Tuesday, July 19, 2011
And after Fourth Meal, let's all drive our SUVs in circles for an hour or so
In Ghana and Chad, the average adult consumes about 1600 calories per day- roughly 67% of the number recommended for healthy weight maintenance. In the United States, the average adult consumes 3500 calories a day- about 140% of the number recommended.
Quick Quiz: In which country is a particularly vile provider of gross excess promoting the idea of adding a "Fourth Meal" to the daily diet? Hint: It's the same country currently being sold on the idea of making an "XXL Beef Burrito" (880 calories) part of that "Fourth Meal."
In 1970, the United States ranked #28 in average daily calorie consumption. Today it ranks #1. No, it's not entirely Taco Bell's fault- Taco Bell is not the only company pushing very hard to convince us that Oil, Flour, Beef, and Corn Syrup make up the latest version of the Food Pyramid. McDonalds with their sugared french fries and SuperSizing, 7-11 with their Extreme Gulps, and KFC with their (gag, I still can't believe this) Double Down "sandwiches" have to take part of the blame.
However, at the moment it's Taco Bell which is really hitting the "Big is Better" theme. Commercials featuring Europeans staring in amazement at massive packages of carbohydrates and greasy meat and wondering "what are we supposed to do with this?" (My suggestion- chop it up and serve it to about twenty people. People you don't like.) Loud-mouthed pitchmen explaining the importance of stocking up on 20-gallon jars of mayonnaise. And now this loathsome "fourth meal" ad campaign, which makes "Punch Dub Days" look positively charming by comparison.
Where's our social conscience, anyway? While a huge percentage of the planet wakes up every morning wondering where First Meal is going to come from, and accepting the idea that First Meal is probably Last Meal for the day, the fattest, sweatiest, most gluttonous nation on Earth is going to embrace the concept of a FOURTH meal-- why? Because there is something intrinsically evil about not being stuffed to the gills with fatty poison 24/7?? Because feeling hungry because your distended stomach is sending false signals to your brain and not responding by instantly shoveling garbage down your pie-hole is Un-American? Because YOU CAN??
How's this for a better idea- every time you skip "Fourth Meal," you drop the $5 you were going to spend shortening your life by consuming this mess into a piggy bank. At the end of each month, take out that money, deposit it, and write a check to Oxfam. Your clothes will fit better, you won't sweat as much, your heart won't scream for mercy when you walk up a short flight of stairs, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping someone, somewhere get to First Meal because you "sacrificed" Fourth Meal. You may even live to play with your grandchildren.
Just a thought.