"We're number one! We're number one!"
Never to be outdone, the English language, led by the United States, is leading the Fat Pack. According to the latest Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development report, six of the seven highest ranking countries for obesity are English-speaking nations. Here's the official score:
- United States
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
So what's the deal with speaking English and being overweight? Well, experts think that all English-speaking countries are fueled by the American lifestyle. Speaking the same language makes a country more susceptible to embracing our junk food-eating, sedentary way of life. And even though at last check Mexico's official language was Spanish, experts are theorizing America is partly to blame for their problems too.
You see Mexico hasn't historically been a nation characterized by obesity, but in the 90s, NAFTA might have changed all that. We introduced the people of Mexico to American business practices, and as an added bonus, we let Mexico assimilate some of our bad habits into their national culture. Fast food instead of home-cooked meals, driving instead of walking, and TV dinners instead of home-grown produce are among America's biggest exports.
But we might be sharing a little too much, giving away our secrets to true greatness. When it comes to flab, there is one country threatening to challenge our position at the top. Australia has the fastest growing obesity rate of any of the 33 countries examined by the OECD. Experts believe that in as little as ten years, obesity rates in the Land Down Under will grow a whopping 15%. Do you hear that America? It's time to plan a national boycott on exercise and healthy foods. We can't have the Aussies showing us up!
I know, I know. It's hard to compete if you don't know what qualifies as obesity, so let me give you a few pointers. According the World Health Organization, obesity is usually determined by calculating a person's body mass index (BMI). BMI takes into consideration a person's height and weight, and generally speaking, the average adult man has a BMI of 26.6 and the average adult woman has a BMI of 26.5. A BMI over 30 is considered obese. However, a BMI of 40 (which would put you in the morbidly obese category) could make our great nation untouchable! If you're going for gold, America, don't leave anything to chance. (You should note that the taller you are, the harder you will have to work to achieve obesity.)
In order to keep America great, I'm offering up some BMI-raising tips.
- First, stop moving. Nothing makes it harder to pack on the pounds than going for a jog or playing basketball. If you don't spend at least 12 hours each day parked on the couch, you are not doing your part.
- Second, visualize an inverted food pyramid. Eat fats and oils first, along with high glycemic snack foods, and limit your fruits and vegetables to about once or twice a month. Anything more will be considered treason.
- Throw out your dinnerware and get bigger plates. When we switched from ten inch to 12 inch plates, we started consuming 523 calories more per day as a result of larger serving sizes. Just imagine how much more we could eat with 14 inch plates!
- Finally, if those things are not enough to get your BMI up, you might need to use the secret weapon: opt for disruptive sleep patterns and look for ways to elevate your stress -- both of which contribute to fat storage and weight gain.
Ready! Set! Eat, America!