Today: Jul 17, 2024

You gonna eat that: Food musing and restaurant cruising

Samantha Arbuckle, Special to Southern News-

As I walk around Crystal Mall in my hometown, I look around and notice the shapes and sizes of my fellow Americans. Directly in front of me, I notice a male–late 30s, holding a pretzel and a coke, pushing at least 300 pounds.

I watch and let my mind wander to what my life would be like if I were obese. What would I do if I had to go into a store and pick up a size 16 pant? What would I do if I could actually consume multiple orders from a fast food restaurant? 

According to, 63.1 percent of adults in the U.S. were either overweight or obese in 2009, with statistics only increasing. I am disgusted with my fellow citizens and their lack of willpower to eat a normal, healthy diet. 

In 2008, there were a reported 13,918 McDonald’s restaurants in America and the multi-billion dollar chain corporation serves about 58 million people a day. Now to me, fast food is a pro/con type of issue.

I’m starving, have $5 in my wallet and I’m late for an appointment? Yeah, I’m probably going to stop at Wendy’s, McDonald’s or Burger King to get my quick fix. Afterwards, I usually want to throw up because I’m used to eating healthy, non-processed foods more often than this mix of meat part sandwich. Yet my motivation to choose these restaurants is indeed due to my scenario throughout the day. 

I see friends of mine gaining weight dramatically, complaining, and still pulling into the McDonald’s drive-thru for that double-cheeseburger and large fry. I can’t help but laugh. Although I know it is not nice to make fun of obese and overweight people who are obsessed with unhealthy food, I can’t take them and their problems seriously. 

Shows on MTV and TLC like “I Used To Be Fat” and “I Eat 33,000 Calories a Day” are just outlets for the average person to see the disgusting habits that some of these people have. Moping, crying and sulking in their fast food- complaining that “it just tastes so good” and “I can’t exercise because I get tired too quick,” are only more reasons for the healthy American to be astonished and non-understanding about such ridiculous and sickening “diseases.” 

Although some people claim that fast-food cheeses are clinically proven to be “addictive” due to fat and sugars that swarm the 300-calorie cheeseburger, I feel as if the obese people in this country are free to choose obesity. 

In the late 1800s it was extremely rare to see someone overweight. With all of the freedom and choices that the average human is able to make, it is up to the individual to choose whether or not obesity will affect their life or not. 

The United States is in the lead for the amount of obese people. Following far behind is Mexico, the U.K., Slovakia and Greece. Not only is the number of obese people smaller, but the less overweight people, the less fast food corporations are found in those countries.

I do understand that it can be hard for someone extremely obese to lose weight, yet I think to myself: you don’t just wake up one morning and are 100 pounds bigger than yesterday. It is something that should be monitored, because obesity is fatal- and that’s very scary to me. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with not being a size 0, or a size 2, or a size 3, even a size 6. It’s just a matter of someone’s willpower to stay alive. They usually don’t have cancer, they aren’t being told that no matter what they do, they will still die- this disease is purely based on an individual’s willingness to be healthy. 

To me, being clinically obese is not genetic. It is not a “curse.” It is a chosen lifestyle that has affected two out of three Americans. 

McDonald’s “healthy” menu selections, liposuction and gastric bypass are only havens for the obese to escape the harsh reality of stepping on the scale, putting down the grease infested paper bag and waddling their way to the produce section to select a vegetable. 

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