*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Κυνόσαργες

Sunday, 24 August 2014

'This is why you're fat!'

There's even a website.

I had this breakfast.  Who eats like this, with regularity?  After four years in Japan, this bloated me for the rest of the day, 6'1", 180lb man though I am.

Let's get your umbrage out of the way, if you're feeling it.  I do not care if you, an individual, are overweight.  I do not want to hear your elaborate denials, but other than that, have nothing against you at all.  I have a real problem with entire societies morbidly obese and in denial.  That's where we are.  I have written this before.

Now the Japanese do over-salt everything, not that they'll admit it despite their basic foodstuffs based on salt; however, it's a great country to live in if you think deserts might have some flavour not overwhelmed by one taste: SWEETENERS.  In half a month, it's gotten to the point that we dread going out to eat anywhere, or eat my mother's meals (at over seventy she ought to know better) because we're going to feel bloated and sickly by the end of it.  It's not only portion sizes, which seem to be 150-200% of Japan's, because people are bigger here (even in their BMIs), but that there is sugar, and much too much of it, in so much.  It's a new normal.

So is size.  Jesus but everyone's huge.  Fine, not everyone, but a far, far higher proportion than in Japan: where 'metabolic syndrome' isn't rare.  Now don't give me crap about different body types, because the NE Asians here are also rotund often enough.  I've had to explain to my J-wife, who'd lived here years, that no, few of those women are pregnant, but the only way to tell is by shape, not size.  It's a new normal.

More disturbing is what it's done to my attraction to females.  As I'm vanilla apart from a preference for Asian (which has itself become a norm) I'd always been attracted to females near my age, and in my youth slightly older.  Well, now that the norm is for women from late teens to run to huge and cellulite* (without the reasons of age or pregnancy), and that the body-fat percentage needed to start menses is reached a half decade earlier than when I was a teen, the mid-teens have the figures twenty-somethings once had.  It throws one off, and disturbs, for a fine figure to be topped with a child's face.  It's a new normal.

Fuck the normal, and its abject failure to take any responsibility.  Rather society flaunts this excess, seated in trucks, wearing camel-toe bearing yoga pants that've never seen exercise, downing a thousand calorie 'coffee' with one hand, and scratching thrush with the other.

*The males are as fat, of course.

20 comments:

  1. I do love a big fry up once in a while but every day, no way. I've just had 3 weeks of nutella stuffed croissants being the breakfast norm and that got tired very fast too.

    My biggest taste shock when I left Japan was with drinks here. I very rarely drink soft drinks but even the occasional iced tea is so sickly sweet after you are used to being able to grab a drink without sweetener (natural or artificial) in Japan.

    I don't have any justifications for being overweight. I know exactly where the problems lie and I still eat better than much of the population here where it seems like everyone lives on Coke and Maccas.

    I do think it's a mistake to equate thinner to more healthy though. While a modern Japanese diet does mean people don't have the same tendency to put on weigh, it's not necessarily the healthiest either - too much white rice and not enough vegetables for a start. Without being too brash, I lost a kgs when I got home and got all that rice out of my system :) And then there's all that processed crap people eat to stop them putting on weight...

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    1. I disagree with not a word. I'll admit I won genetically when it comes to keeping off weight, but even so I've developed a pot I need to address, and the fault lies with me. If I put on weight more easily than I do, more fault wouldn't lie with me of course, simply the amount of fault that would lie with me for what I wouldn't have done to address it. People here tell me I am thin, but for my norm I am not, so I avoid the topic because most people telling me I am thin do so both with a hint of envy, and a touch of hoping to move the average closer to their own condition. In short, I don't dislike excess weight: I loathe false consciousness.

      HFC in everything! When you lose your sweet tooth it all becomes quite disgusting, doesn't it? For drinks in Japan there is choice without sweetener. North America (and Australia, I presume): water, coffee, and tea made poorly, tepid.

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    2. Rice... I am no Atkins dieter, but the Japanese eat entirely too much simple carbohydrate.

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    3. One of the big lies/excuses here is that it's cheaper to buy fast food than healthy. Total bullshit since minimum wage is pretty high and a fast food meal reflects that (prices are higher than they are in Japan for McDonalds etc), while we can easily buy enough food for a week or more for 2 of us for $20-30 if we shop at the market. I dunno if it's because people are too lazy to cook or they just lack the skills.

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    4. Yes. 'Convenience food' is convenient, in the short term: god help us in the long term. When I lived on much less than now I'd make huge batches of food and keep them in the fridge and freezer: inconvenient for the first meal, convenient for the several meals that followed it, and far healthier and cheaper than store-bought 'convenience food'. Of course, one has to like food and cooking.

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    5. It's pretty damn scary when people reach adult and can't throw together a decent meal.

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  2. If every North American were forced to live in an East Asian country for awhile...

    Absolutely nothing would change. The Japanese may go through the mindless motions when it comes to many things, but North Americans get the gold for not only mindlessness when it comes to eating and health, but absolute self-delusion. When someone tells me, "You're too thin; you need to put some meat on your bones," I smile and imagine the years of toes being amputated and sudden onset of blindness for these people...

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    1. Yes, self-delusion denotes the culture. I have little use for mainstream North Americans. Give me a member of a visible minority, part of the queer community, refugee or child of, or the like, and I will have something in common with them: the sense that the status quo is provisional on other people's interests in keeping it so.

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    2. One of my N. American friends has lived in Japan for twenty or so years.

      Every year she sends me an e-Christmas card, complete with photos of her family back home in US. I've noticed that every single year, every member of her family has gotten progressively larger and larger, to the point of obesity.

      She herself has stayed almost exactly the same weight as when she first arrived in Japan. It doesn't even seem to take much effort for her.

      The difference is really striking! Because they all started out the same size, two decades ago.

      You think that having to walk/cycle everywhere has something to do with it?

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    3. "You think that having to walk/cycle everywhere has something to do with it?"

      YES! When I lived a suburban life for a short time, eating take out from drive-through, I put on a belly. When I ditched my car I lost the belly, easily. Bloody simple.

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    4. The husband and I are often told we need to put more meat on our bones. :( Sadly according to my height/age/body type... I could use to lose 10 lbs.

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  3. Time to rename this blog to "Arististhenes' coronary"?

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  4. Not disagreeing at all, but just observing that compared to Australia I find Japanese food too sweet, especially savory food. So many savory Japanese dishes have a tablespoon of sugar per serve (sukiyaki, okyakodon, tamago-yaki) and I find it really off-putting. I also find it crazy how much candy kids here get. In Australia an after-school snack is usually fruit or yoghurt or something like a cheese and bacon scone (obviously that's class specific, I know lots of people give their kids chips and coke too). But here it is all candy, often an entire bag a day, but fruit is a "sometimes" desert.

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    1. I haven't even visited Australia, and those I've met, like Americans, Brits and Canadians I have known living abroad, tend to have selected out the worst of them who stay behind in their 'fly-over' areas. If Australian kids are so properly fed, they do far better than the other Anglos.

      Yes, there's too much sugar/mirin in Japanese food. I started to find it quite tedious. 'Oh, another nimono tasting of sugar and salt. How wonderful.'

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    2. I remember being invited for sukiyaki at a friend's home - my first sukiyaki party! - and being so excited ... until the hostess opened a 500gm bag of sugar and literally dumped half of it in the nabe. I couldn't believe my eyes. I've never liked sukiyaki very much since then.

      Japanese kids do tend to get a lot of sweets and salty snack foods, but one they are almost never given is sweet fizzy drinks, like colas. Those are for special occasions only. Instead, they are given healthy drinks like plain barley tea (mugi cha) in unlimited amounts, especially in summer. It's quite a good custom, actually.

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    3. I am so about mugicha. Sweet drinks, feh! Funny how the excess calories Americans have in a day equals the amount they get via sweetened drinks. Seems simple: fuck the corn lobby.

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    4. Soft drink consumption in Australia is crazy nowadays. Coke is used as a loss leader to get people into supermarkets and can be cheaper than water.

      Another contributor to bad diet here (and, I assume, in most Western countries) is the upsizing. If I go to the shops to buy a small treat, often it works out only a few cents cheaper to buy the ultra huge family size or get the 'buy one, get one free' deal.

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    5. Oh no, I wasn't trying to hold up Australia as a great example. I think we actually have a higher rate of obesity than the US. I was specifically talking about sugar for kids.

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  5. I typed a comment and then it went poof. -_-
    Re-training the step-son has been quite challenging this last year. He came with the urge to Mc D his mouth as often as humanly possible... or he insisted on cheesy ramen. His mother is a shit cook and lazy to boot. We have made progress in instilling balanced diet but portion size is something a bit harder to train for him.

    The meal pictured above is roughly the same size breakfast my husband and I will split when we go out to eat... and we sometimes have left overs. We can't possibly put that much food away because we are smaller folk. And we have kept tabs on eating appropriate portions. While my hubs has an amazing metabolism, I do not. So I have to stay active and eat smart or else I end up packing on the lbs and would look much more like my sisters (which none are in a healthy weight range). My grandmother passed due to complications of diabetes, I don't wanna go out like that.

    I showed my exchange student thisiswhyyourfat... he is a very fit and active boy from Austria. And while he stayed with us he did over indulge in "treats" ice cream, fast food, Dr. Pepper. In Austria he has Burger King and Mc Ds.... in his town there is only one restaurant and it's a pizza joint. Here he had the pick of over 10 different places... some in duplicates. Within my city limits we have 5, including the one in Walmart, Mc Ds. It's everywhere! And the portions are ridiculous. I have a co-worker who refuses to eat at Burger King because the meat patty is not big enough. Any where my exchange student and I would go, I would jokingly say, "This is why you're fat." It's sad really, working at the high school, there are kids that are morbidly obese. On any given day I can walk into an air-conditioned classroom and watch students sweating at rest. It looks bad and smells far worse than normal sized person sweat... there is an added cheese stench added to the acrid smell of teen sweat.

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