Monday, June 16, 2008

Pass the Sushi, Please

MSN Money recently posited the economic benefits to a United States without fat people. A quick read with a couple interesting did-you-knows:
  • 66% of adults in the U.S. are overweight.
  • 33% are obese.
  • 4.7% are morbidly obese (more than 100 lbs. overweight).
Yikes. Those first two surprised me. For those of you wondering what the definition of obese is, well you're out of luck because it seems like there's a lot. But our good friend wikipedia says "it is commonly defined as a body mass index (weight divided by height squared) of 30 kg/m2 or higher. For those interested, the following is an easy way to calculate your BMI. I just calculated mine, and at 25.1 I just crossed the overweight threshold. Damn. I knew I was getting fat but I hate it when the internet tells me I'm fat.

The article goes on to talk about the effects (mostly good, some bad) on our economy of a slimmer, trimmer country. The message? High school chicks should worry more about their weight and save me some money.

Crossing the Pacific, Japan is doing a little more than wondering aloud about the merits of a leaner country. A recent article in the SF Gate, details a new law in Japan that prescribes a limit for male waistlines at 33-1/2 inches. The penalty for being "afatso" (overweight, in Japanese)? You have to face Kobayashi in a hotdog eating contest!

OK, not really. According to the article, the penalty for breaking the law sounds like counseling, followed by more counseling if you continue to eat. What's the penalty for armed-robbery, a foot massage? Sheesh.

So the next time you think about hitting the drive thru, think of the Japanese who are starving because they are too afraid of breaking the law, and get a salad. A big taco salad.


Ryan said...

Hilarious dude. Great pics too, although there's conflicting info out there about the societal benefits to slimness as well!

But think of what we could harness if new gyms were built to turn kinetic energy into electricity. We could transfer our huge savings account of fat calories into fuel independence!

Ryan said...

I'm sorry for my link getting cut short. I'm also sorry for using two exclamation points in one post. Completely unnecessary.

Austin said...

As someone who has gained about 15 pounds in the last year, I say it's high time the government stepped in and stopped me. Maybe I'll start smoking.

Makes intuitive sense that it is best for society for everyone to be thin, plant trees, never go to the doctor and then drop dead of a heart attack one day after retiring.

Roller said...

You know you're a good blogger when it takes you a week to respond to the few people who actually bother to read AND respond to one of your infrequent posts...

Awesome article, Rye. I love seeing the counterpoint. Although the MSN article seemed to evaluate effects on the entire economy, not just compare the healthcare costs incurred by keeping me on a ventilator till I'm 100 (I'm cracking triple digits guaranteed) vs. carting my neighbor around on an oversized baggage cart till he's 64. Both were good articles.

You can't take anything the Dutch say seriously though, because there's at least a 50% chance that this whole study was made up by a few fat stoners in a coffee shop who were tired of getting so much grief for bending the rims of their bicycles.

Austin, you should start smoking. Cigars. Walk into every meeting with a patient with a fat, slobbery cigar in your mouth, and from time to time tap the ashes on the floor. And if you have to wear a one of those surgical masks, cut a hole in it for the cigar. You'd get your reality show for sure.