The Internet and our Sedentary Society -- maybe some hope?
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I was watching the documentary "Killer at Large" on Netflix -- I categorized it as a "food frightening" film, like Supersize Me or Food Inc. but really, I think it did a good job of showing that being fat in the US is a complex problem caused by a LOT of stuff.
I'm sure the fact that there's sugar in everything since the 1990s has a lot to do with it. I'm sure the USDAs incestuous relationship with the food industry plays a big part. I'm sure the fact that we're under more stress factors in.
But I have to think we're a lot more sedentary, and that's in part, the industry I've got my career firmly planted in -- the Internet. The big evidence that something has gone seriously wrong in the last 15 years or so is in the CDC obesity maps:
Unfortunately, we're not just looking at a time when corporate food started incorporating high fructose corn syrup into everything, we're looking at 13 years of LOLs and the rise of YouTube and Twitter and Facebook. Basic cause and effect says, "The Internet showed up around 1995 and now we're a nation of fatties."
We have so many more excuses to sit in front of our computers now -- work, sports, watching movies, catching up with friends, blogging about sitting in front of the computer... And we find new reasons to sit in front of our computers every day.
I like to think there's hope. As much as I hate the iPad, it lets us actually go somewhere while being online and plenty more tablets are coming along. Whether this makes us more mobile or more sedentary when on the move remains to be seen.
But then there's the new generation of computer interfaces. The Wii pioneered video games as exercise, and the Kinect has the potential to be a whole new way of interacting with your comptuer -- by moving your body.
No, being stuck in front of a computer all day isn't the only thing making us fat, but I do have to apologize for my minor contribution to keeping American's fat asses stuck in their seats.
Now I'm going for a walk. Outside. Away from the computer.
Good thing I'll have my Windows Mobile phone with me.
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