Teen Obesity is Exaggerated; 67% of Teens 13-17 Choose To Work Out
By Al Berrios
Who said that being fat is bad. If the majority is fat, then it's normal. Companies aren't making us fat; society isn't catering to our new lifestyles by making things sturdier, wider, and better fitting. It's a just a stereotype that fat is not beautiful, and historically speaking, stereotypes can change. True, obesity will cause different expenditures from social healthcare in this country, but guess what, today's older person has different needs from our social welfare system than people 30 years before them, and that cycle won't ever change.
A campaign by the CDC is encouraging teens to exercise to lose weight; obesity is being hailed as a national epidemic, causing leading food manufacturers and restaurants to overhaul their entire business models; and our medical profession claims eating too much is now a disease and blame it on increased serving sizes, excessive consumption of sugars and fats, and our friends and family for letting us eat so much. Wake up, experts! If you really care about something, you do it. For example, if you really wanted to go to a gym to work out, you make time. If you want to do it and don't do it, you don't really care. The same for every other activity we engage in with our time. If we want to work hard, we do. If we want to play sports, we make time. There are so many choices for us to spend our time with, that we've reduced living our lives just to what we really want to do, no only what we really need to do. Isn't that the point of this utopian democracy? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of looking and feeling however we want?
Being fat isn't a new thing, but what lead it to rise to the top of our social awareness is: this generation lives better and as a result, indulges more. Some indulge by purchasing million dollar homes, others, a #1 value meal at McDs. But the behavior is the same - we're exercising our choices, forget our butts!
In the recent al berrios & co. The Fit Consumer Analysis Micro-Study Jan 04, we discovered that teens aged 13 through 17 do work out (67%), however, not too many of them have gym memberships (33%, the largest number of no memberships from all our groups). Instead, this same group works out in home gyms (33%, the largest number of home gym owners from all our groups). This tells us that those that want to be in shape, are. And those that prefer to spend their time lethargically reading comic books, playing video games, or killing brain cells in front of the TV, will. Based on current understanding of human physiology, obesity is not healthy. But neither is cutting class to play sports. And both are lifestyle choices.
What we have to understand is that this generation has unprecedented choice - and some choose to eat soy, while others choose not to. Sure, parents play a huge role in their childs' food consumption habits. But now that they're informed about the good and bad about what they eat, let them decide, and stop labeling their preferred lifestyle so negatively. Seriously, we would simply recommend embracing the fat consumer. Give them what they need to continue their indulgences (wider seats on the bus or improved grips for the products they buy, for example) and watch the loyal consumers spend, spend, spend.
Unlike cigarettes, which lied about the effects of their product, food manufacturers don't produce poisons and label them edible. That's what the FDA is for. But if even mad cow won't keep fat people from enjoying a good burger, then nothing will. So embrace the fat.
> Witt, Louise, "Why We're Losing the War Against Obesity", American Demographics, Dec 03/Jan 04, p. 27
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