Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Another Reason Why Americans Are Fat



I work on the 13th floor of a building with elevators that are certainly not the fastest around. So every day I'm used to stopping on just about every floor before getting to my own. It's annoying, but it's fine. Obviously, I can't get mad at people just because their floor happens to be before mine.

However. Also on my building there are a couple floors that are a nursing school (or something of that nature). And the floors are one on top of each other. And every single day when coming back up to the 13th floor, either from lunch or just from getting fresh air or whatever, nursing students will get on the elevator on the 5th floor and get off on the 6th floor.

First of all, how lazy can you get? I'd understand if they were carrying things that would require a lot of effort to get up steps, but they never are. And the majority of these students are VERY obese (well, perhaps not the total majority... maybe the healthy ones take the stairs... just the majority that ride the elevator). And I'm not talking a little bit overweight. I'd say a good 85% of them are about 5'4 and are well over 170 pounds. (According to the University of Michigan Health Systems, the ideal/healthy weight for a 5'4 large-framed woman is between 131 and 154 pounds.)

Overweight? No biggie, it's your prerogative whether or not to stay in good health. I'm not going to judge you. BUT what really gets me is that these are nursing students. They're on their way into the medical world and how the hell are they going to lecture/teach their patients about living healthy lives when they're not concerned with their own??? Seriously, stop making my elevator ride longer than necessary and start walking! It's good for you.

47 Comments:

At 11:58 AM, Blogger The Celebutante said...

The biggest problem with Americans and their weight is the fact that all food portions are bigger then what they used to be and also they fact that they feel they don't have "enough time" in the day to make it to the gym. I feel like Americans put their work before their health these days, which has an effect on their weight. Getting a good workout really makes the day better...I always feel so refreshed, even after my days from hell. So maybe cut your portions in half and workout and you should be good to go:)

 
At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Lauren B said...

Oh i TOTALLY agree! This has been on my mind a lot lately. When I'm running late for work and I jump on the elevator (I'm on the 8th floor), normally there are a bunch of people who get on as well. But what really irks me is that nine times out of ten, someone will get off on the SECOND floor! I'm like- ok- it takes more time to wait for the elevator, and take it one flight up, than to just walk. Not to mention that you're wasting everyone else's time! And youre a complete lazy ass!

Thanks for that post. Obviously I really needed to talk about it.

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger Elvis said...

yah, I hear ya. It's the same people who fight for parking spots two yards from front door of Friday's. Or go to ice cream parlor right after dinner. I guess what the nursing students need to understand is... it takes alot of energy and work to get going. But once you get into shape, get a regimen down, complete that 3 mile, it gets easier and easier. When you've ran about 4 miles, and you have a "bad" day and decide to only run 1 mile, it makes you feel shitty you "cheated" yourself, but you're still running a good mile. By the way, Mary Decker, who is now 48 or so, still runs 5 miles everyday at sub 7 minute mile splits.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Pretty in Pink said...

"Overweight? No biggie, it's your prerogative whether or not to stay in good health. I'm not going to judge you."

Sounds like you just did though. Stopping at every floor can be ridiculous annoying, but I would lie if I said I didn't sneak a one up on the elevator, esp after a long day in the 3inchers...it does feel good to rant though. More power too you doll!

 
At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Lauren B said...

I'd like to add another comment on this subject. I lived in Italy for a semester in college and this is what I noticed: people who live in cities in Europe normally walk or bike to work. Elderly men and women have no problem hopping on a bike when they want to run errands.

I feel like this is unheard of in the U.S. It makes me sad that as a culture, we've collectively succumbed to a kind of laziness that is unheard of in the rest of the world. I want to scream when I go to amusement parks and I see 50 or 55 year old obese people riding around in motorized carts. Its so sad to me that people refuse to take an active interest in their own health.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Sara said...

pretty in pink...

i just meant i'm not judging overweight people in general :-) the nurses - well i am definitely judging them!

i totally understand why someone would take the elevator one floor due to uncomfortable shoes... but the nursing students are in scrubs and sneakers!

 
At 1:17 PM, Blogger The Celebutante said...

Lauren B-
I totally agree with you, even though I have never been to Europe, it is almost as if riding a bike is not socially acceptible. For example, I know a lot of people on college campus' make fun of others who ride a bike to class, when these people are driving less than a mile to park closer to campus, then have to walk from there.

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger rschu said...

Having elderly parents, I have spent some time in hospitals over tht past few years. I was semi-appalled at the overweightness of the health care staff.
I work on the third floor and am one of the few who walks up and down.
I just finished a lunch of guacamole salad and nuts and stuff so I am really smug about all this.

 
At 3:14 PM, Blogger Genevieve said...

This is also one of my greatest annoyances! When I was in college I lived on the 8th floor of my dorm, and the vending machines were in the basement. If I was going out of control for sugar, I would make myself walk down and back up all of those flights to get a treat ;). But don't judge those poor nurses too soon. Perhaps they can't climb those pesky stairs because they're too winded from their smoke break.

 
At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stand this practice as well......in fact its one of my biggest pet peeves (behind drivers who refuse to use turn signals).

Many years ago there were signs posted at the elevator doors within the Dept. of Ed that said "Only to be used if going up more than one floor or down more than 2 floors". I thought that was a pretty good guideline to follow!

 
At 3:49 PM, Blogger The Captain said...

Maybe I have no soul, but I don't sympathize with these people in the slightest. They did it to themselves.

Motorized carts for obese people shouldn't exist. They should be forced to get a little exercise. Handicapped people, yes, I feel sorry for them, but that's totally different, they likely had no say in what happened to them.

It isn't a gland problem, and it isn't the food industry lying to you. Get your ass off the couch and take some responsibility.

I was at Subway last week for lunch, and this enormous woman followed me in. She had a brace on her leg, the sort that you would wear if you had been carrying too much weight for a long time, perhaps? Well, rather than learn, she ordered two foot long subs. That sort of thing makes me cringe.

Rant finished.

 
At 4:00 PM, Anonymous lauren b said...

Captain- totally agree. It's infuriating that, while there is so much poverty in the world and there are so many children starving because their families can't afford food, these people feel the need to stuff themselves full of food at all hours of the day. And then sue the airlines cause their asses can't fit into one seat airplane seat. Call me cruel, but it sickens me. Get off your ass, stop eating twinkies, and take a walk around the block. It's not that hard.

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger I-66 said...

just a thought.. but did you actually see the woman eat the subs? Or was she maybe bringing 1 of them back for someone else?

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger The Celebutante said...

If i read one more case about how someone is suing a fast food resteraunt for them gaining weight I am going to scream. Are you really that dumb?? REALLY?

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Lil DC Diva said...

French women don't get fat. Why? Portion control. Americans eat until they are full and their stomachs are ready to burst. I know I even stuff myself silly sometimes, I'll admit that. We have more fast food joints than we can handle. It's a cultural problem with us. We are greedy, selfish, and self centered. Ask someone from another country, they will say the same thing. Our greed leads to gluttony, which is why over half of Americans are obese. At the same time, its hilarious to see insanely rich celebs who are anorexic. We are so fucked up.

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger roosh said...

what a double standard. if i wrote this i'd get hater comments calling me an idiot, insensitive, etc. whateveer

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger roosh said...

to clarify: not necessarily from you guys.. just readers in general :-/

 
At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alot of people have to put work before thier health. I know my mother always has so she could put food on the table and clothes on our backs. Her love her children and family has surpassed her love for herself and her health.

 
At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are on the elevator at all, then you have no room to comment on whether someone else rides it or not.

And if their stop is floor seven and not six, why the f should they have to get out on six? Do you get out on the floor beneath your own and walk-up?

As for Europeans...they are fat too. Obesity is a global health issue. Other western nations--England, Canada, and yes your scared French people are getting increasingly fat. Look at the numbers. (I lived in France for a year and YES French women DO get fat. How ridiculous!) Furthermore, most American cities are NOT designed for walking or biking unlike many Old World European cities. It's sad but true. I'm obviously not talking specifically about DC but many cities don't have good sidewalk systems...especially when you get to mid-size cities. That is unlike smaller, European cities that still have pretty good for walkers/bikers like Caen.

And I don't know what college you were at, but no one ever made fun of people for riding bikes as mine. And what campus were you at where finding parking main it so easy to drive from class to class?

True obesity costs taxpayers millions each year but so does smoking and alcohol. Do you ridicule smokers and drinkers?

And as someone pointed out, how do you know both subs were for her? How do you know even one them was? And what right do you have to look down your nose at her?

I'm not saying that America's weight problem isn't a huge concern. However, making snide comments about people, waxing on about those so slim Europeans (which are are a dying breed), and looking down your noses at people buying two subs isn't going to help the problem.

Hell, you'll probably just make them feel bad and go comfort themselves with even more food. (I'm joking.)

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger Sara said...

anon 5:27 - I completely understand this. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman. I am only talking about people who are lazy enough to hold up elevator rides just to go up one floor when stairs are healthier for them anyway.

anon 7:15 - "If you are on the elevator at all, then you have no room to comment on whether someone else rides it or not.

And if their stop is floor seven and not six, why the f should they have to get out on six? Do you get out on the floor beneath your own and walk-up?"

Ok that's a little ridiculous. It's completely different going up 13 floors than just going from 6 to 7. It doesn't make sense at all for me to get off on the 12th floor to walk up the steps to the 13th. I'm not talking about when they get on at the first floor and ride up to seventh, that's fine. I'm talking about when they get on at 6 and off at 7.

 
At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sara: Also think that maybe the person who is taking one floor up has just had some type of surgery or has knee, ankle or back problems and it hurts to bad to walk that one flight. Yeah to you it might sound stupid but if you are in pain you will do what ever it takes to help you get through the day. You have no clue why that person is taking the elevator and if you were in a situation of pain or recently had surgery I’m sure you would be on the elevator too. Stop for a minute and be considerate rather that a snobby bitch who is in good health.

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger Sara said...

anon. it is not just a single person. it is mostly always a group of overweight, lazy nursing students. They are not hurt or recently out of surgery. I know this. They are just lazy

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really have a problem with you comments about this. Honestly, I dont see why it bothers you so much and the fact that you know "they are not hurt". Really how do you know. And another thing some people are born fatter than others and its in their genes. Yes it is a global problem but you dont know what they do on thier spare time either. Who knows they could go to the gym or do you know that they dont do that either.

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Sara said...

anon - honestly i was just venting because people who constantly take the elevator to go up one floor annoy me. the fact that they are out of shape/overweight is just something that i added into the post because in addition to not being annoying, taking the steps would be good for their health.

it's not the fact that they are overweight that bothers me. believe me, i am far from the healthiest person in the world.

i know they are not hurt because i see them walking just fine a lot of the days when i'm going out on my lunch break. also, i'm well aware that people are born with different shapes and sizes. i am not judging them based on that.

the general point of my post: people (regardless of their sizes) who take an elevator up only one floor are annoying and lazy. (unless there are medical reasons or they're wearing uncomfortable heels, of course)

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Lil DC Diva said...

http://www.obesity.org/subs/fastfacts/obesity_US.shtml

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/

Oh, and the best one:
http://www.newstarget.com/003102.html

http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/healthmedical/a/teenobesity.htm

All you haters do your homework. Obesity is a huge problem in the U.S. and so is people's health. If it's a killer, obviously it's a health problem. Criticizing Sara for her observation is naive and shows how uneducated you are. Taking the stairs will do ANYONE good, whether you are skinny or not.

 
At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:42- I am so sick of the "it's in their genes" excuse. Every single pound that a person gains is a direct result of what they put in their mouths.

 
At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 12:13 - Are you kidding. I weigh 105 pounds and eat 3 meals a say and snacks during the day. If my weight was directed on how much I ate I should be a fat pig. However, I have a fast metabolism and some people dont. im lucky. It isnt a direct correlation or else I should be over weight.

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger Elvis said...

Dudes, will some of you'all leave Sara and Lil DC D alone on this. They're right. A large segment of America is overweight (as measured by body mass index and a few medical studies). We also don't exercise enough, including Elvis. Anon 12:47, if you weigh 105 pounds and eat 3 meals a day and snack during the day, that's fine. But two things factor into that; What you eat, and your age. If you eat three meals a day of fruit cups (I know people who do), you're eating healthy, but you still need to back that up with exercise (heart healthy, muscle mass, blood cells, etc.). Your age makes a huge difference too. People who are overweight in their younger years will have serious problems later. So if it's in your genes, you can certainly improve the situation by engaging in a healthy lifestyle (being 5'4" and approx 150 to 175 lbs is a good indicator that action is required). If these people don't take their health seriously, who will? (And when? When is it too late to say "I'd like to play with my grandkids but I can't"?) Sara is merely pointing out that perhaps there are alternatives to taking an elevator up one flight of stairs.

 
At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diva - no shit obesity is a problem. I said that in my post yesterday...the long one. However, I ended by saying by snide and judging people isn't a solution. And it's not. That was the whole point. Can you not understand that? Seriously, I know it may be hard. But try. Furthermore, other countries are fat and getting fatter. Yes, Americans set the trend, but other nations are bulging up. And to speak reverently about the French shows an utter lack of understanding about the global problem of obesity. Only someone who has never lived in France would say such ridiculous things! And posting links to sites with a "look and see hater attitude" is retarded. I can post sites that support anything I say. Perhaps instead of trying to find sites that say what you want them to say, you might try to learn more about the issues! Americans are fat but so other countries. Look at England. They are worried because their school-aged kids are becoming increasingly fat and raising the number of diabetes cases in the UK. Why do you think the WHO has a GLOBAL obesity plan? Because it's everywhere! Here since you like links try this one out for size: http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/hunger/economy/2004/1101obesity.htm Greece is fat. Italy is fat. The Middle East is fat. Africa is even getting FAT.

My point? (Since you have a hard time grasping it...) Don't go on an American this and American that rage. Obesity is a GLOBAL issue. There no mystical land of the slim over in Europe even France.

And Sara, I may have misunderstand what you wrote. The problem is that they get on on the 5th floor and take it up to the 6th? Or is that they all ride up from the 1st floor and get off at both the 5th and 6th? If it's the former, then I understand slightly more your gripe. However, you still don't know their personal reasons--like another Anon said perhaps they have knee problems. Obviously, not every single one of them but some of them might. And therefore they shouldn't be judged. And since you can't tell who is who, don't judge any of them.

But if it is the later case then--keep your trap shut. Because I doubt anyone gets off on the floor below theirs and walks up just to save the people going to floors above them five seconds of time, including you.

 
At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elvis, if they can't stay the heat, get out the kitchen. It's their prerogative to post in a public blog.

Furthermore, clearly, I enjoy their blog or I wouldn't be here. Duh! However, that doesn't mean I'm not going to call them when they write what I believe to be inaccurate shit.

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger Sara said...

Lil was quoting the popular book "French Women Don't Get Fat". I don't believe she was saying that there are no other fat people in other countries. But Americans do have reputations for being overweight.

Also, let me repeat what I wrote... Let's see if you get it this time!

"the general point of my post: people (regardless of their sizes) who take an elevator up only one floor are annoying and lazy. (unless there are medical reasons or they're wearing uncomfortable heels, of course)"

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger Lil DC Diva said...

I think everyone needs to take the stairs today to blow off some steam!

(Clearly no one is going to come to agree on this issue, but I still stand STRONGLY in my beliefs.)

Have a wonderful, healthy day! :-)

 
At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Sara finally expresses herself in a slight dirogatory context and all you sensitive, naive readers come out of the woodworks. I totally agree with this post. There is no reason for anyone, unless under extreme circumstances, to ride an elevator fewer than two floors. And, by extreme circumstances I mean shot, stabbed, beaten or carrying a piano on your back. Good post Sara. --B

 
At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1:34 - Do we live in another country? Why would their health be our problem? Leave diva alone, she was focusing on the U.S. because we happen to LIVE here. And why should they keep their traps shut? It's THEIR blog. Go get your own blog - it seems you have enough of a self-inflicted ego to do so.

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger Elvis said...

Anon 1:36. Can't stay the heat, get out the kitchen? What kind of crap is that? That's like saying "don't throw the baby out with the water." It's nonsense. They made a point, and the heavies start rolling in with whacky shit. Sara made an observation. Simple. Done. Deal. You'all need to lighten up. Take a deep breath, step away from the keyboard, take a shot of Jameson's, and then come back. You want to get worked up about something, go donate on www.lupus.org or something.

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger Sara said...

thanks elvis :)

plus, i am more than confident that i can handle the heat ;-)

 
At 4:21 PM, Anonymous The Reverend said...

I have come into this extensive discussion of this very pertinent issue of the day a bit late, so many of my comments will be of a more general nature. Ladies and gentlemen, we live in the greatest country in the world, the United States of America. Part of what makes this country so great is how we take everything to excess. We drive our SUVs when gas prices are through the roof and with complete disregard for the negative effects it will have on the environment. We super size our meals knowing full well it is not healthy and could shorten our life span. We drink ourselves unconscious every weekend, all to help us forget the dreary nature of our 9 to 5 jobs (ok, this is not purely an American phenomenon, but you get the general idea).

I recently took a class with a gentleman who went against the advice of this group, and decided to forgo use of the elevator and walk up a few flights of stairs. When he got to the class he was wheezing like he had just run a series of sprints. It was distracting to myself and my fellow classmates. My god, I often wished that he had taken the elevator that one flight, to spare the rest of us from having to listen to the sounds of a man appearing to take his last breath. But alas, he did not. Why? Because of his respect for others in the elevator-riding system. He did not want to bog them down for his mere convenience and/or health concerns. That is why he is both a gentleman and a friend.

As I bring this essay to a close, I wish to emphasize three points. First, obesity is not a problem in the United States. Do you have any idea how many starving people in Africa would love to have cankles, turkey arms, or any other seemingly derogatory term for the overweight in this country? Probably at least two. It is your God given right as an American to eat as much as you want and to be as rude as you want to people of other cultures (I should know, I am an ordained minister). That is why America is so great. Second, if you want to be that fat, then you need to tough it out and walk up that one floor. People may look at your sweating, wheezing body with disgust, but damnit they will respect you. Finally, French girls may not get fat, but they would be speaking German if it was not for us, so the hell with them. Godspeed, God bless, and God Bless the United States of America. Thank you.

 
At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This "essay" is all over the place. You contradict yourself at least twice.

 
At 4:40 PM, Blogger The Captain said...

I'm standing by what I said, like it or not. People need to learn. The fat gene excuse doesn't cut it. If you took one look at my family, I should weigh 275 or more. Everyone is fat. I CHOSE not to allow myself to follow that, and I'm not blessed with any great metabolism. I work my ass off to get the way I am, and I'm damn proud of it. I can be as lazy as the next person, but it's up to the person to buckle down and get to it. Stop hitting the snooze button, get your ass up and do something.

And for the record, I don't "look down" on smokers/drinkers/fat people. What I said is that I don't feel sorry for them. I don't feel sorry that fat people are charged for two plane seats. THEY'RE TAKING UP TWO SEATS, THEY SHOULD PAY FOR THEM.

While I'm at it, I would start a prison for idiots. Here's who belongs in idiot prison.

1. Fat people who sue McDonald's.
2. Smokers under the age of 40 who sue Philip Morris for having lung cancer.
3. People with no liver who sue Budweiser.

I haven't actually heard an instance of the last one, but it wouldn't shock me. By this point, you should know fast food makes you fat, and that smoking is bad for you.

I should write an entire post on my own blog about this at some point.

 
At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elvis - You have your head up the ass of every woman blogger in the DC Blogosphere. Has it gotten you laid yet?

 
At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:47:Everyone realizes the original post was talking about Americans. However, the point is the COMMENTS about how thin everyone else in the world is and how Americans are fat, greedy pigs are RETARDED. (See the comments by Celebutante, Lauren B, and particularly Lil Diva's [Americans'] are selfish, greedy...not the original post...are you getting the difference? Do you see that they brought it up?) If you want to talk American health, talk American health. But don't go pointing out how trim and slim Europe or anywhere else is because they aren't.

 
At 8:08 PM, Blogger Sara said...

"Lil was quoting the popular book "French Women Don't Get Fat". I don't believe she was saying that there are no other fat people in other countries. But Americans do have reputations for being overweight."

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger Elvis said...

Nice Anon 7:39 PM. What do I do with that? Am I supposed to be insulted by it? Is that the best you can do if it's meant to? Weak dude.

 
At 11:13 PM, Blogger berriewine said...

I was thinking about this post at work today. We have an elevator that goes to the basement. I used the elevator and the stairs equally for various reasons. (the stairs are by my boss's office and I have to pass chatty lady in the basement, the smell at the bottom of the steps, but the elevator smells like musty basement). However, I generally agreed with your post. Then today as I walked up the stairs for the 6th time I counted them. 18. And I thought, maybe it's not chatty lady, or the manager. Maybe I am lazy. Or maybe my office just needs to be in the basement.

 
At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are fat, and you are feeling hungry, don't eat. I also don't want to hear that it is a sickness. Fat people stink.

 
At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:28 pm:

Bravo. Bravo to your insightful commentary and to all that you added to this discussion. I am a richer person for having read your contribution.

 
At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

drop dead you blogging loser. maybe i touched a nerve? somebody you love fat? you fat? whichever it is, fat people still stink. nobody can argue with that.

 

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