A Sci Am blog post reported that the USA lags in efficiency of converting workers' time into money.  A lot of that is because workers have chronic obesity-related diseases. 

Ironically, the supply of fattening junk food at people’s workplaces is a significant cause of the obesity problem. People bring cheap junk food to share; employers supply cheap junk food at parties. It’s hard for people to resist when they are right next to it all day.  Food companies are very skilled at producing hyper-palatable, cheerfully packaged, cheap - and fattening food. 

Social eating is a big part of the obesity problem generally.
People bring fattening food into a social environment – like work or at a party – and cheerfully invite others to share the “goodies”. This is considered sociality in the USA culture.
And people go to restaurants to be social, and restaurant food is generally also high fat.
And if you object, you feel like a spoilsport, a grim reminder of people’s flab. I went to the barbeque of a social group, where most of the people were overweight. It was full of marshmallows and other junk food. I objected later, but I was met with an attitude of “there’s nothing wrong with eating treats now and then” and the suggestion that I must have an eating disorder!  (I'm thinnish but in the normal weight range.)
If I were overweight I would consider it urgent NOT to be eating such stuff, and an unkindness for someone to tempt me with it. But overweight and very obese people are routinely exposed to this.
No wonder so many people are fat, when fattening food is associated with cheerful social occasions.

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These are the symptoms of malnutrition. When your body is starving it starts retaining what you are giving it in preparation for continued malnutrition. So if all you consume is (bad) fat and salt, that's what your body will hold on to.

Lets pretend you are getting ready to buy food at the store, start by grabbing a bottle of Ensure. Why?Ensure is a drink designed for people unable to eat food and it contains ~25% of the nutrition you need / day. Look under the protien line and you will find more or less a comprehensive list of nutritional information. Many of these items may be unfamiliar to you as much of the modern food is devoid of nutrition and thus never show up in the nutritional facts.

Now, don't buy food that can't reasonably add up and get you up to 100% of your nutritional requirements in a single day. Also, don't rely on vitamins and nutritional supplements to help there is a lot of good published research that shows that vitamins are not effective and do not provide bioavailability.

Once your body starts getting proper nutrition the constant hunger, snacking, and weight gain will taper off.

Of course there is a lot more to healthy eating habits than this, but it's a good easy start.

It's high fructose corn syrup followed by corn syrup.  That's the most fattening and useless ingredients ever placed in anything.  It's hidden everyplace.  I'm a big label reader and run into those two with a consistency that dismays me.  Although I stay on weight it's only becaused I was cursed with the worst stomach known to man. Or in this case woman.

Oh yes, if one makes comments about junk food, the old bromide, "food nazi" comes into play, just as feminazi does for women who assert themselves. So? Name calling is part of the "killer words and phrases" that yearns to keep people in line. 


Killer Phrases

Words that kill imagination, creativity, exploration, and wonder in children also provide challenges for adults to overcome.  Faced with real world problems, we need every critical thought we can generate, even if it is outside the box.


Be ladylike.   (Emma Rosenthal)

Crucify yourself daily.

Crucify yourself in imitation of the crucified Christ

Don’t be so disruptive.   (Emma Rosenthal)

Don’t be so negative.   (Emma Rosenthal)

Focus on the positive.   (Emma Rosenthal)



Get over it!

It can't be done!

It has been like this since Cain and Abel!

it isn't the right time.    (Emma Rosenthal)

It's just human nature.  (Chris Barna)


Rejoice in your crucifixion

That’s not polite.   (Emma Rosenthal)

The poor will be with us always!

This isn’t the time.

This isn't the place.   (Emma Rosenthal)

Turn the other cheek

War is war!

We have to appeal to (white) middle amerika (though they never SAY ‘white.’)   (Emma Rosenthal)

We've always done it this way!


You can't legislate morality!

You just want to make trouble!

You’re being divisive.   (Emma Rosenthal 

You’re too extreme.   (Emma Rosenthal)


Joan Denoo    2011-03-06

if one makes comments about junk food, the old bromide, "food nazi" comes into play, just as feminazi does for women who assert themselves.

People have a fundamental discomfort with the fact that they ARE influenced by advertising, by the social environment.  Maybe it's American culture, to think of oneself as an independent cowboy or -girl.  But - that's not the reality.  Despite abusive epithets, we are very social and very influenced by each other.   

According to my dr., I have the cholesterol numbers that people would rob me of if possible.

Patricia, good for you!

Daniel, Ensure Clear is delicious. In fact I am having a nice glass of it right now.

First of all almost all of our social interactions involve food. I went through a health issue and a nine month period where I really couldn't eat anything. Professionally and socially it isolated me from the upwardly mobile groups since catered lunches and business meetings often are the places where important issues are resolved and and networking takes place. If you want happy productive teams, you have to feed them food that will make them happy. The best I can suggest is that you worry about your health and make choices based on your values. No one likes to be lectured on their own food choices

If you want happy productive teams, you have to feed them food that will make them happy. The best I can suggest is that you worry about your health and make choices based on your values. No one likes to be lectured on their own food choices

Unfortunately people are profoundly influenced by the food environment.  That's just how we are.  Arguing from individual choice just doesn't cut it here.  When people bring junk food to work occasions or social occasions, it causes obesity.  The social environment is a major cause of obesity. 

And, I am not "lecturing people on their own food choices".  I'm surprised to be attacked for posting on the obesity-causing food environment, because it is so clearly true. 

Also, if health insurance becomes obligatory, then people have to pay for others' bad choices.  Obesity increases health insurance costs a LOT.  People who eat healthy and don't get fat and don't have the health problems that result from metabolic syndrome, don't need the hip replacements, knee replacements necessitated by excess weight, the food amputations because of type 2 diabetes - etc. etc. - still end up paying for them. 

Arguing from individual choice also doesn't cut it, when everyone has to pay the cost. 

Also, one point of the original post was that it's ironic that people so often get fattened by junk food available at work, because the Sciam blog post said that the USA doesn't do very well in the utilization of human capital, and what employers are trying to do, is to utilize human capital in the most cost-effective way. 

For employers to create or allow a fattening work environment is short-sighted.  They provide cheap junk food that makes people fat - and the cheapness is one reason for that.  But long term, it raises the cost of health insurance.

Not all businesses do this.  I stayed at a Hampton Inn several times while I was living in hotels, and they were generally socially and environmentally conscious, including providing baskets of fruit in the lobby instead of pastries and rolls.  The idea that people won't like healthy food may well be false, since the "junk food is fun" idea is programmed into people by advertising. 

Joan commented earlier in this thread on the stigmatization of people who point out the toxic elements of our culture. 

Or healthy substitute indulgences.  Like fruit - I think of one party where they had big bowls of berries.  Very appetizing.


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