Check your pre-1970s family photos. Like most Americans, you come from generations of families that were weight healthy! I know, because I grew up in the 50s and 60s. See the crowd scenes below for a look at what our bodies looked like then.
Over-weight was such a non-issue that the U.S. government had never even conducted a weight survey til after 1960. Before that we’d always understood that variations in weight were like variations in eye color, just natural, genetically-programmed traits.
Not anymore. Something else is programming our weights now.
WHOSE FAULT IS THE NEW FAT?
In the 1970s, when unnatural weight gain first reared its bizarre head, we became desperate. We tried to starve it off. We tried to purge it away. Low-cal dieting (i.e. voluntary starvation) and bulimia both became epidemic in what I call “The Dietary Disaster Decade.” We hated our new, abnormally heavy, bodies and we became vicious about other people’s overweight bodies as well. We falsely assumed, since we had no understanding of this unprecedented phenomenon, that it must be a sign of laziness and gluttony. Body fat was foul.
As weights have continued to rise, weight-shamming has become institutionalized and is now having to be legislated against (click here for related article).
But starving, purging, and hating have not helped.
Thirty percent of us are now unnaturally overweight. That’s triple what it was in the 1960s. Yet many Americans these days wish that they were overweight. That’s because an additional 50% of us are currently suffering from more extreme forms of weight-gain. The obesity epidemic, which was first announced in 2000, is now afflicting children as well as adults, most of whom are morbidly obese. This means that not only their body shapes, but their lives, are in peril.
That’s 80% of the U.S. Population!