Today’s obesity epidemic can definitely not be blamed on genetics. Although a few rare individuals may be genetically predisposed to holding an abnormal amount of weight on their frames, it is our love of fatty foods, and decreased activity levels that have led to our now severely overweight population. Man has just become far too efficient at taking care of his basic needs.
Man has learned how to provide a relatively easy means of acquiring sufficient food for himself, and his family, and he takes full advantage of this. We are a generation that enjoys our food, we have easy access to it, and we take advantage of this fact. The majority of people overeat. Not only do they overeat, the majority of people eat a variety of foods strictly because they taste good, and pay no attention to the fact that these foods may not be good for them. We overindulge to the extreme. Greasy hamburgers, huge beef steaks, French fries, milkshakes, and rich pastries just oozing out a gazillion calories per bite, we disregard any health issues surrounding these foods and chow down till our tummies can’t hold another bite. The job of hunting and gathering our food has definitely become much easier to do in today’s modern world and we certainly take advantage of this fact.
Now this overindulgence in food might not be such a huge problem if man had not also managed to figure out a way to not have to work so hard. But it happened. Man no longer has to spend his entire day working hard at just trying to survive. He isn’t out there hunting and gathering, working his garden, tending his animals, mending fences, checking trap lines, gathering wood and any other of the millions of things that he would have had to do in the past to insure his survival.
No insuring survival here, instead modern man toddles home after his huge meal out at McFatties, and he plops his slightly oversized rear down on the couch for a nice little after supper nap. After this nap he might give his fingers a little workout on the old remote control till nine or ten in the evening and then it is time to pull his body up from its comfy position and cart it off to bed.
Technology hasn’t improved this situation either. The remote control saves modern man from having to get up and down to change those television channels. We have electric washing machines so we don’t have to expend energy beating our clothes to a frizzle on a scrubbing board or some rock down at the local creek (which also brings to mind that one would have to cart that stuff down there). Electric or gas stoves and furnaces mean that wood doesn’t have to be stockpiled. Modern man doesn’t have to use any energy to haul his daily water supply in, he now has plumbing, he just has to turn on the tap and there it is. If he has a yard then his electric or gas powered lawnmower makes yard work a breeze. Modern mans lot in life has definitely simplified. If he works a desk job then he exerts considerably less energy than he would have had to if he were born into a different era.
For children the situation is the same. Instead of spending the day doing chores, and running around outside playing, they sit in a desk for six hours each day. They arrive home each week day with their schoolbags filled with that mandatory “one hour of homework”. They grab a snack and then sit down to get their homework done. This usually occupies about another two to three hours of their day. After which they eat supper, and then finally free from the confines of their day they either park themselves at their home computer, or in front of the living room television set till bedtime. Kids aren’t kids anymore! They are miniature modern day adults! If they do get outside to play then you have to watch them like a hawk because of the now overabundance of predators out there (and I am not talking coyotes!). Could we expect anything less than an epidemic of childhood obesity when kids have to live like this?
The advancement of man, and technology, as well as an easy food source that just tastes too darn good are the main reasons behind our current obesity epidemic, not genetics.