Saturday, September 1, 2007

Blog 013 - the deadly burger

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?

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Monte Ladner


Anonymous said...

If you think the butter burger is a trip, you should check out the "Heart Attack Grill" in Phoenix Arizona. Not only does this place acknowledge the unhealthy qualities of their food, but they embrace it. They even package sell their restaurants as a kind of politic statement against "political correctness" and publish a "diet book." If you've not seen it, it's worth your while.

Amy said...

Monte - You know that I share your frustration. I just have to hope that everything we are doing (and saying) will tip the scale, literally, in the other direction. At the risk of sounding like a PSA - "Knowledge is Power," right? ~amy mac

Hamlet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hamlet said...

And with all this concern about the “obesity epidemic” McDonald’s proudly announces the Angus Third Pounder hamburger, one-third pound of ground beef, that certainly will be a financial success.

One would think with all the negativity McDonald’s has been getting over their food, in particular their serving sizes, this burger would never be sold, but here it is.

Please don’t think that I am blaming McDonalds either, the brisk sales of this product will be clear indication of what consumers want.