I came across this startling diatribe in a newspaper restaurant review a few weeks ago.
Having just returned from Las Vegas, I can report - needlessly so in the wake of Super Size Me - that American obesity has scaled such heights that were the King of Tonga to land there today, five minutes after eating Mama Cass as an airline snack, he’d strike concerned medical authorities as borderline anorexic. You have to see it to believe it, and even then the vision of bell-shaped mammoths gliding along on golf buggies, because their legs cannot bear their girth, has the aura of a mescaline-induced nightmare.
(Sunday Telegraph Magazine, 7 August 2005)
I thought about using it before, but didn’t want to be accused (again!) of being anti-American. However, the quote seems especially relevant today as a report from Trust for America’s Health suggests that Americans are getting fatter at an unprecedented rate.
Obesity rates continued to rise last year in every state but one, and government policies and actions to date offer little hope of countering the trend, according to a new report by Trust for Americaâ€™s Health.
Mississippi ranked as the heaviest state, Colorado as the least heavy, and rates stayed the same in Oregon, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America, 2005. Over 25 percent of adults in 10 states are obese, including in Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, and South Carolina. Seven of those 10 states are in the Southeastern U.S.
Approximately 119 million Americans, or 64.5 percent, of adult Americans are either overweight or obese. Estimates of the number of obese American adults rose from 23.7 percent in 2003 to 24.5 percent in 2004.
Read the whole report (1.5MB pdf)
“We have seen this year-on-year rise in obesity in the US that has been mirrored in the UK. We know we are only about seven years behind them.
“In this country, the government is working very hard to try and develop a strategy for obesity but at the moment very little practically is being done.
“It really is time that we got our finger out and started making real changes.
“This is no cosmetic irritation, it is a serious medical problem.”