Do You Suffer From Nature-Deficit Disorder?

BachalpseeflowersTell me you don’t, I dare you… Timothy Egan explains why in the New York Times:

Your day breaks, your mind aches for something stimulating to match the stirrings of the season. The gate at the urban edge is open, here to the Santa Catalina Mountains, and yet you turn inward, to pixels and particle-board vistas.

Something’s amiss. A third of all American adults — check, it just went up to 35.7 percent — are obese. The French don’t even have a word for fat, Paul Rudnick mused in a mock-Parisian tone in The New Yorker last week. “If a woman is obese,” he wrote, “we simply call her American.”

And, of course, our national branding comes with a host of deadly side effects: heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, certain kinds of cancer. Medical costs associated with obesity and inactivity are nearly $150 billion a year.

This grim toll is well known. Cripes: maybe surgery is the answer, or a menu of energy drinks and vodka (the Ann Coulter diet?). Count the calories. Lay off the muffins. Atkins one week, Slim-Fast the next. We spend more than $50 billion on the diet-industrial complex and have little to show for it (or too much).

But there is an obvious solution — just outside the window…

[continues in the New York Times]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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19 Comments on "Do You Suffer From Nature-Deficit Disorder?"

  1. I work 14 hour days just to make ends meet, still manage to fit in an hour of exercise everyday, eat very healthy, and cannot lose weight no matter how hard I try. My doctors are absolutely baffled because my blood work is amazing and it shouldn’t be for what I weigh.

    I guess somehow strolling through a forest will magically solve all my problems?

    • I’ve had quite few friends who were fat because their parents were fat. I think that people with fat genes are probably just compelled to eat more because they’re big and and their body needs more. although a lot of fat people are just over indulgers. I can’t gain weight if I try.

    • the book “4 hour body” by tim ferris is really informative about small thing your your diet that prevents weight loss. it worked for me and i usually feel compelled to tell people about it if i know theyre looking for the information.  

  2. The french word for fat is gras…

    • Jin The Ninja | Mar 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm |

      all those ivy league grads at the NYT and they didn’t manage to fact check that very simple point?! the french do occasionally refer to ‘fat’ people as ‘les americains’ but i have a new word for stupid: New Yorker.

    • I’m french and i confirm : “gras” means fat, also  i’ve never heard anyone saying :”les americains” for calling someon fat …

  3. Yvonne Sliwinski | Mar 30, 2012 at 5:52 pm |

     I agrre my moter was from France and she was petite, ate small amounts at a time, I am petite Americans are mostly over weight fast foods, junk foods its what they like, not all but most, hearst problems from all the fast foods, lack of exercise, Ido not pump iron but i exercise, love to walk, light weights, i enjoy diso news they no what there talking about , I was born in USA but I think if I went to France I would have stayed I could maybe worked with my Granmother or other family members some where police officers, 1 wine sales person some owned resturants, Well lie goes on I am happy at this time Happy Trails

  4. Anomaly_of_Anomie | Mar 30, 2012 at 9:15 pm |

    Well, it seems the roots of mankind are thinning… On account of global resource manipulation, some parts of the modern world are absolutely thriving upon massive volumes of manufactured human sustenance. And since evolutionary instinct compels us to consume as much as we can whenever possible, obesity has become rampant. Have pity, for there is no happiness in over-consumption. Nearly everyone has the ability to exercise a little self-discipline. Maybe some people can’t help being fat (or perhaps they are just the way they are supposed to be) but I don’t think the condition is as common as many would like to believe. 

    So what is the french word for “arrogance?” They should be happy they’re not speaking German. 

  5. Yesterday was the first warm day of the year where I am, so I spent 7 hours walking alongside one of the nearby rivers with the woman I love. I got a little sunburn, some great pictures, and minor muscle aches, all for free. Is that what we’re talking about??

  6. Simply from the angle of making you feel better (not talking about weight-loss), I recently discovered that a short 15-min walk outside soon after I get up – before I eat, before I turn on my computer – makes me feel happier and more energized for the entire day. The difference is dramatic.

  7. Jesus Borg | Mar 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm |

    Most chain smokers, like you see in France, are thin. People in the US just don’t smoke as much.

    • A. Not everyone in France is a smoker, let alone a chain smoker.

      B. Anyway, I call bullshit on the widespread notion of smoking=thin (unless you get cancer…). In the course of every working day in a major city I pass literally hundreds of chubby-to-obese folk standing outside their workplaces, sucking away on their little white corporate death-sticks. Doesn’t seem to have magically kept any of them slim.

  8. Jesus Borg | Mar 31, 2012 at 5:53 pm |

    Diabetes isn’t actually caused by obesity. Not everyone who gets type two diabetes is obese and not all obese people get type two diabetes.

  9. tooCents | Apr 1, 2012 at 2:04 am |

    Fat people

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