Kenmare ND - Upside Down Under

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Upside Down Under

By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News


We are getting bigger...

Posted 11/05/19 (Tue)

Have you ever watched that Smucker’s TV commercial where two boys are delivering jelly to their neighbors from a wagon in the early 1950s?

If so, did you notice how thin those two boys appeared? Either one of them could have taken off their shirt and been the 98-pound weakling at the beach.

I illustrate that commercial because this past weekend my wife and I took a quick trip out of Minot to Arizona on Allegient Airlines. It was very difficult to get comfortable in that airplane.

It’s three seats on each side of the aisle and I’m not sure how close the seats are in front of one another, but suffice to say there is no leg room.

It brings up another point that I doubt few people ever think about, but I do all the time.

When you order clothing on the Internet, there are a variety of sizes from extra small to 5 and even 6X sometimes.

That’s a wide range of sizes and those sizes appear to only be available in the United States.

Have you ever tried to order clothing from a Canadian, Australian or British company?

If you have, you would know that the largest size you’re going to find is 2X and most places don’t even offer that, only extra large, and that is usually a tad smaller than the extra large in the United States.

What’s happening to us is we are becoming larger people over the generations.

In 1950, those skinny boys in the Smucker’s commercial were the norm. Almost everybody was thin and nobody ever thought there would be a difference.

Today, a lot of young kids are considered obese and I’ve heard of children as early as 12 years old taking cholesterol medication.

This is also predicted to be the first generation that is not expected to live as long as their parents.

How can this be overcome? Do you think North Dakota has the answer? Maybe!

Most of us know what hard work is and we can get people out in the field or the range and if they work hard all day, they will earn the calories they ingest.

Just a minute. In theory that’s true, but how many of us actually sit down and eat a meal that had the balance of the meals the Smucker’s kids ate?

I would be willing to guess not many. We have become so busy and fast food places have become so convenient that we gravitate toward those places and don’t often prepare meals at home anymore because they take time and you have to clean up the dishes afterward. Besides, you have to pay for food one way or another so why not make it easy?

More people than you think carry that mentality and it is causing us to be bigger, wider and heavier.

Doctors often warn about risky diets and what they can do to the human body. Most of us have disregarded that protocol because we love pizza so much, there’s a Burger King right down the street or most of us don’t have time to actually go through the motions to have a decent meal.

We can always make the airplanes bigger and cram more jelly into those jars, but we are only fooling ourselves when we think about how to cheat a system so complex as the human body.

For some of us it’s alcohol, which has a lot of calories, especially beer and maybe that’s why Bud Light uses boat loads of advertising to get its clientele.

It’s human nature for us to think that if we are drinking light beer, it’s fewer calories therefore we can drink more beer. In most cases, we’re going to be getting the same amount of calories.

Recently, Michelob Ultra advertised  having only 69 calories in a 12-ounce bottle. And when I see people drinking Michelob Ultra, they’ll chug a few down and get those cumulative calories.

Some of the beer companies like Heineken and Beck’s have come up with non-alcoholic beer that tastes nearly identical to the original lager beers that were introduced years ago.

And guess what? Yes, there are fewer calories in a bottle of Heineken NA than in a bottle of Michelob Ultra, and you’re not consuming alcohol.

Now, if we could just get food companies to start thinking along that same path.

Some have, but they’ve used ingredients that are generally harmful to the human body.

What they need to do is create food that’s good for us, but still tastes good and can be prepared quickly.

That may be a tall order, but it might be the only way the United States will begin to shrink.