Gluttony – its not your fault

buffetSo, the reason why you would overeat from such a buffet table like the one pictured to the left is not your fault – no, it’s my fault for posting it here in the first place, at least, according to this article from the LAT.

Several recent studies, papers and a popular weight-loss book argue that eating is an automatic behavior triggered by environmental cues that most people are unaware of — or simply can’t ignore. Think of the buttery smell of movie theater popcorn, the sight of glazed doughnuts glistening in the office conference room or the simple habit of picking up a whipped-cream-laden latte on the way to work.Accepting this “don’t blame me” notion may not only ease the guilt and self-loathing that often accompanies obesity, say the researchers behind the theory, but also help people achieve a healthier weight.

To make Americans eat less and eat more healthily, they contend, the environment itself needs to be changed — with laws regulating portion size, labeling or the places where food can be sold or eaten. That would be much easier, the researchers add, than overcoming human nature. The theory that our society — not us — is to blame for our overall expanding waist size is garnering support from health and nutrition experts. To recap the dismal statistics: In the last 25 years, the number of obese Americans has increased from 14.5% to 32.2%. Two out of three adults are overweight, as are 19% of children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So…the growing obesity epidemic in the United States is not the fault of people, but the fault of advertisers, trying to sell their wares, and the fault of people who gift food? Hm.

So, then….what about people who succumb to anorexia and bulimia? Didn’t they get the memo about human nature and how its only natural for people to eat more than they want? And the fact that people sit at computers more for work than they did 20 years ago has nothing to do with this?

I also find the comparison to smoking and overeating ludicrous. Give me a break. Eating is a natural human need, whereas smoking is not.

I dunno. Blaming our environments seems a little too simplistic to me, although that could just be me, since I have an apparent talent for tuning people out. But then again, isn’t there a study out there that says people are getting better at tuning out advertising, especially online? Plus, trying to legislate where people can eat and portion sizes seems, quite obviously, like overkill. Can you imagine your waiter telling you its against the law to get the 10 oz. steak rather than the 9 oz. steak? Or a bartender telling you you’ve consumed too many calories in beer? Riiiiight.

Ugh. Now, excuse me as I drink my hot chocolate.