BBQ I’ve ENJOYED meals like this. ENJOYED. Because it’s healthy to sometimes eat extra carbs on a summer’s day when you’re with friends. Just as long as you don’t eat like that all the time. I argued this to my acquaintance, to which she replied, “Americans don’t eat in moderation.” Maybe not, but I don’t think the answer to getting them to treat food like it’s Hitler and not touch it with a ten foot pole. I think the answer is more like, not attaching moral value to a fucking meal of steak, mac n cheese, and beans.
(Do you get that, critics? If you stress people out about the “badness” of food, they’re not going to learn moderation. In fact, you risk having them going to the other end of the spectrum, starving, and then binging on those “evil carbs” again when they can’t keep their organic-paleo-gluten-free-cage-free-dairy-free diets ((read: you eat broccoli only)) up.)
2. So, what about genetic obesity factors? What about emotional eating tendencies that you learned from your mother? Is Walmart alone solely responsible for our nutrition? No. Does it help? Of course not. But the cause of obesity is never one thing. Every individual is different, with different genes and tendencies that help determine our body type and health. It’s like saying video games cause people to be violent. Do they help? No, at least in my belief. But do they cause all kids to shoot up an entire school? Nope.
3. Check your expectations. Is Walmart going to stop doing what they do? Probably not, they’re a multi-million dollar corporation who will keep marketing Velveeta if it sells. So…take some personal responsibility. Educate yourself and others. Is the education about food and access to healthy food available to all populations? Hell no. But do I think Walmart’s going to start being the model of health? Nope.
4. Where’s the war on anorexia and bulimia? Oh right, those diseases look more aesthetically pleasing, so we don’t need to spend any time there, even though they’re opposite sides of the SAME COIN. Shit pisses me off. Anorexia is the #1 most deadly mental illness and yet people are more up in arms about obesity because it’s unhealthy (read: I don’t like to look at heavy people). Obesity is a major threat to our health, sure, but people don’t seem to understand that anorexia is a symptom, or group of symptoms, of the same problem.