In 2007 the number of Americans who are obese kept going up, according to the Trust for America’s Health. I’m not surprised.
My oldest son graduated from college last May with a degree in Math – 3.87 GPA in the Dean’s Scholar Program at the University of Texas at Austin. He’s a really smart kid, and I’m very proud of that.
I bring up my son in this discussion of obesity because his next stop in life is culinary school at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He is not, by the way, overweight. My enthusiasm for fitness has been embraced by all of my kids. I’m very proud of that, too.
He spent this summer living at home with us and working as a chef at a local restaurant in our hometown on Cape Cod. He works a shift from around 2:00 PM until close to midnight five days a week. He is home during the day and he watches cooking shows on television. I normally never turn the television on, so this is a new thing for me to have this background noise. I don’t like it.
Yesterday, I was walking through the living room and stopped briefly to see what he was watching. A woman who I recognized as one of the more popular cooking stars was preparing something she called “Butter Burgers.” I felt compelled to watch.
Two beef patties with a huge dollop of butter mixed with herbs smeared between them, wrapped in bacon and then slathered in mayonnaise. The television audience was wild with enthusiasm for this lethal burger.
Every year Americans get fatter. Being obese is associated with significantly higher risks for all chronic diseases, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The Trust for America’s Health claims that in a public opinion survey 85% of Americans stated that they believed we do, in fact, have an epidemic of obesity. So, there is a real public health problem, and people apparently know about it.
But, you can still become rich and famous in America teaching people how to make Butter Burgers. What am I missing?