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Does where you live influence your weight & fitness?

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Replies

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,829 Member
    To the OP's question in the title, I definitely think where one lives can affect his or her weight and fitness for a number of reasons. One is how readily available healthy choices are at a price that those who live in the area can afford. This was mentioned before in reference to "food deserts" in another debate post. Another factor is how easy it is to access fitness-related activities. Even something as simple as walking may not be easy in certain towns or communities--either for accessibility reasons or safety reasons.

    The last (and maybe most important, IMO) is the area's cultural beliefs and values about weight and fitness. As the OP mentioned, in LA, so many people are body-conscious, and I'm sure it's more likely that someone who is overweight may be looked down upon. The societal pressure may make someone more likely to engage in activities (healthy or unhealthy) to maintain a certain "look." I have lived in suburban Chicago for 21 years, and Chicago itself for 4 of these. However, I grew up in Indianapolis. Although both midwestern cities, I'm almost surprised when I go back to visit my family how people's looks differ in both places. Generally speaking, it seems people where I live seem to be of average weight (meaning not overweight), and there are more varieties of food available--not just "healthy," but in terms of food overall. I don't know if it's that it's more socially acceptable to be overweight there, or just the attitudes about health, weight and food in general.

    Now that I'm thinking about this more, I think the pressure to "conform" to societal expectations about one's weight and fitness is probably more directed to his or her more immediate social circle and surroundings. Even within the county where I live, I can see how living in one town may differ from living in another in regards to weight and fitness.

    I don't intend this as disagreeing with you, as I think you're right, I intend just to be extending the conversation along this general line.

    I don't necessarily think what I'd call social *pressure* is the only factor in a cluster of related things, either, if "pressure" is seen as a deliberate or forceful sort of thing.

    I think humans like to fit in, and most of us kind of automatically do some things just because that's what people in our family or community do. We perceive those things as normal, we like being normal people ourselves, etc. Generically (not just about weight-related things), we *can* decide to behave outside the norms in some ways, sometimes without any great social penalty if we do so, but I think many of us are sort of on autopilot in a lot of areas. We only have so much discretionary attention to pay to things, so are unlikely to examine every area of our lives vs. go with the flow in some areas.

    As a non-diet/exercise example, I think certain types of music are popular, and most people are more likely to be aware of the popular music through routine exposure to it, and may therefore be more likely to like some examples within the popular music, vs. some more unusual niche style. Over decades, which style of music is commonly popular changes (folk was relatively more popular in 50s/60s vs. now, for example; it's still around but not as mainstream). I don't think that tendency for particular things, like musical tastes, to be popular is because those things are abstractly "better", I think there's a certain exposure/trend/fashionability aspect to it. At any given time, there'll be people who prefer a different style of music that isn't as generally popular, like maybe jazz, classical, bluegrass or whatever. Being interested in an unusual thing and pursuing it aren't opposed or bullied, necessarily, but the unusual thing is less likely to "just happen".

    I feel like some of those same "softer" influences apply to eating and exercise, too: If we don't have a reason to examine our own behavior, maybe just don't have the attentional bandwidth to do so at a particular time, we're likely to autopilot to the eating and activity patterns that are common in our family, community, etc., because they seem like normal ways to behave.
  • ccrdragon
    ccrdragon Posts: 3,309 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    I live in Italy where the majority are at a healthy weight. I see very few obese and they tend to stand out. Also the Italians don't cater to obesity. I's harder to find clothes in a larger size (I'm tall and have this problem without being overweight), and they don't make larger chairs for theaters, cinema, airplanes, buses, etc.... Of course, if people start getting bigger, then they may have to adapt. With their love of going to the beach and wearing bikinis, it's a great incentive to keep their weight down---Italy has a lot of coast.

    If you go to a typical US beach weight doesn't seem to be much of an influencer on type of beachwear for many. Right, wrong or indifferent.

    I'm not sure what they do when home but when at beaches in the US and Mexico I see quite a few European men, including Italians, wearing banana hammocks, or at least I think they are, hard to tell, since their gut hangover covers most of the hammock. Not a good look.

    Saw this same thing on the beaches in Rio - the younger folks tended to be fairly fit, but that didn't stop the older males from wearing the banana hammocks covered by gut rolls.
  • OnceAndFutureAthlete
    OnceAndFutureAthlete Posts: 192 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    If you go to a typical US beach weight doesn't seem to be much of an influencer on type of beachwear for many. Right, wrong or indifferent.

    I'm not sure what they do when home but when at beaches in the US and Mexico I see quite a few European men, including Italians, wearing banana hammocks, or at least I think they are, hard to tell, since their gut hangover covers most of the hammock. Not a good look.

    My brother calls those bathing suits "grape smugglers" :D

    Where I am it's kind of the opposite: all the young, fit guys wear long baggy board shorts. :/

    But truly, it does seem like there's more of a "wear what you like whatever your shape" attitude, and that's got to be a good thing.

  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,824 Member
    edited July 2021
    33gail33 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    NVintage wrote: »
    I also agree. I seriously doubt that you all are eating very much of those foods, and probably eat healthy most the time. You all know you're healthy despite eating a little junk not because of it! I grew up eating frozen dinners and junk food and hardly any vegetables except corn. If I hadn't gotten on a health kick at 16, I'd probably have the same chronic diseases, by now, that my parents have.
    Living in a non-walkable area definitely influences weight and fitness. It's easier to stay fit when you have the option of walking places, or running outside.

    Any supermarket that removed junk food would face a huge backlash and probably go out of business. You can't dictate something as personal as food on that scale. Some communities do have a culture of healthy eating and tend to have lower rates of obesity. But you can't force people to change their culture, at least not without a backlash, and that raises ethical questions.

    Also, even "healthy organic specialty" supermarkets have plenty of junk food. You have the causality backwards -- the supermarkets in your area stock more healthy foods because there is more demand due to the local culture of being healthy/fit.

    And anyway, junk food doesn't make you fat. It's the quantity of calories that makes you fat, regardless of where it comes from.

    Actually junk food does make you fat. All the salt, sugar and chemicals makes you crave more salt and sugar so you eat more junk food full of empty calories and chemicals. And healthy nutritional foods are used by the body as fuel while junk food just clogs arteries, is stored as fat, gives you high cholesterol, is conducive to diabetes and otherwise reeks havoc on the body. It’s not even all about weight, but health and nutrition. I can never understand how people are basically putting poison in their bodies every day and food corporations are getting away with poisoning Americans. There is literally no value whatsoever to “foods” like Cheetos or Twinkies and still people consume them. Why? Not only is there no nutritional value to them, they are BAD for you, poisonous! Sodas like Coke and Pepsi, even the zero calorie kind are pure poison! People have to think less about losing weight and more about nutrition. If people stuck to healthy, pure, non-prepackaged foods with high nutritional value, they would automatically lose weight and feel so much healthier!

    I feel the same way.
    If eating low quality food for years ACTUALLY caused chronic disease, then explain how prison inmates have been in penitentiaries for decades eating some of the lowest quality foods 3 times a day and NOT suffering many of the maladies that the average very overweight/obese population is suffering from?

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Where are you getting this information from? I don't think this is accurate. Inmates in general gain weight during incarceration, and their risk of "maladies that the average overweight/obese population suffer from" isn't less than those outside prison.

    I have never seen a study that shows prisoners are healthier than the general population. They might have some benefits in the treatment of chronic illness that perhaps very low income people wouldn't have access to for financial reason. But if you are going to hold them up as an example of good health you are going to have to provide some data for that.

    Show me pictures of obese inmates who've spent at least a year in prison. I've been to several prisons with friends who are CO's and if you compare the population of obese there you're talking maybe 1%.

    NEVER said prisoners were healthier than general population. I stated they don't suffer many of the maladies that many overweight/obese do and that's because the prison population per capita isn't overweight/obese in the same percentage as general population. I KNOW for a fact that 65% of the prison population isn't in the overweight/obese category like the US population is.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 1,944 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    I've been to several prisons with friends who are CO's and if you compare the population of obese there you're talking maybe 1%.

    An interesting insight.
    I would love to see some peer reviewed articles about the difference between that 1% and the general prison population.
    Although I would not be surprised if there aren’t any.

    My guess (and it is only a guess) is there might be some genetic component. Either in an inability to feel sated. Or an incredibly efficient metabolism. But again. That’s just a guess.
  • Speakeasy76
    Speakeasy76 Posts: 960 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    NVintage wrote: »
    I also agree. I seriously doubt that you all are eating very much of those foods, and probably eat healthy most the time. You all know you're healthy despite eating a little junk not because of it! I grew up eating frozen dinners and junk food and hardly any vegetables except corn. If I hadn't gotten on a health kick at 16, I'd probably have the same chronic diseases, by now, that my parents have.
    Living in a non-walkable area definitely influences weight and fitness. It's easier to stay fit when you have the option of walking places, or running outside.

    Any supermarket that removed junk food would face a huge backlash and probably go out of business. You can't dictate something as personal as food on that scale. Some communities do have a culture of healthy eating and tend to have lower rates of obesity. But you can't force people to change their culture, at least not without a backlash, and that raises ethical questions.

    Also, even "healthy organic specialty" supermarkets have plenty of junk food. You have the causality backwards -- the supermarkets in your area stock more healthy foods because there is more demand due to the local culture of being healthy/fit.

    And anyway, junk food doesn't make you fat. It's the quantity of calories that makes you fat, regardless of where it comes from.

    Actually junk food does make you fat. All the salt, sugar and chemicals makes you crave more salt and sugar so you eat more junk food full of empty calories and chemicals. And healthy nutritional foods are used by the body as fuel while junk food just clogs arteries, is stored as fat, gives you high cholesterol, is conducive to diabetes and otherwise reeks havoc on the body. It’s not even all about weight, but health and nutrition. I can never understand how people are basically putting poison in their bodies every day and food corporations are getting away with poisoning Americans. There is literally no value whatsoever to “foods” like Cheetos or Twinkies and still people consume them. Why? Not only is there no nutritional value to them, they are BAD for you, poisonous! Sodas like Coke and Pepsi, even the zero calorie kind are pure poison! People have to think less about losing weight and more about nutrition. If people stuck to healthy, pure, non-prepackaged foods with high nutritional value, they would automatically lose weight and feel so much healthier!

    I feel the same way.
    If eating low quality food for years ACTUALLY caused chronic disease, then explain how prison inmates have been in penitentiaries for decades eating some of the lowest quality foods 3 times a day and NOT suffering many of the maladies that the average very overweight/obese population is suffering from?

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Where are you getting this information from? I don't think this is accurate. Inmates in general gain weight during incarceration, and their risk of "maladies that the average overweight/obese population suffer from" isn't less than those outside prison.

    I have never seen a study that shows prisoners are healthier than the general population. They might have some benefits in the treatment of chronic illness that perhaps very low income people wouldn't have access to for financial reason. But if you are going to hold them up as an example of good health you are going to have to provide some data for that.

    Show me pictures of obese inmates who've spent at least a year in prison. I've been to several prisons with friends who are CO's and if you compare the population of obese there you're talking maybe 1%.

    NEVER said prisoners were healthier than general population. I stated they don't suffer many of the maladies that many overweight/obese do and that's because the prison population per capita isn't overweight/obese in the same percentage as general population. I KNOW for a fact that 65% of the prison population isn't in the overweight/obese category like the US population is.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    I think it makes sense most wouldn't be overweight, since I'm assuming the amount they're allowed to eat everyday is controlled based on averages needed for their gender and possibly size. Of course I have no idea, as fortunately I have no personal experience with prison!
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,824 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    I've been to several prisons with friends who are CO's and if you compare the population of obese there you're talking maybe 1%.

    An interesting insight.
    I would love to see some peer reviewed articles about the difference between that 1% and the general prison population.
    Although I would not be surprised if there aren’t any.

    My guess (and it is only a guess) is there might be some genetic component. Either in an inability to feel sated. Or an incredibly efficient metabolism. But again. That’s just a guess.
    There really isn't any. What you CAN do is just google "prison inmate pictures" and look at the groups of people and try picking out the overweight/obese ones. You might find more with female populations than male, but by in large you may be searching a long time to find a few that are a group of just overweight/obese inmates.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,824 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    NVintage wrote: »
    I also agree. I seriously doubt that you all are eating very much of those foods, and probably eat healthy most the time. You all know you're healthy despite eating a little junk not because of it! I grew up eating frozen dinners and junk food and hardly any vegetables except corn. If I hadn't gotten on a health kick at 16, I'd probably have the same chronic diseases, by now, that my parents have.
    Living in a non-walkable area definitely influences weight and fitness. It's easier to stay fit when you have the option of walking places, or running outside.

    Any supermarket that removed junk food would face a huge backlash and probably go out of business. You can't dictate something as personal as food on that scale. Some communities do have a culture of healthy eating and tend to have lower rates of obesity. But you can't force people to change their culture, at least not without a backlash, and that raises ethical questions.

    Also, even "healthy organic specialty" supermarkets have plenty of junk food. You have the causality backwards -- the supermarkets in your area stock more healthy foods because there is more demand due to the local culture of being healthy/fit.

    And anyway, junk food doesn't make you fat. It's the quantity of calories that makes you fat, regardless of where it comes from.

    Actually junk food does make you fat. All the salt, sugar and chemicals makes you crave more salt and sugar so you eat more junk food full of empty calories and chemicals. And healthy nutritional foods are used by the body as fuel while junk food just clogs arteries, is stored as fat, gives you high cholesterol, is conducive to diabetes and otherwise reeks havoc on the body. It’s not even all about weight, but health and nutrition. I can never understand how people are basically putting poison in their bodies every day and food corporations are getting away with poisoning Americans. There is literally no value whatsoever to “foods” like Cheetos or Twinkies and still people consume them. Why? Not only is there no nutritional value to them, they are BAD for you, poisonous! Sodas like Coke and Pepsi, even the zero calorie kind are pure poison! People have to think less about losing weight and more about nutrition. If people stuck to healthy, pure, non-prepackaged foods with high nutritional value, they would automatically lose weight and feel so much healthier!

    I feel the same way.
    If eating low quality food for years ACTUALLY caused chronic disease, then explain how prison inmates have been in penitentiaries for decades eating some of the lowest quality foods 3 times a day and NOT suffering many of the maladies that the average very overweight/obese population is suffering from?

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Where are you getting this information from? I don't think this is accurate. Inmates in general gain weight during incarceration, and their risk of "maladies that the average overweight/obese population suffer from" isn't less than those outside prison.

    I have never seen a study that shows prisoners are healthier than the general population. They might have some benefits in the treatment of chronic illness that perhaps very low income people wouldn't have access to for financial reason. But if you are going to hold them up as an example of good health you are going to have to provide some data for that.

    Show me pictures of obese inmates who've spent at least a year in prison. I've been to several prisons with friends who are CO's and if you compare the population of obese there you're talking maybe 1%.

    NEVER said prisoners were healthier than general population. I stated they don't suffer many of the maladies that many overweight/obese do and that's because the prison population per capita isn't overweight/obese in the same percentage as general population. I KNOW for a fact that 65% of the prison population isn't in the overweight/obese category like the US population is.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    I think it makes sense most wouldn't be overweight, since I'm assuming the amount they're allowed to eat everyday is controlled based on averages needed for their gender and possibly size. Of course I have no idea, as fortunately I have no personal experience with prison!
    There is actually a guideline for meals calorie intake in the penitentiary systems.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 1,944 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    I've been to several prisons with friends who are CO's and if you compare the population of obese there you're talking maybe 1%.

    An interesting insight.
    I would love to see some peer reviewed articles about the difference between that 1% and the general prison population.
    Although I would not be surprised if there aren’t any.

    My guess (and it is only a guess) is there might be some genetic component. Either in an inability to feel sated. Or an incredibly efficient metabolism. But again. That’s just a guess.
    There really isn't any. What you CAN do is just google "prison inmate pictures" and look at the groups of people and try picking out the overweight/obese ones. You might find more with female populations than male, but by in large you may be searching a long time to find a few that are a group of just overweight/obese inmates.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Oh. I believe your observation. You were there. I’m just curious about that 1% and why they remain obese after more than a year incarcerated.
  • Jcmhfp
    Jcmhfp Posts: 13 Member
    edited July 2021
    The person who originally commented about obesity in prison inmates may be Canadian. In Canada, it does seem to be the case that prisoners have higher rates of obesity and weight gain while incarcerated. The article below briefly mentions that the role of environment, restrictions on overall mobility, and discontinued tobacco use may impact weight gain too.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6182125/

    "Obesity rates increased by 71%, from 26.6% of participants (n = 378) on admission to 45.4% of participants at follow-up (n = 645). The proportion of inmates with a BMI in the normal range (18.5–24.9) decreased by 52%. Weight gain was found to be associated with older age, region (Ontario v. Atlantic), ethnicity (Aboriginal inmates showed the highest weight gain), longer incarceration, and longer total sentence. However, weight gain was not associated with sex, feeding system or spoken language."
  • YellowD0gs
    YellowD0gs Posts: 693 Member
    Jcmhfp wrote: »
    The person who originally commented about obesity in prison inmates may be Canadian. In Canada, it does seem to be the case that prisoners have higher rates of obesity and weight gain while incarcerated. The article below briefly mentions that the role of environment, restrictions on overall mobility, and discontinued tobacco use may impact weight gain too.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6182125/

    "Obesity rates increased by 71%, from 26.6% of participants (n = 378) on admission to 45.4% of participants at follow-up (n = 645). The proportion of inmates with a BMI in the normal range (18.5–24.9) decreased by 52%. Weight gain was found to be associated with older age, region (Ontario v. Atlantic), ethnicity (Aboriginal inmates showed the highest weight gain), longer incarceration, and longer total sentence. However, weight gain was not associated with sex, feeding system or spoken language."

    Just a question, how did they define "obesity"? Simple BMI chart?