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Convenience and Weight Gain

"... The US obesity problem has particular resonance, perhaps because it is a reflection of the modern way of life the country typifies, with its junk food and technology of convenience ..."
Source: BBC News

It is hard to imagine that convenience and weight gain are somehow linked to each other. But they are.

We are plagued with a global obesity epidemic that doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon. Few would deny that two predominate causes are bad food choices and lack of exercise.

But the process which drives obesity in the 21st century is something which began in the mid 20th century.

The 1950s saw the introduction of frozen TV dinners and the production line methods of the factory to fast food restaurants. These technological advances brought convenience to Americans. The process of convenience and weight gain had begun.

Remember the saying those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it? In order to successfully combat obesity, it is necessary to understand the process of convenience and weight gain to fight it.

Let's fact it, we have become lazy, soft, and complacent in this modern age. As a result, our health suffers.

We are striving for academic excellence, financial freedom, and job and political equality while allowing the foundation of the body to rot away. A strong mind in a weak body is of little use.

You cannot enjoy financial independence or academic excellence when you are constantly being hospitalized.

Convenience wisely used is a benefit to society. But it can be taken to the extreme. I think that our rapidly evolving technology has lulled us into such a state.

How the Process of Convenience and Weight Gain Began

To successfully introduce any concept, law, or change into society, do it gradually.

A good example of the process of gradualism is security. Ever since 9/11, the American government is extremely vigilant for terrorist threats.

At first, closed circuit cameras appeared in "convenience" stores, banks, and post offices. This didn't happen all at once, but slowly - gradually.

Now we have become so accustomed to security cameras that we hardly even notice them anymore.

The process of gradulism has come along on the back of advancing technology. The end result of gradulism is convenience.

Stores such as Krauszer's, Quick Chek, 7-Eleven, and others like them have popped up over the years all across America. These stores are known as conveneince stores.

And there is a relatively new trend. There are convenience stores located at gas stations. Some are called food marts or quick marts.

Convenience Leads to Weight Gain

Since convenience stores are everywhere, Americans patronize them often. 'What's the harm?" you ask.

Convenience store carry food items which lead to weight gain. The shelves are stocked with potato chips of all varieties, pretzels, candies, soft drinks, chewing gum, and pastries. Sandwiches can also be purchased at most of them.

The category of most of these food items can be summarized in two words - junk food.

The average American diet consists of junk food. That, coupled with a nonexistent exercise program, presents a problem.

The rapid proliferation of convenience stores and mini-marts makes a bad situation worse. The greater the availability and the more convenient the store, the more they are patronized.

Convenience leads to weight gain which is why convenience and weight gain are tied to each other.

I had a sweet tooth when I was growing up. I ate a steady diet of ice cream and pastries. I drank a lot of soda back then too.

But at the same time, my breakfast, lunch, and dinner were solid, home-cooked meals. This is not true today.

Most of our work places and schools contain vending machines filled with junk food and sodas. Our lunches are bought at fast food restaurants like McDonald's or Wendy's. And breakfast, if eaten at all, comes from Dunkin' Donuts.

Convenience promotes neither fitness or health. Back in the day, it was a rare sight indeed to see an overweight kid.

My friends and schoolmates were all "lean and mean." Being overweight or obese was the exception, not the rule.

All of that has changed. Many of today's school children are overweight. Sadly, this trend has filtered down to the toddler.

The harm brought about due to convenience has become a national epidemic. When society perceives the overweight to be the norm, and the slender individual to be "skinny," something's wrong.

The overweight/obesity epidemic has existed for too long. Convenience has become a little too convenient.

I once had a conversation with an acquaintance in the gym where I train who had lost a significant amount of weight through diet and exercise. He told me that his friends were telling him that he had lost too much weight, and that he was too thin.

Most of us are conditioned to seeing so many overweight and obese individuals over a long period of time (remember gradualism?), that when we see an individual of normal weight, we think him or her to be "anorexic."

A former training partner of mine told me that he had gone to Wal-Mart to purchase work pants. He asked a salesperson if they had any 32 inch waist pants in stock. The smallest he saw was 35 inch waist!

Final Thoughts On Convenience and Weight Gain

None of us has to be a prisoner of convenience and weight gain. It can lead to chronic disease, a low quality of life, or even an early grave.

Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible, and as raw as possible. Buy as much organic food as you can, and make sure your meat is green-fed or free-ranged.

Cut way back on purchasing food and snacks from convenience stores and fast food restaurants. It should be a whole lot easier since you now understand the process of convenience and weight gain.

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