1 1 1 1 1 1
1 1
1 1 1 1
1 1

OBESITY: AN EPIDEMIC

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in our country particularly in children.

Here are some startling statistics to consider:

  • 65% of American adults are overweight
  • 30% of Americans are obese
  • According to the American Obesity Association, 127 million Americans are overweight, 60 million Americans are obese, and 9 million are morbidly obese: they weigh 100 pounds more than they should.
  • In the last twenty years, the rate of obesity has doubled in children and tripled in adolescents and teens.
  • As of September 2004, nine million American kids between the ages of six and eighteen were obese.

OBESITY: A KILLER

Obesity-related illnesses will kill around 400,000 Americans this year-almost the same as smoking. Americans have gotten so big that their coffins have to be supersized.

"The epidemic of childhood obesity is only the latest grim chapter of a burgeoning American tragedy," The Washington Monthly has declared.

Related illnesses caused by obesity:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Breast Cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Gout
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Strokes

In 2003, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that one out of three kids born in America in the year 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes.

The life of a ten-year-old child who has Type II diabetes will be, on average, between seventeen and twenty-six years shorter than that of a healthy child.

Diabetes can lead to heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure, and nerve damage in the lower legs which may result in amputation (82,000 of these cases occur every year).

Diabetes is currently the sixth-highest cause of death in America.

FAST FOOD: THE CULPRIT


Fast Food is Everywhere


The rise of the fast food industry plays a critical role in why our country is plagued with obesity. Fast food is everywhere: in big cities, small towns, shopping malls, the airport, the bus station, schools, and even hospitals!

  • There are 31,000 McDonald's worldwide- almost 14,000 of them are in the U.S.

People are Eating a lot of Fast Food

Fast food has become cheaper and easier to buy. In 2004, Americans spent $124 billion dollars on fast food. That same year, The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a study showing that the percentage of fast food calories in the American diet has increased from 3 percent to 12 percent over the last twenty years.

Fast food culture was introduced to other countries around the world in the 1980's. In countries like Japan and China, people have abandoned traditional healthy diets in favor of fast food and as a result the rate of obesity and other diseases has soared.

Fast Food Restaurants Serve More

Not only is fast food everywhere, but fast food companies encourage the consumer to eat more by supplying over-sized burgers, extra-large servings for fries, and buckets of soda.

Products like The Whopper, The Big Gulp, and Super Size meals pack in a whopping amount of calories, sugars, and fats. Let's take a closer look:

  • The Double Gulp soda at your local 7-11 holds 64 ounces of soda-that is half a gallon! It contains the equivalent of 48 teaspoons of sugar.
  • A typical hamburger at a fast food restaurant weighs six ounces. In 1957, it weighed one ounce.
  • According to one nutritionist, your average fast food meal is more like three meals.
  • The average meal at a McDonald's has 1,550 calories.

Fast Food is not Good For Us

We're eating more food that is not nutritious. Most fast-food meals are high in fat, high in sugar, high in calories, high in starch, high in salt, and low in fiber and nutrients.

Because fast food lacks nutrients, after we eat it we're not satisfied. That makes us hungry for more soon after.

Why kids are at a major risk


Our children are exposed to an onslaught of advertising for fast food. Fast food chains spend more then $3 billion every year on television advertising. They intentionally campaign to kids so they become life-long customers. These are known as cradle-grave advertising strategies. Researchers have found that children can often recognize a company logo, like the Golden Arches, before they can recognize their own name.

In one year, the typical American child watches more that 40,000 TV commercials. Around 20,000 of these ads are for junk food: fast food, candy, soda, and breakfast cereals. This means that your child sees a junk food ad every five minutes when they're watching TV.

To further motivate children to eat fast food, companies like McDonald's have Happy Meals with free toys. McDonald's gives away more than 1.5 billion toys every year. Almost one out of every three new toys given to American kids each year is from McDonald's or another fast food restaurant.

In order to combat these calculated advertising strategies, educating our children on healthy eating habits that are easy, fun, and taste great is paramount. By teaching our children how harmful fast food is and how to eat healthier, they are empowered to make the right choices.

How did the Bionic Burger Museum begin?

A software engineer in Burlington, Vermont began the museum in 1991. One day he was out with friends in Boston for New Year's Eve and stopped at McDonald's on the way home. He bought a couple of cheeseburgers, ate one and put the other in his coat pocket to have later.

He forgot about the burger in his pocket. A year later, he pulled his coat out of the closet, put it on, and discovered the cheeseburger in his pocket from New Year's Eve. It looked exactly the same.

The young man kept the burger. He started collecting burgers, one every year. By the fall of 2004, he had amassed quite a collection:

The original '91 McDonald's Cheeseburger
'92 McDonald's Cheeseburger and Big Mac
'93 Burger King Hamburger
'94 McDonald's Hamburger
'95-'03 McDonald's Cheeseburgers

He kept them on bookshelves in his living room in the open air. These burgers look exactly the same. The bun, the meat, the cheese, the special sauce, the pickle, even the lettuce. They have all retained their shape, and color for over a decade!

Food is supposed to break down. Food is supposed to be the most biodegradable of all products. How is it possible that these burgers have not broken down? Decayed? Become moldy?

Not convinced? See for yourself! Len Foley and Rebecca Gauthier were not convinced. They thought maybe there was an exaggeration, or it was simply not true. So they went and bought a hamburger at the local McDonald's in Burbank, CA February 2007.

They put it in their garage in the open air and left it there. Once a week they would go out and "check" on their burger. It would continue to look and smell exactly the same. No animals, insects, or birds touched it. After one year, they began to feature it in several health exhibits along with some of Matt's hamburgers from his burger collection. Since then, they have added a Hostess Twinkie, cupcake, and other hamburgers to their collection. As of April 2008, there have been no noted changes in the food's composition.

Don't believe us? Start your own bionic burger museum!

The Bionic Burger Museum: The Reality behind the facade

We brought the bionic burger museum to a recent health event to demonstrate how fast food is made of chemicals, preservatives, dyes, and low quality ingredients. Hundreds and hundreds of people saw burgers that were between one and eleven years old. None of them had decomposed. Adults and children were shocked. When people see first hand that fast food isn't food, it has a powerful impact that can cause them to make the right choice: the choice to eat healthy, nutritious food instead of a cornucopia of chemicals, preservatives, fat, grease, and salt.

The Bionic Burger video: A YouTube sensation

The Bionic Burger video has gotten over 1 million hits on YouTube. It has sparked hundreds of comments, blogs, and videos reiterating the dangers of fast food. By increasing our awareness and sharing our insights with others we can make the right choices and live healthier, happier lives!

What can we do?

1. Stop supporting unhealthy fast food chains. Buy from outlets that provide healthy alternatives. Support restaurants and delis that make their food with no chemicals and preservatives.

2. Make a shopping list and stick to it-don't be tempted to buy food on the shelves that you know isn't good for you.

3. Eat organic. Organic foods are free from chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, and GMOs. Although they cost more, they will end up costing you less in the long run because you will be eating healthier thus lowering your risk for health problems.

4. Start a garden.

5. Exercise.

6. Educate yourself. Promote good eating habits.

7. Don't use fast food or candy bars as rewards.

8. Lobby your congressperson to ban all advertisements that promote unhealthy foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt to children.


To contact the creator of the Bionic Burger video, click here.



 

 

 

Learn how to meditate thousand oaks ca