Well they walk a lot,bicycle a lot, too, and they eat sparingly, but often. For Americans, portion control is a worse problem then the empty calories and junk foods we consume. They also have better laws governing GMO foods there.
Yeah, the board is from 13.5 years ago. Americans have gotten plumper if anything.Europeans like French and Italians have a lower stress level. Work to live not live to work. They also eat less food BUT it's better quality.They also walk a lot, most Americans drive somewhere. One last thing they have tons and tons of sex.Instead of stuffing their mouths with junk food people are sticking cocks in them instead!
They smoke like chimneys, and Britain has an obesity epidemic. Enough bs.
Americans are unhappy, and emotionally eat. The French smoke 24/7. The majority of North American inhabits were poor and hearty because of it. Europeans are short. Britain is the fattest place on the continent. In some countries there isn't a lot of open space. Our bodies grow according to the room we have. The French eat a ton of fat. Americans work like cattle, and have very little time for themselves, thus they're rushed. Many countries give their workers months off at a time. Europeans are taxed through the roof and can't afford tons of food.
Americans circumcise their boys, yet they have more cases of STDs and HIV than the rest of the Western world.
In Europe it's rude to ask someone what they do. Their lives don't revolve around work. It doesn't define them.
Americans eat a lot of processed food and big portions = quantity over quality. It is a car country.
End of story.
*backing away from r4*
I think the main difference between Europe and American weight is the diet. We just eat more than they do. Out portions are bigger. It's rooted in the very language we use to describe when we are sated. Americans say "we are full," which implies that they cannot add anything more to their stomach, and French say -- in French, of course -- "I no longer have the hunger," which implies they COULD eat more, but they don't need to. American's goal: to eat as much as they can. European's goal: to eat until they're not hungry. That makes a world of difference on how you view food.
My late uncle's philosophy was "Eat for the hunger to come."
yes, he was fat
Smoking in France has gone WAY down. Non smokers have always been as thin as smokers.
HFCS. Americans are being programmed to eat more, unhealthy foods.
It's also amazing to me when visiting other places in the US how everything is strictly designed for the car. You can't walk in the burbs. It's dangerous. I know this is not new but after living and working in a city for years this is always astounding to me when I travel.
I love the woman who blames it on Americans having bigger bones.
If dairy prices double as predicted we could see a slight decrease in US obesity.
This increase would hit cheese as well as milk.
I do like the idea of an America forced by its own capitalism to learn new tastes besides fat, sweet, and salt.
Oh, please, R13. Europeans eat tons of fat and sweets. They don't exercise either.
What they don't have in Europe is genetically altered wheat and HFCS's in just about everything.
As a European: we walk more and our portions are WAY smaller. Who the fuck needs "all you can eat restaurants"?
Thank you, R14, for generalizing about all "Europeans" in one stroke. Amazing how Americans think they know us.
I just came from the pool, 16:30 over here. The pool was crowded enough that you had to navigate the lanes. People of all ages were there. We also ride our bikes and walk, which Americans think of as "exercise". We think of it as commuting.
My gym, however, is also full of people of all ages. The 60+ crowd are so active in the morning in their classes and the gyms you have to arrive after 10 not to have a crowded locker room, and it's busy in the afternoons.
We do eat sweets and fats, but we also believe in moderation. We unfortunately have seen the surge of American fast food chains over the last twenty years and have plenty of people who are not thin, but they are a minority.
But keep believing your theory, R14.
[quote]In Europe it's rude to ask someone what they do.
Is this really true? The question seems to pop up with about the same frequency when I go over there as it does over here.
Your job isn't everything imho, but it's still a large part of who you are, what you do most days, how you've managed to get by. Most people's work is pretty public, too, so it would be hard to conceptualize the question as invasive. I can remember getting asked a few times, but I guess I didn't really think about it.
If you're meeting someone for the first time, it seems like the conversation could--and likely will--eventually turn towards occupations at some point: it may not be a favorite scintillating topic that satisfies all curiosity but anyone who thinks it's outrageously rude has other issues beyond being European imho.
They eat less and move more. It isn't anything magical. In general European portions are smaller than American ones and constantly snacking between meals is less common.
And I don't see what we're supposed to find so funny about the Fodor's thread. It's the same stupid conversation people would have here (and seem to be having) if the topic were broached, only with less bitchiness on that site.
Euros eat less, eat better, and walk, so they're skinnier. Though even that is changing and younger Euros' eating habits are beginning to look more like Americans' as are their waistlines. The obesity rate is far lower but, er, growing.
R14 you are an idiot.
American add HFCS to most everything. In Europe some sweets are eaten but overall Americans consume more sugar. Much more. Tons more in fact.
Even your sugar beets are GMO.
In Italy, bread, yes, pasta, yes but many other things including more vegetables than most Americans eat in a week, we eat in one day.
The love big bones excuse. It's almost as good as the slow metabolism theory.
The people I know who's made those excuses were in denial about how much they ate. They didn't exercise either.
HFCS is by no means good, but it only has a little more fructose than cane sugar. If you have to chose, cane sugar is a bit better, but the real problem is sugar in general.
R17, like the person you're responding to, you're making so many sweeping assumptions you're both wrong.
I don't know anyone here who thinks it's "rude" per se to ask what you do ever.
We do think it's odd that Americans tend to ask that question really quickly before you get to know us and the conversation turns to work. Unless we're at work, we don't particularly like to keep talking about work when we're relaxing.
And some Americans are quite aggressive when they ask any question, especially about a job, and our way of life, and our government, etc., so some "Europeans" may appear to be offended by the way the questions are asked.
You do realize, though, that there are nearly 50 countries in Europe by many definitions, and we're not all alike, throughout the continent or within our countries.
We're as diverse as you are, if not more.
True, r22... But part of the source of the obesity epidemic is that HFCS is in everything... Tomato sauce, bread, you name it.
R22 sounds like Charlie...he loves to defend hfcs.
America has bigger portions and also an unhealthy snack addiction. There is a tacit acceptance of obesity and it is seen as something that should not be publicly shamed- it should.
[quote] you're making so many sweeping assumptions you're both wrong.
My post doesn't make a single assumption, much less a sweeping one. Please point to one assumption in my post.
[quote]I don't know anyone here who thinks it's "rude" per se to ask what you do ever.
Um, exactly what I was pointing towards in my own observations. Though I myself would hesitate before turning it into a sweeping generalization by adding the word "ever." People tend to vary in their habits, preferences, and sensitivities, even in Europe, my fried.
[quote]We do think it's odd that Americans tend to ask that question really quickly before you get to know us and the conversation turns to work.
An entirely different point than "It's rude to ask." Can't Europeans read anymore?
[quote]We're as diverse as you are, if not more.
An interesting way to end a post that broadly generalizes about Europeans and Americans using "we" and "you" throughout.
American here and I also don't get the "what do you do?" question. Who cares? I'm not going to think you're better if you're a doctor or attorney vs. a waiter or retail clerk. I hate going to social gatherings where people talk shop. It's boring for others.
Americans snack all the time. Look at all the moms who go shopping with snacks packed for their kids for a one hour trip to the market. Kids cries, mom shoves food in his mouth. They're brought up this way. When I worked in an office I couldn't believe how many people (mainly women) after consuming a huge lunch would have to have an afternoon snack. Popcorn, chips, etc. If I eat a huge lunch I can't possible even eat dinner. If I eat a big breakfast I can't eat lunch.
I ask "what you do?" because I might be interested in it. Not everyone does boring jobs.
I dunno, r29. While no one likes someone who yammers on and on about their work or asks about careers in order to put people in boxes to judge their worthiness, it seems like the question about occupations will eventually pop up, even among the most scintillating conversationalists.
Even Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker occasionally wondered what people did for a living imho.
I guess I'm also very fortunate in that I like and I'm proud of my work. I'm perfectly happy never to talk about it, but I also don't feel the need to bristle or look down on someone as a 'brash, unsophisticated American' when they ask that pretty reasonable, everyday question.
I agree with R30. I'm proud of my profession, and I spend most of my time and energy working, as do most of my friends. It's not the only interesting thing about me, but it's a major part of life. BTW, my colleagues in Europe work every bit as hard as I do, but they do take longer vacations.
If your job is something you want to excuse, apologize for, or forget, perhaps you should re-examine a few things.
R32 sounds cunty.
It's especially rude if people ask what you do right off the bat, immediately upon being introduced. It's makes them seem either like golddiggers or snobs.
I love my job, too, but since I work in the entertainment field I dread the "What do you do?" It always follows with "I watch a lot of films. Have you seen (insert the latest film de jour)?" I get bored to tears. Sorry, amateur film critics.
In Europe, "What do you do?" will not be the very first question asked, like it is here.
R32 to me work is work and done at 5 p.m. Then it's time for pleasure and relaxation. I remember my Dad coming home from work and never mentioning it at all. We knew Dad was a journalist for a big paper and had lunches with the president and other media bigwigs and that was it.
R26, if you're getting a defense of HFCS from me, you're not very bright.
The formulation of HFCS generally used in soft drinks is 55% fructose; cane sugar is 50% fructose. HFCS is a bit worse, but both are bad and should be avoided. I eat almost none of either.
But if you're interested in your job, it's hardly a chore to talk about the area - not necessarily exactly what you do, but the general area.
What are you supposed to talk to people about when you first meet?
[quote] I remember my Dad coming home from work and never mentioning it at all.
It would have been extremely odd to ask your dad what he did for a living as a form of conversation each evening. I'm guessing he was occasionally asked and I'm guessing he provided an answer without thinking about it. He sounds like a great guy.
People here are doing their best to conflate "it's rude to ask too early" (reasonable) with "it's rude to ask AT ALL" (ludicrous). They're quite different.
Really: Sorry you're ashamed of your work, but don't try to characterize the rest of us as brash and tacky for including 'occupations' as among the many possible topics of conversation. It is and always will be something people talk about, across cultures. Deal.
Are you really that dull R38?
[quote]What are you supposed to talk to people about when you first meet?
"Bottom or top?" is always a good opener.
r28 we now know you're rude the way you jumped all over that post, nitpicking at word choices and arguing where no argument is warranted.
r24 said he/she didn't know anyone who thought it was per se rude. he didn't say no one in Europe thought that way.
He/She said we think it's odd not rude and you attacked it because you said it was entirely different from your point, as if no one is allowed to make a related observation.
And despite your "IMHO" qualifications, you did generalize about "most people" - those are your words - and their jobs and conversations. And your snotty shot about Europeans and reading is another one, especially since it's clear your post was read fairly and r24 responded to you on point saying it's odd but not rude to ask, even if you so rudely consider it an entirely different point and wanted to insult someone's intelligence over it.
What an ass you are.
Can we get back to the fatties please?
Let's all ask Europeans what they do! Then, when they act flustered, we can unfurl their massive foreskins and make elephant trumpeting noises.
[quote]What are you supposed to talk to people about when you first meet?
Begin with a discussion on broad trends in contemporary opera. Then move on to possible solutions to conflicts in the middle east. When that dries up, it's best to discuss the parallel developments in the advent of the novel and the popularization of the ideas of the French Revolution.
NEVER ask what someone does for a living. It's so rude, brash, simple-minded and... ugh... American.
ITA with R32 and R39. Guess some of us just have more interesting and fulfilling jobs than others. If you work in a factory and punch a time clock, well then, yeah, I can see where you'd want to forget about it once the whistle blows.
r43, that post began by saying I was making sweeping generalizations, when I'd done nothing of the kind. It was also incredibly condescending throughout.
I'm polite with people who are polite with me, but can dish it right back to people who condescend.
[quote] you did generalize about "most people" - those are your words
My post at r17 says "Most people's work is pretty public." This isn't a generalization: it's a fact. MOST people work in the public realm. Porn stars, prostitutes, spies, etc are exceptions to the rule, and it would be silly for the rest of us to stop discussing our occupations in order to oblige them.
Euros don't talk about their jobs because they're lazy and rarely work. If the world had to depend on Europeans to run it (as it does America), it would function like an Italian backwater, third world disaster.
And please, this food arrogance is long outdated and false. Have any of you been to Europe lately? The entirety of England (and that includes London) is peopled with fatties, and I'm not talking slightly overweight, I'm talking obese. Germany and France is sliding up the scale much faster than they'd like to admit. Italy has always been fat.
The cultural pretentiousness is absurd. Some of the most supposedly sophisticated cities are actually filled with the most provincial, uneducated yahoos on the planet. Paris, London, and Vienna in particular have eyerollingly dopey citizens.
Travel a bit and you'll see. No one on this planet really can hold anything over anyone else's heads. To think otherwise is unsophisticated and ridiculous.
Unless you deal with celebs on a regular basis, nobody wants to hear about your job. It may be interesting to you, but not the rest of us. It's like hearing moms prattle on about their kids. You may be proud of them, but no one else cares.
This thread is a great example of why we can't have nice things.
We are not fat.
R49 gets it right.
Tell them, r49. And almost every other European you'll meet dreams of moving from their alleged utopia to LA, NYC or Miami.
A lot of DLers have never left their small towns, but they love to share their dreams of a Europe manufactured by old movies they see on cable TV. Because it must all be so much classier, smarter, hipper, and more socially just than their tedious suburban cul-de-sac hell.
I honestly don't think we're going to have to worry about obesity in a few years, as food prices go up and standards of living go down.
R49 needs some anger management. Also he doesn't have any idea of what he's raging about. Italy fat?? LOL
[quote]Unless you deal with celebs on a regular basis
Oh, bullshit. This would cut out conversation with almost all composers, painters, professors, scientists, poets, Noble Peace Prize Winners, astronauts about their work.
Dumb. I don't give a shit about celebrities, but if someone has interesting work (and in my book, this doesn't have to involve Scarlett Johansen) and is willing to talk about it, I'm all ears. Even professions that aren't normally considered "exciting" can make an interesting topic if the person has passion and knowledge about their work and is willing to share.
What a ludicrous comment. I hope no one other than you really believes that.
R55 It actually IS
R54 lived in Italy for many, many years and only met one who wanted to come to the states. Stop lying.
DL is clearly overrun with office temps, cubefags, shopbottoms, and ribbon clerks.
Who says you can't talk about your job with Europeans? You just don't ask right off. You're supposed to get to know the person a little before you get to the subject. Once that's done, talk about work as both participants like.
You're so much better than the rest of us mere plebs, r58.
Wow. This thread has fast devolved into an epic bitchfest.
R61 waiters and retail people have the best stories besides nurses. I used to know a nurse and she had hilariously funny stories about ER patients. When asked if she'd date a doctor she said "hah, those scumbags!". Another really funny person was a guy studying to become an undertaker.
I've traveled a lot in South America, and the only people there who dreamed of moving to the States were generally poor or working poor.
Among people who wanted to emmigrate, most thought of Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, and Sao Paolo sooner than the US.
Where do people get the idea that the world wants to live in the United States?
I do agree that Americans tend to have idealized notions of Western Europe. A ride from the CDG into Paris should cure that...
You're projecting R49. Rates of obesity in much of Europe is still signicantly lower than it is in America. Though yes they are getting worse.
And no one said Europe is some perfect paradise. It has its benefits and certain things they do better than America but it certainly has its flaws as well.
(Btw, Italy is not especially fat. Please learn the difference between real data and anecdotes)
[quote]A ride from the CDG into Paris should cure that...
You aren't kidding - scariest slum conditions I've ever seen in person.
The only people who want to move to America are people from dumps far worse than here, like Central America, India, much of the Far East or anywhere in the Middle East.
Talk to Londoners who want to escape their dreary weather for California and Florida, or Parisian students with romanticized views of New York. And don't tell me you don't notice the throngs of eurotrash infesting these cities.
To clarify just counting obese and not overweight people, around 36% of American adults are obese. Among Italians that is 9%. For the UK which is the fattest it is around 22%.
r64, it's not me dismissing people as uninteresting because they don't work with celebrities.
r66 is quite correct. Any occupation--even those not normally considered glamorous or exciting--can be interesting if someone is willing to open up about it.
Britons just want better weather than they get in their islands. There is a nearly a million of british permanent residents in Spain alone. They also flock Italy and Turkey.
The amount of stupid, factless shit some americans have to come up with to pretend that Europe is some sort of dump must be a psychoanalyst's wet dream. And all this trashtalking just because you feel threatened by the obvious: America is fattie heaven and Europe isn't. WTF
Surely not all of the UK has miserable weather. The town in Doc Martin looks like it has lovely weather all year. I could be wrong though. I've heard the channel islands are nice too.
Anyone care to go into detail?
Here. For the people who dread talking about their work:
"What do I do? Oh, I'm a [insert occupation which, for some unfathomable reason, is off limits conversationally]. It's a bit of a bore really. What I'm really passionate about right now is [insert ANY new topic of conversation]."
Problem solved? I would never think twice about it if someone said this to me.
[quote] The town in Doc Martin looks like it has lovely weather all year.
Bless. Your. Heart.
Their weight is normal not skinny!
That's why I asked R77. I'd genuinely like to know if there ever is a winter there since they obviously only show summery weather in the show. The Isles of Scylly are beautiful.
Doc Martin is filmed in Port Isaac, Cornwall. You can see at the link that they are experiencing winter weather conditions there now. (Hint: there's probably little filming going on in the wintertime.)
Europe does have an obesity crisis for sure, but it's nowhere that in the US. The average obese European (or even Brit) is much smaller than the average obese American. Obviously that's still really bad, but it is relative. Obese Europeans/Brits are still able to walk and live a more or less completely normal life. When I went to the US I was shocked at the amount of people who were like flesh mountains, who were barely able/unable to walk because of their size. That is not something I've ever witnessed in Europe. Look at the amount of special items in the US purely to accommodate super-obesity. Like reinforced ambulances and hospital beds, bigger seats, scooters, etc. etc. That's a massive industry in the US that barely exists anywhere else. So the US is difference. I personally think all the fucked up stuff in US food like HFCSs, transfats, hormones, GM food, etc. must play a role.
I don't know anyone in any of the European countries I've ever lived in who wanted to live in the US, apart from one girl who was an actress who wanted to move to LA.
R81 many of those mountain-sized people are the poor living off of food stamps and eating cheap food. It's funny because if you visit with the country club set they are all normal sized. Seems to be a class thing in my area at least.
Went to Europe for the first time and when I returned 3 weeks later, I lost 4 lbs. I ate as much as I did in the US but the constant walking that made me lose weight. You can't get anywhere without a car in the US; in Europe, the streets are smaller and steeper and made for walking only.
I have met plenty of pasty, fat Brits. All of that disgusting, fried, boiled food. Everything is meat pies and sausages ... blech.
R7 Please, Europeans don't eat remotely like Americans. In the 80's I attended high school in the US for three weeks. I never had to use a knife once. How can you eat without cutting something? Is it pre-digested? Everything was sugary and sweet. Even (canned, of course) fruits in the cafeteria got added marshmallows. And those sugar rings swimming in punches on parties. Yuck!
In the 90's I lived and worked in the US again. This time for 7 months. I'm a little chubby, but compared to Americans I was thin. Thin, I tell ya. Being an American obese and an European obese is a HELL of a difference.
I distinctly remember the daily smell of popcorn at my working place. Yuck. Even entering O'Hara, what greated you first? Buttery popcorn smell. There is NOTHING like this in Europe.
But, please, do keep on lying to yourself. It's a free country. So big actually, that you adjust your body size to it apparently. *g*
Oh, and Wall-E predicted the future Americans in the end. Eeek.
Their breakfasts are disgusting to me R84. Beans, toast, eggs, sausage and bacon. I can barely nibble on a piece of toast or grapefruit in the morning.
And no I'm not a Brit basher. I just think that eating that much food in the morning with beans is gross.
R86 which is why that breakfast is not a daily thing outside of tourist Bed and Breakfasts.
A friend of mine worked in the US (New York) for the summer. He went from a 30-32 waist to 40 in three months. He blamed the portions.
Brits don't actually eat that kind of stuff in the morning, unless maybe they're a lorry driver. It's a tourist thing. The typical breakfast in the UK is a piece of marmite toast or a bowl of Special K, or more than likely just a coffee from Starbucks or somewhere.
r84, meat pies and sausages and everything boiled ... maybe among older people in the North. The stereotypes Americans have of Europe/Britain are so weird and archaic.
Glad to hear it R89.
[quote]He went from a 30-32 waist to 40 in three months
Jesus, did he eat a Wal-Mart?! I've lived in the US my entire life and don't have a 40 inch waist.
R85 types fat.
How do you gain 8 inches on your waist in 3 months? Do Europeans have any self-control?
Interestingly enough, This thread was posted in that forum just two days ago:
[bold]Are the overweight / obese treated badly in Europe? [/bold]
Interesting responses too.
[quote]I never had to use a knife once.
That's odd. I use a knife every day.
R92 IS fat. That's the difference.
[quote] A friend of mine worked in the US (New York) for the summer. He went from a 30-32 waist to 40 in three months. He blamed the portions.
I should add he worked in an Italian restaurant.
Sounds like the knife wielding brit was living on a US college campus and thinks that's the way all Americans eat.
R72 If you separate Southern Italy from the North the rate of obese is probably 22% in southern Italy! N Italians are so skinny compared to Southern Italians. I had heard that Greece was the fattest country in the EU and I must say they were half right. Southern Italians are on average pretty fat and on par with Greeks.You will see fatties that do approach the US obesity types(250 pounds and over) once and awhile but I have seen very fat people there relative to The French.
Several factors - portion sizes in restaurants have increased dramatically, hormones and HFCS in our food along with other chemicals and the lack of walking. You can't live anywhere in the US without a car unless you're in San Francisco or NYC and live a life that isn't inconvenienced. There are huge swaths of this country with no public transportaion whatsoever and everything is so far apart. Also, the reduction in drinking and smoking has played a part in this as well. I'm by no means advocating drinking and smoking and it's good that the numbers have gone down, but cigarettes are a huge appetite suppressant for many people. And having a few drinks before dinner also cuts your appetite in half.
R100 certain types of alcohol actually stimulate your pancreas to create insulin and store fat. More Americans are drinking red wine that is much less of a carb disaster than beer BUT they will eat a steak,potatoes, a humongous salad, not to mention appetizers with it!
American size zero used to be 4-6 ten years ago. 00 was 2. These people saying size 10 isn't fat are delusional. And very fat.
If dairy prices doubled there would be a massive increase in obesity, R14.
You heard wrong R99! Greece is not the fattest country in the EU. That would be the UK and Franch!
[quote]American size zero used to be 4-6 ten years ago. 00 was 2.
Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
I work for in the health field and the rise in diabetes is alarming. Whenever I meet a new diabetic, they're overweight or obese. Children too. However, I walk on eggshells when I discuss their weight. Some people are in denial that they're overweight and have diabetes.
r106, that's true. Talking to someone about being overweight and maybe they should do something about it, even from a medical professional, has become a question that is considered rude and tactless. It's akin to asking someone how much money they make.
R104 It's French not Franch. Seeing a fattie in France is a rarity. I can tell that you've never been there. The British are fat BUT not fatter than Greeks. According to a 2012 study, they have the fattest children in Europe.And have you seen how much Greek people eat? They put tons of salt on their food and eat a lot of shit. Yes, they do eat some of the good stuff in the Mediterranean diet BUT that eat that and even more!How much syrup do they put on baklava and kataifi in Greece? You would have thought that someone dumped a entire bottle on a piece of pastry!
Experts say obesity is rapidly becoming a health crisis across Europe with more than 200 million people -- a third of the continent's population -- now considered overweight or obese.
A survey carried out by the International Obesity Task Force found that in many European countries more than half the adult population is overweight -- nearly triple the number 20 years ago.
It also found the number of overweight children is rising with three quarters now believed to be obese.
Greece tops the 'eurobesity' league table with 70 percent of women and 68 percent of men overweight while Germany has the highest number of overweight men in Europe with 71 percent believed to be obese.
The UK follows closely behind with obesity believed to affect more than 60 percent of people.
"We are eating less than we used to, but we are also less active," Hannah Theobald from the British Nutrition Foundation told CNN.
"We are leading more sedentary lifestyles, we are sitting more at desks, we are not as active as we used to be," she said.
In the UK, obesity -- which costs the economy more than $3 billion each year -- is rapidly overtaking smoking as the country's leading preventable killer.
"We are losing 18 million sick days due to obesity related diseases. We have 30, 000 deaths in the UK per year because of it," said Theobald.
"Average life expectancy is reduced in obese people compared to lean people by almost nine years."
The study found that Italy, the Netherlands and France have fewer obese people. In France, for example, less than 30 percent of women and 42 percent of men are obese.
But across the continent the survey shows that people are getting fatter and at a faster rate with one in four European children now believed to be overweight.
Following in the footsteps of the U.S., 'fat camps' for children have begun to open across Europe to educate and change eating habits.
Dave Tonge, Camp Administrator from a UK weight loss camp in Nottingham says the emphasis of the camps is to learn and have fun.
"We have fun and activities and an educational session with lifestyle to try and promote behavior change," Tonge told CNN.
"There was probably fish and chips in one part of the dinner hall, but in the other part there was salad," said one boy at the camp. "I had to make my mind up about which one, and it had to be the salad."
While experts believe that reversing the trend of obesity will be difficult they hope that by educating children and doctors they will help Europe fight the fat.
It's not about "overweight" it's about obesity.
Anyone can be a few pounds overweight.... weight you lose easily... weight that might not make much difference in the winter, but that you lose in the spring for the summer.
And one pound can make the difference between statistically normal and statistically overweight.
The real difference between Europe and the US is OBESITY rates.
I had to laugh at the know-nothing idiot who wrote about Italy being fat.
Italy's obesity rates are among the LOWEST in the world.
But instead of opinions.... lets look at the FACTS:
R110 You might be an idiot yourself! Are you the one that wrote about Northern Italy and left out the South? You only mentioned N Italy and Northern Italian cities.Then you are an idiot because Southern Italians are fat, almost as fat as Greeks are. The Southern Italians have potbellies that are rivaled only by Germans and Greeks!I've been there and seen them with my own eyes nothing can spin that. However Northern Italians are very skinny. They are even skinnier than most French people.
Nice try R110.
R100, I live in Boston without a car.
The problem with obesity statistics is that it's measured using BMI, and apart from the fact BMI isn't necessarily an accurate gauge, they don't differentiate levels of obesity but put everyone with a BMI above a certain point in the same category. Of course having a high BMO isn't healthy (unless you're maybe a super muscle-bound athlete) but there is a big difference between weighing 150lb and being just inside the obese classification, and weighing 400lb and being unable to walk.
Here in Barcelona, where the food is generally the worst in Europe(not counting the UK and Ireland which also has horrible food), people generally eat a full dinner at 10 at night, then go to sleep. We wonder why they are not all blimps, but the ones over 50 usually have huge panzas.
We have only soup at 6 pm and nothing after.
R112 Know I know you're a dope. You trust that crap coming out of Italy? You must be joking. They are cooking the numbers there.As they do with so many things. Southern Italians are fat like Greeks especially the women whereas I saw plenty of thin people in Northern Italy.I like how you totally left out
Southern Italy in your original post. Why could that be? Because there are fatties there,right? I saw it with my own eyes. The women in southern Italy are fatter than the men BTW. The reverse of Greece.
A couple of weeks ago a Korean singer visiting the US created a huge Twitter war tweeting a pic of two American ladies at Denny's. She took a photo from behind. Both were American obese, one dressed 'tastefully' in pink shorts. The singer wrote something along the lines of 'Seeing them makes me want to loose 10kg'. She got bashed a lot, the tweet was taken down, still she got a point. Sorry, forgot her name and am not that fluent in Hangul.
Note that the woman on the right has made an effort to look good.... a sweater, a skirt. And I applaud that. Her weight becomes secondary. Actually for me, it's not even an issue.
But the one on the left in the hot pants: depressing.
Thats so sad R106, and it ties it to what R118 was talking about also.
We have this culture that for some reason it has become some no-no to point out someone is unhealthily overweight. No, people get chided for smoking, people get chided for drinking too much. There is nothing wrong with admitting that someone who is too fat is too fat.
Especially as a health professional you have to be able to be honest with them and say their health problems are likely caused by all the crap they shovel in their mouths and if they want to fix it they need to take care of their damn body.
That's because there IS NO CURE. What good does it do to tell a fat person they are fat, you idiots? Do you really think they don't know it? They think about it every day of their lives. Newsflash for ya---they are much more knowledgable about healthy eating then YOU are. They obsess about food constantly and research ways to slim down. But they can't, because they have a horrible addiction that...HAS. NO. CURE. It's about addiction, it is NOT about knocking sense into people or telling them the obvious. And you call yourselves health professionals? Really? How simple minded can you be?
Fact: 95% of all people lose weight put it back on and then some with in 5 years.
But, by all means, let's shame fat people into dieting and exercising themselves thin because, Lord knows, they never look in the mirror and see all that blubber.
What's next for you geniuses? Are you going to spring your brilliant revelation on people who drink too much that they might be alcoholics? LOL! Will your magic words cure their debilitating addiction?
R121 sounds fat.
(It had to be said.)
Sorry, but the Brits are super chubby these days and based on what I saw in Paris 4 months ago, French women are putting on some major lbs.
Sorry, r121, eating shitty food and not exercising are NOT addictions in the way that alcohol and other drugs are.
Breaking bad habits is never easy, but conceptualizing them as lifelong addictions which can NEVER be broken is silly.
"But, by all means, let's shame fat people into dieting and exercising themselves thin because"
Except that shaming fat people doesn't make them any thinner. They either sink deeper into self-hatred, and drown their sorrows in food, or decide that the haters can go fuck themselves while they enjoy a good dinner.
People only lose weight, stop smoking, quit drugs, change diets, etc., if and when they decide to act in their own best interests. To take that step, they have to value themselves and their health, and shame and shaming is totally counterproductive on that front. It's counterproduce of every front, just so you know, if you are an asshole when you tell a person something, they're going to decide you're wrong just because you're an asshole.
Some of you need reminding
Do you also have fibromyalgia, r121?
R121 You say that fat people have an addiction that has no cure. So what are they addicted to? Food. And there's no cure?
Let's see... heroin, nicotine, pain killers...people can kick those habits but with FOOD... with Big Macs and Mallomars...there is no cure.
(bullshit made up by fat people)
"those mountain-sized people are the poor living off of food stamps and eating cheap food. It's funny because if you visit with the country club set they are all normal sized. Seems to be a class thing in my area at least."
That's my experience as well. Go to a Wal-Mart and 80% of the people there are obese, go to a wealthy area and everyone is slim. Certainly obesity is rare in the prosperous college town where I live, most of the adult population is ridiculously health-conscious.
Fat has become a class indicator, and IMHO it's why bitchy snobs are so likely to hate fat people.
[quote]eating shitty food and not exercising are NOT addictions in the way that alcohol and other drugs are.
True, R124, food addiction is not like drug or alcohol addiction. In many ways it is far worse. Because eating food is something you must make decisions about several times a day. You can not quit cold turkey and go to meetings and make new 'sober' friends who don't eat. You must eat to live. You do not have to smoke, drink and do drugs to live. You can abstain entirely from those vices. Not so with food.
Sorry, but your (and most of society's) ingrained, archaic belief that overeating is merely a moral failing does not make it so.
Wow, R85 and his Dutch proxies are getting raped in this thread! Death to the Europeans!
Yes, "food addiction" is worse than heroin addiction. You poor food-addicted victims. Let's have a telethon for you all.
Um R130 you can avoid ALL problem foods if you really have feel you have an addiction and can't eat them in moderation. You have to eat but you never have to eat french fries or oreos.
None one becomes morbidly obese because they binged out on steamed broccoli. Eliminate all sugar and empty carbs and get back to me.
No one is saying it is easy to change bad behavior, but it can be done.
People have a right to be fat if they want, just like people have a right to smoke. But the idea that you should immune from other people's judgement because you are helpless to change is absurd.
Obesity causes more deaths than drugs, R132. Very likely someone you love will die from an illness that is directly related to it.
Then they should put down the fucking donut.
[quote]None one becomes morbidly obese because they binged out on steamed broccoli
Is that what you eat all day, R133?
LOL. Didn't think so.
What I've been saying that you and others here aren't hearing, is that no fat person wants or needs your judgement. It is not helpful in any way, even though you imagine yourself to be some sort of hero because you've pointed out to someone that the sky is blue.
Should I inform you that you have bad breath, that you are balding, that you wear cheap shoes and your slovenly appearance makes you look like a pedophile? I think all those things every time I see you. But, I'm sure you're thankful that keep those thoughts to myself.
******Obesity causes more deaths than drugs, [R132]. Very likely someone you love will die from an illness that is directly related to it.*****
All the more reason for the obese to listen to their healthcare providers rather than getting their noses out of joint and feeling insulted
[quote] Should I inform you that you have bad breath, that you are balding, that you wear cheap shoes and your slovenly appearance makes you look like a pedophile? I think all those things every time I see you. But, I'm sure you're thankful that keep those thoughts to myself.
How many of those are serious health risks? And the pedo comment is preposterous. Quit now before you make an even bigger fool of yourself.
It's not about feeling insulted, R137. It's about wanting to kick these Pollyannas in the crotch when they spew platitudes and offer simplistic solutions to a very complex problem they have no understanding of.
Do you seriously go around telling people they are fat, R138, because you're "concerned" about their health?
Better get going, there are over 100 million obese in the US alone. Shouldn't you be knocking on doors right now to let people know they're fat and they should go on a diet or they could have serious health problems?
Who said I go around telling people they're fat?
Where have I done that even on this thread? I struggle with my weight and if you saw my family you'd see a genetic component along with a lot of bad habits. But mostly I'm successful at keeping it off because I have no choice. I have severe arthritis and I don't want to end up diabetic like my sister and brother.
Your biggest problem isn't your weight. It's that enormous chip on your shoulder, coupled with your tendency to put words in other people's mouths, and make ridiculous comparisons.
No one said it isn't hard work, or at least I didn't. It is. it's a daily preoccupation and has to be, like any major health problem. But I eat well, and I promise you I don't eat only broccoli all day.
I have spent a lot of time in Southern Italy (Amalfi Coast) - all my first cousins on my mother's side live there. It is false that it is rife with fat people. Not one of my 14 cousins or their children are fat, except for 2 of their 22 collective children. Neither are the people in their town. Yes, the American, German and English tourist are fat. This prejudice against the south is wrong, but pervasive.
It's not food addiction, it's the kind of food that's addicting. Sugar and carbs. I know because I'm one of those people. Yes, the diet starts Wednesday. I'm not obese but need to lose 20 lbs (I'm 6'2).
If you buy baguettes or decent bread, it doesn't have HCFS in it, even the grocery story bakery kind. As for sauce out of a jar, that has to be the silliest thing ever. I just made pasta with puttanesca sauce. Takes no time at all if you start the sauce before you start the water boiling.
Quite a bit of b/s on this thread!
R71 claiming Londoners want to move to California or Florida because of the WEATHER??? Yeah right; culture, history, architecture, tradition, theatre, museums, shopping, landmarks, concerts, global events, sporting fixtures, markets, parks, restaurants, palaces - all of these pale into insignificance because the sun shines brighter elsewhere...?
The notion that Europeans would give their eye teeth to live in the US: why would we? I love your country and I visit NYC a couple of times a year but that's mainly because I can indulge my passion for the arts. I work to live and not vice versa. I get 33 days paid holiday a year and access to the National Health Service-if I lived in the US I might be ostensibly better off financially but my quality of life would be so much poorer.
I think that's partly where the 'offence' re. asking Europeans what they do for a living stems from-it's not the be-all and end-all. Most of us aren't tied into our jobs because of healthcare provisions or other 'benefits'; for example my job is a moderately well-paid office position which gives me a lot of flexibility to take time off to do the things which REALLY interest me.
I definitely don't think Europe (and especially the UK) can claim too much superiority over the US re. obesity. We seem to be headed down the same slippery slope in Britain and adopting the worst of US practices re. Super-sizing, sedentary lifestyles, over-reliance on cars, junk food, couch-surfing etc etc.
That being said, a lot of Europe is geared towards pedestrians and cyclists and there are good public transport structures in place. (
R121 is the response I get from half of the diabetics I counsel. Those are the ones who tell me, "I know how to eat healthy! I know what to do, don't bother me! ". These are the people who drown themselves in food and wait too late to do something about their diabetes until they have their first heart attack or stroke. I have a friend who had this mindset and then she had a stroke. Now she is back pedaling by watching her diet and exercising but it's too late, half her mind is gone. She is slender now but the stroke affected her thinking where she can't work, can't finish her sentences...
Believe it or not, there are actually people who are obese or overweight and they are really motivated! They're struggling but at least they are trying. They don't feel sorry for themselves. They've faced the fact and changed their
Its really sad about the American diet. It's fostered by the corporations and fast food industry and our consumer society.
I think a better question is, instead of comparing ourselves to European's diet and exercise habits, what were Americans successfully doing more of in the '60s and '70s that they were thin and in much better shape?
Certainly, 24-hour fitness gyms weren't around and weren't necessary back then.
R145, I never said fat people shouldn't try. Of course they should, but it has to be on their own terms and when they are ready to make that huge commitment. And, the ONLY people who should be advising them are former fatties who have had success in taking weight off and keeping it off, not doctors or nurses who mean well, but are just clueless.
Dieting is extremely hard. People who think they have something to add by saying, "just put down the donut" are idiots. Fat people have to limit themselves to no more than 1200 cals (female) to 1500 cals (male) per day to lose weight. No one of normal weight has to do that, nor could they for long if they tried. It's so easy to be an armchair critic and tell everyone else what to do.
FWIW, it would be VERY easy for me to say to my alcoholic brother-in-law, "just put down the bottle" every time he goes on a bender. I don't have an addiction to alcohol, so it seems like pure stupidity and indulgence to me. It's very tempting (and lazy) to say, "what's your problem, just don't drink. How hard can it be?"
R146, they were not eating genetically altered wheat, which has caused an explosion of food addiction here in the US.
They ate real meals with real food. They did not constantly eat fast food and things like soda and sweets were a occasional treat and not regular parts of the diet.
Moreover, why are some Americans on this site obsessed over Europe/Europeans? Is this an East Coast/New England thing?
I've never met anybody in California who looks towards Europe as some sort of perfect mecca of beautiful people and high culture. I've traveled many places where Europeans are the predominant tourists, and I can honestly say that while there are some fit, attractive Europeans, there are also many average and ugly ones.
In my small slice of California, I see an equal ratio of attractive-average-unattractive people as I have in encountering French/Brits/Italians/Germans, etc. If there is anywhere in the world where I would pinpoint ultimate physical fitness and attractiveness, it would be in certain slices of Brazil.
R142 You must be the exception to the rule! Go to Bari, do you see skinny people there? Not really. How about Naples..same thing. How about Palermo. Southern Italians are fat when compared to other Italians there's no contest. The women there that would be the envy of African American women who are known for junk in their trunk! I took the ferry from Patras,Greece to Bari and I must say that you saw a similar amount of fat people in Greece as you did in southern Italy. and Greek people are fat!
R149 You hit the nail on the head except that video games and TV have really really captured the new generations' minds and bodies. People have become so sedentary it's not even funny.
[quote]And, the ONLY people who should be advising them are former fatties who have had success in taking weight off and keeping it off, not doctors or nurses who mean well, but are just clueless[quote]
Excuse me, but who are you to talk about how to do my job? When their blood sugars rise above 300, you want me to grab the nearest ex-fattie to counsel them?!!
My job is to help them manage their diabetes by controlling their blood sugars---adjusting their insulin or medications but diet and exercise plays a big part in the disease.I have been trained and not clueless at all! Diabetes is a much more complicated disease than you know but weight plays a big part in controlling it.
That's why I have to be careful in how I to talk to them. I'm not going to say you can only eat 1500 calories to a fatties-- that's ridiculous. They have to decide to make healthy choices. All I do is provide education and a lot of it concerns diet. However, in the end, it's up to them whether they'll use it or not.
No 151 the poster is completely correct. And why the obsession with the South? It is the smaller, less populated, less significant region. Also: the country today is inundated with tourists and immigrants (Albania, Romania). But among the populace, obesity rates in Italy are a fraction of what they are in the US. Get over it.
Real sex is 1000% better/easier in the USA than here in continental Europe.
R147 you are full of shit.
No reason to eat only 1500 calories...where did you get that garbage?
If you are currently eating say 6,000 and you cut down to 3,000 see what happens and then trim from there.
R147 "Dieting is extremely hard. People who think they have something to add by saying, "just put down the donut" are idiots. Fat people have to limit themselves to no more than 1200 cals (female) to 1500 cals (male) per day to lose weight. No one of normal weight has to do that, nor could they for long if they tried."
Putting down the donuts is a good start.
I agree with 155.... there's no need to crash down to 1500 calories from your usual 5,000/6,000.
A 1500 to 2,000 calorie day is the norm for me. Without even trying. I cook for myself....and it doesn't take as much effort as fatties insist.
Eat locally grown fruits and vegetables in season, use high-quality olive oil, grilled meat, chicken and fish, eggs, nuts, nothing packaged, nothing pre-prepared, no "diet" foods. Drink a glass of good red wine with dinner. Find a good butcher and fish monger. Make soup. Eat beans. Eat whole-fat artisanal cheese and plain yogurt. Cut out all pasta and bread (until your weight is normal).
It's no sacrifice. And if it's done smartly you'll save money.
Eat that way for 6th months and report back here.
R156 we do have to acknowledge that for a fatty it is a total sacrifice to quit pasta and bread (neither needed if calories are watched) and to stop eating buckets of fried chicken and whole pizzas.
For you or I no sacrifice but for a fatty...they are giving up their greatest pleasures.
Fast food places and restaurants with gigantic portions like Applebee's etc. have exploded since the 1990s. When I was growing up in the 1980s/early 90s there were maybe three McDonalds and one Burger King within a 20-mile radius, and there were only a couple of chain restaurants (Friendly's) that I can remember. Now when I go back to visit my hometown and the surrounding area, these places are fucking everywhere.
I still think changes in the food supply have more to do with the explosion of obesity than anyone's personal failings.
When I was a kid in the sixties, people spent their evenings in front the TV, and most smoked and drank heavily. Emotional eating was as common as it is now, kids ate sugary snacks and had dessert every night, everyone ate processed food (canned and frozed), and nobody was afraid of carbs. Not only that, the ONLY adults who deliberately dieted or exercised were women trying to "watch their figures". Men ate whatever they liked, and never exercised.
And yet, the adults who ate all those carbs, and who never dieted or exersised, never gained more than a spare tire around the middle - they didn't get morbidly obese. People's failings have barely changed, in fact, they're much more health-conscious than they were fifty years ago. I really think it's the food supply that's different, especially processed foods.
R158 You're on to something. R159 not so much but you make an interesting point . People were more active 50 years ago. Kids actually played outside. Now kids play video games all day and snack on high fructose invested and salty snacks.The lack of exercise, the fact that most people are sitting on their asses, the sheer number of junk outlets and the fact that people are stuck on their computer not moving around.
I am a skinny European and only eat so much that I am not hungry. I know that all American people are skinny too and have open minds and are modest, sweet and lovable. I see that on the televisionseries from America.
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