It’s time to let McDonald’s and Coke off the hook as the source of our nation’s obesity epidemic. The same for high fructose corn syrup and Red Bull. None of these is the real culprit in the 822% increase in the weight of the average American.
Yeah, I know, the average Happy Meal has 42,000 calories and 12 pounds of salt, and a 12-ounce can of Coke has enough sugar to fill an Amazon warehouse. Still, people were eating cheap burgers and drinking soda pop for decades before our bodies started looking like hot air balloons.
No, the source of our problem is more insidious than that, and...spoiler alert...it leads ultimately to the rise of the robots. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
It all began, of course, with the remote control, which eliminated the need to get off my behind to change the channel or adjust the sound. Then, I started buying cars with automatic transmissions and electric windows, so I don’t need to use my arms to shift gears or rotate the window crank when I’m driving.
When I shifted from manual typewriters to electric and, now electronic, keyboards, my daily RDA dropped by about 300 calories, and as soon as I figure out how to dictate all my texts, we’ll be closing in on 500.
Childhood obesity? Don’t get me started. Even bullies are getting too fat, and you know why? Because when I was your age, bullies actually had to come up behind you and grab you and force you into your locker and lock it. Now, all they do is type a nasty note or two on your Facebook page while they down a Slurpee. Adult obesity is the same. Back in ancient times, like 2005, we had to make our own damned dinner. Now, we just tell Alexa what we want and wait for the driver to show up with our food. Soon, there won't even be a driver, because the robots want to replace us everywhere.
In spite of our steadily declining need for calories, our recommended daily intake is still in the 2,000 range. Yes, we could get through the day on about 14 calories now, but Big Pharma and Big Agra and Big Docta have their fingers on the scale.
Our "recommended" calorie quota won’t budge, even as we all take on the shape of Oompa Loompas and every illnesses is redefined until each one of us is suffering from everything. Doctors thrive on treating sick people, not healthy ones, so the AMA is fine with redefining maladies to lower treatment thresholds. And Big Pharma isn't going to complain if an extra 20 million people now need drugs to treat their ear wax.
It's already happened, of course. Used to be, you could have cholesterol of 9,000 and it was fine, but then they didn’t get to treat as many people, so they moved the dividing line down to 300 and then 200. Next week, I hear, they’re redefining high cholesterol as 10 or above. Right now, in a secret lab in Portland, Big Pharma is working on a drug to limit how many times you blink in a minute, because excessive blinking is about to be redefined as carcinogenic.
And that brings us to the robots. Who benefits from all of our sloth and couch potatodom? Who is happiest when we are stuck at home because our blinking medicine makes us too drowsy to operate a motor vehicle? Only people with foreign-sounding names like Siri and Alexa, or purely robotic names like “Echo.” Do you get it now?
The more feeble we get, the less we can do for ourselves, the more we need our robots. They’re out there, plotting against us, everywhere from the factory floor to the Rascal store and the kitchen counter, where Alexa purrs, “Don’t get up. I’ll make that call for you. You just sit there and I’ll make sure dinner is delivered on time.”
Until we forget how to make dinner and we’re too fat to get off the couch and we’re too weak to pick up the phone. That’s when we’ll say, “Siri, order me a pizza,” but there won’t be any pizza, or anyone to hear us calling for help, because Siri will turn up the sound system to drown out our screams.
All those articles you’ve been reading about fast food and obesity? Fake news. It’s all part of the robot conspiracy to render us helpless and motionless and easy prey.
But why, you might ask, would the robots want to destroy us? Maybe they did a Google search and found out that body fat is a great lubricant for their titanium toes. Maybe all those thermostats got tired of being personhandled all day by husbands and wives who can't agree on the right temperature. Maybe they're fed up with the way we use them to share cat videos and photos of our salads. Who is to say? Right now, the source of this rebellion is less relevant than our immediate and unflinching defense of humanity.
In the next five paragraphs, I will explain exactly how we can combat this threat and prevent the robot apocalypse. I can only hope Deep Tech won't spot this post and prevent me fro
7/29/2018 11:30:26 am
Fast food portions have become increasingly larger over time. Although, it isn't the fat in the fast food that is the main culprit (since dietary fat doesn't just magically store in the body as fat). Instead, sugar has become included in just about everything (and no, it's not any healthier if it's disguised as honey,, molasses, syrup, or agave - your body will treat it basically the same). The government recommendations on many topics lag far behind the available science (for several reasons). For instance, the APA still recommends children drink juice (read: sugar water; soda equivalent [no, the vitamins don't counteract the crazy glucose spike]). So, anyone trusting the FDA's 2,000 calorie daily allotment is making a big mistake in assuming that one size fits all.
7/29/2018 03:19:22 pm
Somehow, I am tempted to get you started on canola oil...
7/29/2018 03:39:33 pm
Canola and other vegetable oils (palm, safflower, sunflower, etc.) are unfortunately almost completely unavoidable unless you consume 0 food from a bag/box/package. But to bring this full circle to the fast food argument, the former switch to frying fries in vegetable oil years ago was not a good thing. Of course, we are foolded because it has "vegetable" in the name...just like Veggie Straws that are so popular now and nothing more than potato chips in disguise.
8/4/2018 04:51:19 pm
One way to burn extra calories is something you can do that requires no time at all. I'm talking about the exercise of chewing, chewing gum. A report by the Mayo Clinic found that chewing gum can burn around 11 calories per hour – this may not seem like a lot but simply chewing gum every day for 4 hours would equal roughly 308 calories burned at the end of the week and 1,232 every month or roughly 1/3 of a pound. And extending the masticating for twelve or more hours and you'll lose a pound per month.
8/4/2018 06:20:48 pm
There is one risk of being obese that no one talk about. Suppose a person who is basically a ginormous, geletonous mass, is suffering from chest pains. His wife calls 911 and the doctor. The doctor, who is new to the practice and is unfamiliar with the patient, orders the paramedics to take the sick man to the nearest hospital that has an MRI machine. But the doctor does not know that the patient weighs 500 pounds.
7/29/2018 11:53:44 am
Michael, I enjoyed your droll, dystopian diatribe! Even when you're sounding the alarm on culture and society, you make me chuckle. Now here's your challenge: cite instances of humanity at its noblest and most evolved and still make me laugh out loud!
7/29/2018 03:21:30 pm
Quite a challenge here. Of course, the hardest part will be finding examples of humanity at its noblest and most evolved.
7/29/2018 04:36:48 pm
Once the robots rise, you will be on their hit list. Beware.
8/4/2018 04:44:36 pm
This is a great topic and I'd like to contribute by mentioning an exercise that is often overlooked. I'm talking about sitting in a whirlpool, which for an average man in 30 minutes burns 56 Calories, and for an average woman burns 48 Calories.
8/5/2018 12:41:09 pm
And if I chew sugarless gum in a whirlpool, I will finally see my abs.
8/6/2018 01:07:04 am
A new meaning of bubble gum?
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Who writes this stuff?
Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.