Tuesday, April 22, 2008

the growing waistlines in America

Yes, this actually has something to do with my trip to Singapore.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, we need to study the habits of people in other countries.  Particularly the elderly. 

Went to the mountains a few years ago and I thought I was in pretty good shape.  We went on a hike up to a waterfall and we were huffing and puffing.  And trying not to be passed by an elderly Indian lady in full garb.  (not native American, but a person from India)  She wasn't wearing Nikes and water wicking shorts.  Heels and the full sari getup. 

Similarly, hiking up Diamond Head - how many stairs is it?  Couple hundred?  Again, trying not to get passed by the elderly Japanese couple - the man in slacks and a button collared shirt, the lady with her Prada purse and heels.  You'll see the elderly Japanese folks out for an early, early (I mean early) morning swim or walk. 

On my morning walks in the botanical garden in Singapore there were several large groups of retirees doing Tai Chi - I'm talking 50+ people per group!  And they walked there to get to class! 

I also like to talk about the lady at the marathon that I saw wearing a nice hat, carrying a purse and wearing something that was not running shoes.  Sure, I passed her very early on, but still, she was doing it.

The reason I'm saying this is because when Gary and I got on the subway to get around in S'pore - we felt like huge people.  We're not huge.  But in comparison, we are.  I felt like we took up so much space.

What is the secret?  This needs to be studied.

You could argue it's the food.  But I've already commented about the fast food restaurants there.  And even in the local hawker stands - they love the fried chicken.  Stir fry this, fry up that.  Curry is not low fat I'm finding out.  (explains why I didn't lose weight on this trip)  They don't do brown rice - you don't see organic this, whole grain that.

Maybe it's portion size?  Maybe it's the lack of sweets.  (or good sweets)  Maybe they are getting up at 4 am to exercise?  (Hmmm.... they seemed to like to eat at midnight - maybe it's sleep deprivation)

I'd like to chalk it up to genetics too.  But that's hardly a good motivator.  I'd like to think I have a fighting chance.

You read in the papers about how migrants come to America and get fat because of the change in lifestyle.  Well, how come the folks in S'pore have all the modern amenities and foodstuffs we do, but are rail thin?  It doesn't track.  There's something that's being missed.  It deserves a study.  Japan too.  I've seen the tourists that come here and they are rail thin.

I'm just thinking out loud.  Clearly I'm missing something that is obvious to 2/3's of the world.


On an unrelated, yet similar note.  Jake tells me yesterday that he is 20 pounds overweight.  He says that his friend Ricky weighs less than him but is 3 months older!  I informed him that he is taller than Ricky, Ricky is a bit skinny and they are built different.  I was then told that Thomas (who is 9 already) weighs 90 pounds (whose mom told me that Thomas told her he weighed 95).  Well, Thomas is taller than Jake and has a dad who is 6' 5".  Yeah, he's gonna be a big boy.

Why are these boys obsessed with weight?  when did boys start caring about it?  And at such a young age.

These are things that I sorely dislike about our society.  I've said this before, why can't America have a normal relationship with food?

1 comment:

lanurseprn said...

I see tourists from Asia all the time in my work....and you are right, they are THIN! But, they DO eat differently than us. Recently, an Asian family came into my department, and the little kids got hungry. The mom gave her kids Kumquats to snack on. They loved it and gobbled them right up! American moms give their kids cookies...candy....but never have I seen an American Mom give her kid a Kumquat! I have to admit, I've never eaten one either!
I enjoyed this entry.