Originally Published: October 14, 2012 10:20 p.m.
Trying to lose weight? If you eat one little chocolate confection, then you would have to row around a lake twice to work off the calories. I like jelly beans. Those little sugarcoated fat-builders turn to adipose faster than you can say "obese." Researchers claim that a whopping 60 percent of Americans are overweight! Even our pets are huge! It seems that too many people are feeding "people food" to their dogs and cats, resulting in a whole bunch of fat cats. Obesity is one of the main health problems for everyone on two (or four) legs!
How did we become such a Fat Nation? The finger of blame seems to be pointed at the fast-food restaurants that have "super-sized" us into perpetual chubbiness. The only solution is for everyone in this country to go on a diet! And according to the American Medical Association, just about every American is on a diet, or needs to be on one. Who isn't counting calories, limiting carbohydrates, avoiding sugar and cutting back on fats? The low-carb diet has swept the country with such force that Italian eateries everywhere are wondering how to entice the public back to steaming plates of pasta.
What are we to do? There are no balanced meals of long ago, with the motto being "everything in moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle." Forget it! People now consume cheese and meat like they own a deli. Fruit has gotten a bad rap as "sugar disguised as something healthy." Vegetables that grow in the ground are deemed dangerous. All of you carrot-eaters look out; you'll be as big as a blimp if you don't stop it! Now consumer reports claim that "diet food" is filled with dreaded sweeteners - the evil of all fat cells.
A Chino Valley man emailed me to say that he grabbed a bottle of iced tea out of his refrigerator, took a swig and almost died. His wife evidently bought the unsweetened kind, to help him cut back on calories. He said that the bitter brown liquid was so vile, that he couldn't believe his taste buds. The man's wife has "declared war" on all forms of sugar. "Gone are the days of a piece of pie, a cookie or donut," he lamented. "I am living with a low-carb, sugar-free fanatic," he said. He is now forced to "get his sugar on the side."
What does that mean? People now feel forced to sneak around and eat cookies in dark, dingy places. God forbid someone sees you eating a noodle or a sweetened iced tea. Going through the drive-through of a fast food chain? You'd better hide your fries or be prepared to take public rejection and criticism! One researcher posed the question, "it seems everyone in this country is on some sort of diet, yet, the majority of people remain too fat." Yikes, what are we to do?
While we may be limiting our intake, it seems we are stuffing our pets!! Vets everywhere seem discouraged that so many cats and dogs (even horses) are showing up with all the medical-related problems associated with obesity. I have my yellow Lab, Molly, on a strict diet. She now weighs in at just under 90 pounds, which is progress. She is perpetually hungry, often cranky and looked at me like I was poisoning her when I started mixing green beans in with her food Animals (and people) don't like being given itsy bitsy portions of dry, unappealing food.
It seems only the cattle are getting all the sweets, sugar and chocolate. That's right, Dear Readers, the cows in this country are getting candy added to their hay! It seems that the price of corn is over $300 a ton, so ranchers and dairy farmers are "supplementing" their cattle with all the good stuff that we humans are suppose to avoid. Gummy bears, powdered cocoa, ground up chocolate bars, ice cream sprinkles and trail mix are a few of the "sugar supplements" that cows are enjoying. The cost of a ton of gummy bears is half that of corn, so we have a whole lot of cattle being given the delicious treats intended for us!
Oh, and why does a ton of gummy worms cost 150 bucks but we have to pay a dollar for a few ounces. Not fair!
Aside from cows, the entire country is obsessing on diets! Now grown men and women run in fear from baked potatoes. Sugar is as evil as a street drug. Grapes are to be avoided at all cost. Pizza is about to be banned and pasta might become illegal! Want to try a new diet? The only thing left is no sugar, no protein, no carbs, no fat, no nothing. Julia Child warned us of us this many years ago when she said "Americans must eat more butter or they will end up with dry skin and dandruff!" What's left? Perhaps only alcohol remains. Are margaritas fattening? I must research this and get back to you next week. In the meantime, drink up and "think thin."
Judy Bluhm is a writer and local realtor who lives in Skull Valley. Have a comment or a story? Email Judy at email@example.com.