The issue of obesity has already been brought to attention by the media. But why are the majority of Americans overweight?
During my travels in Asia, I have come to realize that the majority of the Asian population is skinny. As I walk around the city, I have not seen one obese person (not counting sumo wrestlers) and only a few people that I would deem as overweight. The answer lies not only in the food that we eat, but also the lifestyle and choices that we make.
Even though Asia has fast food just as America does, it is not a prominent “issue” there as we have come to realize here. So what exactly are the differences and what can we do to reduce the number of people that are either overweight or obese?
First of all, cut down on the sizes. The portions in Asia are not proportionate to that of the US. At McDonalds, a small here would be equivalent to a large in Japan. And whatever happened to supersize? Companies here in the US are trying to satisfy customers by giving them more than they need to eat. The portions there are smaller and thus equal fewer calories consumed by the customers, invariably leading to those small clothing sizes.
Secondly, the drinks that we order in restaurants play a significant role in obesity and people that are overweight. The stereotype that Asians always order water in restaurants like TGI Fridays and Olive Garden is a funny but true label. I cannot help but find it amusing that as we order water for our table, the table next to us orders two large cokes and a sprite. The waiter serving us undoubtedly leaves our table, disappointed that we have not ordered any drinks and gruffly utters that he/she will be back with our waters. Soft drinks should be drunk sparingly, as also with deserts and appetizers. In Asia, tea is prominent among every restaurant and eatery, is free, and best of all, is a healthy alternative to soda and sugar laden juices.
Lastly, the majority of foods in America are fried, or otherwise covered in starch and oil. There are multiple ways to eat beef; just choose the one that is most beneficial to your health. Of course, it is always good to allow yourself a little treat, but choosing to eat fatty foods everyday is the culprit behind overweight people and obesity.
Ultimately, there are many other food lifestyle choices that have not been brought to attention here. But overall, to note the differences between Asian and American food lifestyles is a wise decision. Don’t get me wrong, American and Asian foods are great all the same. It’s just the choices that we make when we eat them that need to be realized. Enjoy your meal!