EDITORIAL: America’s elastic waistband expands

Illustration by Carin Coursey.

“Oh overweight, curvaceous thighs, for growing fast food chains, for greasy burger tragedies, above the fruitless plate! America, America, we spread much butter on thee! And fill they cup with soda-pop, from sea to whining sea.” America the beautiful is gaining weight. Everywhere across the nation, scales are being maxed-out, buttons are popping off dress-shirts, and zippers are gaping. It’s no secret that this country is packing on the pounds—how and why so many are suddenly chafing is due to a variety of reasons. There’s genetics. Problems with one’s thyroid and food allergies can contribute to weight gain, sometimes without knowledge or warning. Certain medications can add unwanted volume too. Well, that’s it for the legitimate excuses. Honestly, all other reasons why some American’s girths are growing are simply due to over indulgence and laziness. Gorging oneself from dawn till dusk on everything from meat, sugar and carb-laden foods and beverages is trending. America is going for what is fast, easy or cheap, and what “tastes good” rather than what is healthfully beneficial. Hello, healthcare crisis! Americans wonder why they are suffering from ailments such as insomnia, diabetes (with the exception of genetic diabetes), depression, low self-esteem, back aches, heart problems, knee pain and arthritis. Americans wonder why the number on that irritating tag on the inside of their pants is the same as their age. They wonder why the seats on airplanes and at sporting events have shrunk in half, forcing them to buy two just to be the slightest bit comfortable. They wonder why they feel like and resemble characters floating around at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. America wonders. To stop the wondering; we are so very, terribly sorry for the simply awful wisdom we are  about to impart upon overweight America. It just might change things. It just might go against everything ever learned. Here goes—if one is unhappy about the way one looks or feels, one should do something about it. Great success most often comes after great struggle. So sorry to say that there is no magic pill to make one lose weight and keep it off. Sorry that one may have to actually diet and exercise to lose weight. So sorry, America.


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