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One Size Shopping + Why I Think Americans are getting “Fatter”
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February 24, 2012

One Size Shopping + Why I Think Americans are getting “Fatter”

I went shopping with my translator the other day and had a blast looking at all of the fashion in the markets. Most of the clothes are very Korean-inspired. Very girly, frilly, doll-like. Oh and tons of sparkles everywhere. It was great to look at and go “OooOoOoOOoOo.”

When I saw a pair of lace sorts I TOTALLY wanted to buy, I looked at the tag and asked the sales rep what size it was. She said “one size”. What? One size? For shorts?? At the market you can’t try clothes on either, kind of like at those LA Sample Sales, so you just have to know your size and how you will look in different cuts. I ended up buying the shorts anyway because the waistband was elastic so I knew it’d be no problem, but as I kept shopping, I noticed that a bunch of skirts and pants only came in like one or 2 sizes. Like small and extra small!!

My translator told me that most people in China are about the same size so they don’t need to stock larger sizes. I asked “What if someone larger wants to wear my shorts?” She said they just need to pick a different style. There are 1.3 BILLION people in China. I was in several different cities during this trip, and I saw 4 people I would call obese, maybe another 10 I could say was overweight, and a couple that were tall like runway models. But for the most part, all the girls were about the same size and height – very thin and petite. I’d say I was about 1 to 1.5″ inches taller at least 15 lbs heavier than the avg Chinese girl.

Wow.

So what if we lived in a country where all the stores sold One Size Fits All styles? How terrible would that be? What riots we’d have. I can just imagine the uproar over designers and size discrimination.

But what is making America “fat”? Is it the food? The increase in desk jobs? The lack of exercise? Genetics?

Lets’ examine this one by one compared to the Chinese.

FOOD

Honestly, I’ve probably not eaten this badly since, umm, I don’t know when. EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING at the restaurants are laden with oil. Animal fat. I always try to order a veggie dish and a tofu dish. But I can taste the fat in there. It’s just how they prepare the food. There’s no such thing as a salad if you go to Chinese restaurants…I’ve been doing the best I can not eating rice, but jeez, sometimes I wonder maybe it’d be better if  ate the plain rice (at least I know what’s in it) and cut down on the oily veggies. I’m a little worried to see how my cardiovascular and weight lifting abilities have changed (most likely diminished) when I get back. But oh well, it’s life, you gotta do what you gotta do!

The Chinese also drink everything with tea or warm water. If you ask for ice water, they think you’re nuts and that you’re killing your insides. So I’ve been drinking tons of warm water at the restaurants and my regular room temp water bottle water at the hotel.

The desserts are still just as “bad” as American treats. Fried, deep fried, sugared. You name it!

Portions? I wouldn’t say they are THAT much smaller.

So food wise…I don’t think Chinese food is healthier AT ALL. And we’re just talking eating out at restaurants.

JOBS

Perhaps the US has a higher percentage of people working desk jobs than China. But there are still a ton of people who have corporate jobs desk jobs in China too.

LACK OF EXERCISE

In fact, there are less gyms in China than the US. We have more overweight people and more exercise facilities than most countries (maybe all countries?) I’d imagine! What I do notice is that there are a lot of people who walk and take public transportation.

There are basically no people jogging in the mornings. I might see some of the elderly doing Tai Chi at the park, but no crazy runners for sure.

GENETICS

I remember reading a study several months back that revealed that Chinese men have the highest body fat percentage out of all “races” and Africans has the lowest body fat percent. Although smaller in frame, I believe that a lot of Asians  are deceptively “skinny”. It’s called skinny-fat. Your frame is small and you look thin but in truth, your body fat % may be higher than someone who looks bigger than you who has more muscle.

CONCLUSION

China may look thin and slender, and perhaps their herbal medicines keep them fairly healthy, but they are definitely NOT fitness driven or nutty about nutrition over here. I think you can attribute their frame to their genetics.

But why are Americans getting more and more overweight over the years? I think it may be a lack of consciousness over diet and our inactivity. A lot of people drive to work, sit, drive home, eat, and sleep. Where did the walking go? Oh yeah, walking to and from your car? Ya, sorry doesn’t count. Because we as a country are so immobile during the day, we need to find ways to get more active, that’s why we need to workout! What needs to happen is we need to add fun fitness classes in schools instead of PE. I dreaded and hated PE so badly you have no idea. Miles days. UGH. Let the middle schoolers and high schoolers wear their own gym clothes. Make it exciting, make it like a fitness class at the gym! We have to make fitness fun. Then we need to add more nutrition classes to the curriculum. I think reading a food label should be like learning how to write a check ro how to address an envelope. A healthy lifestyle also promotes a better learning environment, so I think we need to start the kids when they are young and in school. This could also help with all those eating disorder cases which probably begin from a lack of education in nutrition.

So why do you think Americans are gaining weight so rapidly? And do you like my shorts!!??

46 thoughts on “One Size Shopping + Why I Think Americans are getting “Fatter””

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  1. Dana says:

    My family comes from Shanghai and last holiday we went to China and we went on tours and we literally ate at restaurants everyday! i have realised that they serve rice with every meal like we have a big round spinning table and there are many dishes on the tables and there’s always this really big bowl of white rice… and i remember my cousin telling me that “rice does not make you fat”, rice is good for you… this sounds like in school they don’t learn much about nutrition and health…they don’t know what food is good or bad.. i know what u mean by the greasy food. sometimes if i have soup, i try to wash away the grease from the food by washing it in the soup. and if it’s deep fried, i wrap it in a serviette trying to get rid of the grease.

  2. Coco says:

    Hi Cassey!
    I would just like to add something regarding the portions served in Chinese restaurants. I lived in Shanghai for 6 months for my studies and made Chinese friends, who told me that in China, people who go to the restaurant with their friends usually order different dishes (like 1 meat, 1 chicken, 1 fish, 2-3 vegetables,…) and share them. So in the end you don’t eat the whole plate of chicken and the whole plate of vegetables, they are this size because they are meant to be shared, and you eat a little bit of everything. Well at least this is how it was in Shanghai 🙂
    But yeah I agree about the sizes… I’m not fat but I was feeling soo tall and big compared to the Chinese lol! In the markets I couldn’t find shoes that fit me, and a lot of sweaters/pants were too short for me. It’s crazy!
    And btw, the shorts are very cute 🙂

  3. Nicole says:

    Americans are getting fatter because they consume unhealthy foods like processed foods, sugars, fast food, meats full of hormones and other things. They don’t care where their food comes from or what’s in it. They want some thing cheap and easy. I saw some one recommend Forks over knives and I suggest watching it too. Also the China Study is a book about nutrition and other stuff that the other person mentioned in a previous comment.

    I watched this documentary about farmers, Americans health, doctors opinions, and it showed what is happening in America regarding our food and health. It’s a real eye opener. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/26/fresh-video-documentary.aspx

    Things won’t change until people refuse to eat GMO, processed, artificially flavored, high fructose corn syrup and other things. Many studies have already proven this has been the causes of many illnesses and obesity.
    There would be more Organic and healthy products that cost less if more people chose those, and refused to buy the other stuff. It would cause the companies to change.

  4. Katy says:

    I think it’s the ingredients used in their cooking too. I think China uses a lot of REAL foods in their cooking and even if they are laden with fat, they are still real. In America, processed foods are everywhere and I’m sure all those chemicals and unknown ingredients we consume are doing harm to our bodies, including making us gain weight.

  5. Ez says:

    I am Chinese and currently in the States for school. People think I’m skinny and that pisses me off because I’m actually not… Anyway, I agree, we are small because of and ONLY because of genetics. We don’t care about fitness at all. There’s no such thing as fitness. And last summer when I went home for summer break, it just freaked me out because of all the unhealthy food like I never realized it before… It’s not like most American food is healthier but at least you have a choice, like veggies and salads. And Our food packages don’t have nutrition chart on them. OMG, killed me.
    About the one-size thing. Oh, well. These clothes are mostly not from brand companies so they are hard to sell. There is just no need to do all the sizes because likely only few people buy them. And, OH NO-NOT EVERYBODY ARE LIKELY THE SAME SIZE. SO NOT TRUE. Just saying, my younger brother is about 5′ or 5’1” and he weighs more than 140 pounds. He is 12. Isn’t that crazy!! I’m about 5’4” and I weigh about 117 pounds. Chinese people are getting fatter too.
    I’ve been in American for 2 years and now I care about fitness and nutrition a lot – that’s kinda why I am reading your blog. Ha. And now I’m going back to my workout 😀 Have fun!

  6. Emily says:

    I think it is really an issue of food quality and the kind of fats– fat in itself is not bad, in fact we need fat to survive. The pathological fear of fat has actually contributed to the American obesity problem by initiating the cycle of deprivation-binging that so many women get caught up in. It is really more about what Americans are eating too much of: highly processed oils, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, AND high fructose corn syrup, other corn-derived sweeteners. SUGAR is making us fat. It sounds like folks in China are not eating highly processed sugar and carbs at every meal. Fat on its own will not make you obese. Our bodies are used to metabolizing fat, especially if it’s the kind that humans have been eating for centuries (meat, eggs, butter, nuts, etc)– what our bodies do not metabolize well are all the new fats and sugars that are products of industrial food circa the 1960’s. THAT is the problem, and also explains why people in China are not experiencing the same epidemic.

  7. Chelsea says:

    I loooovee your ideas of PE classes and really think the idea should be thrown out to the schools. Though I think some girls may take it too far and were “risky” workout clothes is their fear. If I could’ve just worn my own tshirt and shorts though I probably would’ve been happy. The shorts just have to be “finger tip length” to be school appropriate.

    I honestly think America is way too judgmental yet..idk the word but they don’t take criticism? Like I think if someone is becoming overweight it shouldn’t be taken as an insult, but that someone cares about your genuine health. As long as they say it nice and politely of course (no calling people fat!).

  8. Tara says:

    Ok, here is why I think Americans are overweight…

    I think you’re definitely on the right track… more exercise and nutritional education in schools. But we all know that exercise is only 10%, right? The other 90 is diet. There’s going to be a big political rant coming up here, ok… I think that the government needs to step in and address this problem that is clearly not going away by putting some restrictions onto the food industry.

    The problem starts in early childhood, when children are marketed to by corporations that sell sugary breakfast cereals and snacks, etc. Yes, the parents should ultimately be responsible and just not let their kids eat that stuff, but how can they realisticly compete with all of these advertisements their children are being bombarded by? There are entire departments of people that devote their entire careers to pschologically manipulating people into purchasing products. So when you and your kid are in the store and you tell them they can’t have that sugary snack or breakfast cereal and they start to scream bloody freakin’ murder, well that’s exactly what these companies want.

    And it doesn’t stop there. This manipulation continues right into adulthood. Just watch the comercials on any American tv station after 6pm. Practically every second commercial is an advertisement for a chain restaurant such like denny’s or applebeas, or whathaveyou. The food is all bad for you, but they make look so succulent and appetizing. Also, look at fast food. Now we all know that fast food is terrible, but in any other country, is it seen as “manly” or like some kind of accomplishment to eat a double-down, or a baconator? It’s marketed like a challenge! “Can YOU handle this artery-clogging heart-attack-in-a-bun sandwitch?” It’s insanity!

    So you have this going on throughout people’s lives, and yes, people aren’t sheep, they can think for themselves, make their own decisions. But when you’re a child you really don’t have that much control. It’s really pretty immoral to target these children like that. And as anyone who has been overweight their whole life will know, it’s very hard to make these lifestyle changes when you’ve been living this way for your whole life.

    On a side-note, I personally think that sugar and HFCS are a big part of it as well. If the FDA just put some restrictions on the amounts of this that can be used as a food additive it would make a big difference. Some studies I’ve read about have shown that sugar is actually chemically addictive in much the same way as drugs such as heroin and cocaine. An of course I don’t have to say how horrible it is for your health.

    So there you go. I just want to say that I’m not Chinese and I’ve never been to China or anywhere in Asia, so I don’t really know if it’s different there, but I suspect that it is. BTW, if anyone wants to know more about this stuff, check out a lecture on youtube called “The Politics of Food”. It’s also a book.

    1. blogilates says:

      thanks for your insight! great comment.

  9. Emma says:

    When I was in China for the first little while it seemed like Chinese eat just as much as Americans but the longer I stayed I realized that I was just seeing the culture of receiving guests–it’s very rude to not feed your guests until they demand you stop! The longer I stayed I noticed that a Chinese diet really does consist of a lot less food: a typical day starts with a big breakfast, but you just have a little nibble of protein for lunch and a moderately-sized mix of meat and veggies for dinner. I was also in Beijing where food isn’t usually accompanied with rice and the only carbs we took in were the occasional bit of wheat noodles or dumplings (which are often just filled with veggies and almost always steamed, not fried). And snacking is rare, too. In the summer a slice of watermelon or a fruit popsicle would be offered to beat the heat, but not really for afternoon munchies. Overall, it seems like a lot less sugar is the answer. Oh yeah, and until recently dairy was pretty much never, ever a part of the Chinese diet, and though it’s available more now it still seems generally unpopular. You can find “cheese” tablets in the store as a suggested calcium supplements but they’re usually fruit flavored to suit the Chinese palette!

    1. blogilates says:

      Wow!!! Interesting!!

  10. Adrian says:

    I completely agree with you about PE classes not being fun. I love staying fit and healthy now (though college is suffocating me) because I can do and eat things I like and my body likes. I remember hating how they forced us into uniforms, into playing certain sports, and watching boring “eating healthy” videos. Students should have more options to explore ways to stay healthy the way they like it, so that it’ll stick the rest of their lives.

    1. Adrian says:

      Also, my family is mostly from Guangzhao. Believe me when the Chinese say that people from that region are known to eat almost ANYTHING (myself included)!

  11. Melissa says:

    This is really interesting. I’ve never been to China so I’ve always thought that Chinese people are a lot healthier than we are here. But I guess its just a generalization. Doesn’t warm water help burn more calories?

  12. Anna says:

    The standard American diet is so messed up. There is too much sugar, especially in unnatural forms like HFCs, overprocessing of food, improperly raised animals, vegetables, and grains, and nobody really knows what GMOs do to the human body. The “Characteristics of Tradional Diets” article at http://www.westonaprice.org/basics/characteristics-of-traditional-diets is interesting. I need to get Price’s and Pottenger’s books about the effects of traditional diets on health from the library.

  13. rebekah says:

    Hi Cassey! I’m in Highschool and I totally agree with fitness being fun in P.e and stuff. But I also wanted to share something else with you;
    In my school, we have the option to take dance as an actual class, you know, a class that you get graded on and takes place during the school day. I’m in it and it’s so much fun ! But the best part about it is that it’s also a workout too! From the moment class starts we are up and moving- and it’s SO much fun! We do all kinds of dance styles, like lyrical, hip hop, ballet, and west african to name a few. We also do pilates sometimes for conditioning:p What I’m getting at is that fitness can be fun- you just have to find ways to make it fun!
    😀

  14. Emily says:

    This was a brilliant post. I love reading your blog because you always remind me to eat clean and give me a reason to eat a banana instead of a bagel. Also, those shorts are great. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to buy shorts and a bikini for summer. Thanks for being great! 🙂

  15. Carolyn says:

    1) Adorable shorts! I love them! =D
    2) Americans are getting fatter, because we are still sold on the idea that diet pills and fad diets are quick fixes, even though they are unsustainable–add lack of mobility during the day, and you get fat. Of course, East Asian countries–Korea and Japan, especially–love their diet gimmicks. The difference is, they are actually mobile. That being said, a lot of the diets, diet pills, diet drinks, 0 calorie foods (like Zero Calorie Jelly–yeah, it exists, and women in Japan try to live off it), etc. are extremely unhealthy. Unlike in America, “strong” is not respected in places like Korea and Japan; “skinny” is–no matter how damaging getting “skinny” is to your health. So, I guess, in a way, both America and these skinny-obsessed countries have their own share of health problems–just on different sides of the spectrum.

    (In case you want to read further about Korea’s obsession with skinny, go here: http://thegrandnarrative.com/. He’s a very good writer, and focuses a lot on female body image and sexuality in Korean society.)

    (For Japan, go here:
    http://www.princeton.edu/~aborovoy/fulltext.pdf –> fairly dense academic article
    http://www.biz2web.com/grant/c11.htm –> text of a letter; scroll down to read briefly about eating disorders
    http://www.eatingdisordertreatment.com/blog/eating-disorders-in-japan –> very good, comprehensive article from an eating disorder clinic about eating disorders in Japan)

    1. blogilates says:

      WOW! Thank you, reading now.

  16. Diana says:

    First of all, obsessed with the shorts, have been debating getting a pair just like them! But what will you pair them with (haha, really important questions over here!)

    I loved this post because I think about this a lot – when I studied abroad in Europe, I noticed that they don’t stock a lot of diet or health foods, drink like fish, smoke like chimneys – there was even a bar in my gym in Austria RIGHT outside the cardio room, yes inside the gym, where people drank & smoked after working out!! I do think it comes down to portion control to a certain extent – nobody feels the need to be in the Clean Plate Club and people linger over their meals, savoring them rather than inhaling them. And walking!! Walking everywhere is HUGE.

    1. blogilates says:

      The answer to your important question! I have paired it with a chunky sweater but I think it will look great with any top and booties. Ah, so not a fashion blogger but I’ll take a pic and show you.

  17. Randi says:

    Hi Cassey! This was a really interesting blog post, and gave your readers lots of food for thought. I think the main difference in diets between Americans and Chinese is how our food is created. Americans are so far removed from our food (like you mentioned in an earlier post). So much of what we eat has been genetically modified. It’s ridiculous. Also I think American diets are more heavily based on protein/meat consumption, whereas Asian diets are more plant and grain based. Here in the US our plates are mostly made up of giant hunks of meat. I think you would really like this documentary called “Forks Over Knives”. It discusses this exact subject! Thanks for sparking the conversation, Cassey!

    1. blogilates says:

      I must see that! I’ve heard about it a lot.

  18. Sarah says:

    I love those shorts!! I couldn’t agree with you more Cassey, now a days if you look at the average kid all they do is play video games or sit at their computers and when you tell them to go outside and play and be a kid, they look at you with two heads!!! I remember being a kid and always being outside we never sat in front of computers always sat down to dinner together at the table never in front of the tv and like I said our parents were always throwing us outside and why wouldn’t you want to be outside?!?! It is def being lazy that is a big contributor of being overweight! I so agree that schools need to add a nutrition class so kids are aware of what’s actually going into their bodies and gym classes for sure need to be a lot more fun, when I was a kid I dreaded gym class I hated it in fact! I sat out as much as I could! Parents also need to take responsibility for their children’s habits too, they can’t just let them sit around and do nothing and eat whatever they want when they want. So I think you are 100% right!

    1. blogilates says:

      Oh yes! We are so addicted to screens nowadays, me included. Good point about making kids go OUTSIDE!

  19. sparkle says:

    We do have overweight people in Germany, but not nearly as many as in the US. I was amazed when I was in Virginia just how many immensely fat people there were. I do think it’s a lot to do with the day-to-day activities involved in getting places. Our cities are not designed for lots of cars, parking is difficult in most places. So a lot more people walk or take public transport which I think makes a big difference.
    In the US I also found it was a lot easier to just eat junk instead of a healthy meal. Getting an apple was so much more expensive and time-consuming than having a sandwich on-the-go… Most people I know that lived in the US for some time came back having gained a lot of weight – I’m speaking 10kg 😉

  20. Rebecca says:

    Hi Casey, I have been growing increasingly concerned about GMO food. I think that it’s causing obesity and malnutrition at the same time! And I believe that GMO wheat, soy, and corn products are the reason so many people in America are overweight. That and HFCS – that stuff is poison and Americans consume a huge amount of it in the form of processed food and soda. I would recommend you watch this amazing TED talk:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rixyrCNVVGA

    And also consider checking out traditional nutrition information. It will blow your mind! There is a growing awareness that people eating traditional diets, rich in fats and creams, had much lower levels of degenerative disease and obesity.

    I love your videos! Thanks for all your great work!

    1. Crystal Riedel says:

      I really appreciate your comment, I too am concerned about the dangers of genetically altered food. I also have been really into the traditional foods. I have been studying “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon, and have gotten way into soaking and sprouting all my grains, seeds, nuts, and beans. It is really important to break down the phytic acid in these foods. Also I think what is lacking in American diets is fermented foods, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt (without sugar), and sour dough breads. Also there is a lot of misinformation about fats. Grass fed, organic butter is good for you. Organic virgin coconut oil is good for you, extra virgin olive oil is a great start to homemade salad dressings. Of course we should avoid sugar, eat whole foods, and get lots of POP pilates in our daily routines. Just something I have been thinking about. Thank You.

  21. Liz says:

    I agree that the lack of regular walking is clearly a detriment to our (Americans’) overall health. I’ve been working in Paris for 2 weeks out of every month for the past couple months and it’s fairly challenging to find something other than a croissant for breakfast. I’m used to my non fat greek yogurt and honey with some rice cakes. That said, I think I clocked 20 miles walking this week (in heels – yikes!) getting to the metro (talking all stairs and not escalators in the stations), getting off, walking another half mile or so to work and then walking around after work trying to find a place for dinner. I haven’t jumped on a scale, but I feel like I’ve maintained my weight out here just by being active throughout the day, ESPECIALLY after meals. I’ve also found that some of my other stomach issues (gluten sensitivity, bloating, etc) have diminished because of the walking.

    I guess I need to read that “Why French Women Aren’t Fat” book to check my facts, but that’s my hunch.

  22. PetitPlat says:

    Ok.

    I have no clue about China nor why Chinese are thinner.
    But I live in France, and I read a lot that people are astonished why French aren’t getting fat with all the food we have.

    First off, let me tell you this, restaurant food IS NOT equal to everyday food.
    In Restaurants, the portion are larger and there’s more fat involved (butter, yes), I hardly can finish a restaurant portion.

    So we might eat butter and crême fraiche (although creme fraiche isn’t that fa,t it’s actually just 30% of fat which is OK, considered you use as scarcely as butter).

    And croissants? Boy, we hardly eat those, and if it’s usually just on Sundays and 1 or 2.

    Or thinking of which, we went to South Korea once, and they’re portions were huuuuge and they all were quite skinny 🙂
    We thought that it might be because they have huge stomaches (they’re basically eating a salad bowl of soup for lunch without a problem, and we ate the same portion for 3 persons…)
    The food seemed healthy enough though, but I guess their body constitution is very different from ours. Maybe the eat/drink something that helps their body not to keep the fat they’re eating?

    Anyway, interesting topic ^^

  23. BeckiB says:

    ps LOVE those shorts

  24. BeckiB says:

    I would have loved PE soooo much more if they had made it into a fitness class! Mile days KILLED and the pacer was almost worse.

  25. jenna says:

    on the PE thing… yes PE programs are being cut but teaching PE is slowly becoming part of the required process to be a classroom teacher. I’m learning this now as a part of my degree. PE specialists are working with regular classroom teachers so that PE is every day and/or meets the 150 minutes in class PE time per week guideline. Also, at least elementary PE is being revamped, and if you go to an elementary school today it is much different from the 10-15 years ago when I was there. have you read the NASPE standards? these are the standards guiding most PE classes across the country now. AND PE is becoming more like a fitness class, in that K-6 PE rarely includes sports but instead development of sports skills and fitness. Direct competition is no longer a part of a quality PE program so that all students can associate PE with success. I guess all I’m saying is that PE is still far from perfect, but CHANGES ARE HAPPENING and the next generation of teachers will be better equipped to make PE daily and productive, compared to the kickball and duck duck goose that we all remember.

  26. Jennie says:

    Hi Cassie,

    I am a huge fan of yours but I wanted to make a quick point about the food section. I am Cantonese (from Canton, which is the region you visited) and the Cantonese food prepared by my parents and relatives are NOT fattening and really, not that oily. The restaurant in China are certainly oily, (this is from a past visit and from eating Cantonse food in SF) but the homecooked stuff, which is what most people in China eat most of the time, is often steamed (!) or wok-fried food with some simple soysauce and garlic. Plus, I feel like vegetables are emphasized way more in Chinese culture over meat.

    In America, I think the convenience and easy availability of fast food and processed food is a big factor to consider.

    Asia Asians also walk and take public transportation a lot(it’s well-developed over there!) while Americans tend to drive their cars everywhere.

    Thanks, Cassie!

    1. blogilates says:

      Ahh good to know that home food is steamed. Thanks for informing me! Was just writing from the point of restaurant dining.

  27. Penny says:

    Haven’t been to China so I can’t say. But I have been to Korea. In Korea I notice two things for sure:
    1. They have free exercise machines at parks… lots of public places to play sports too.
    2. The quality of the food is better. Even if you’re eating pancakes or something greasy, the quality of the oil and the grains will be better. I ate everything I wanted in Korea and never got that sickly feeling that I get from eating American food. Korea probably has more farmland than pollution… I don’t think they pump stuff up with preservatives and hormones like we do, and they don’t have to have as much produce shipped in from other countries.

    Korea also had a lot of one size stuff. There is obviously less diversity in Asia than there is in America… which also leads to less body type diversity. Here, I think the number one reason same-size wouldn’t work is because we have so many different proportions. I’m pear shaped, and even though I’m thin for the most part, one-size pants won’t fit me… I’m also too tall for some of it (like those really short dresses… wow… cute but my butt would be hanging out).

  28. Jessica Miller says:

    I think it’s interesting that you mentioned adding “fun fitness classes in school instead of PE” because most PE departments are being cut out of schools all together. I do agree that schools are an excellent platform to teach the benefits of physical fitness, but sadly I think we are going in the complete opposite direction 🙁

    1. Melissa LP76 says:

      Absolutely agree Jessica. My daughter is in elementary school and I was shocked to discover P.E. only happens one day every TWO weeks.

      1. blogilates says:

        OMG are you serious??

  29. Becky says:

    I think the lack of day-to-day just-part-of-life exercising is a big problem. Where I live you can’t just walk…anywhere. My town is tiny, we’re talking post office/gas station/bank/bar tiny. And there’s nothing for miles. You can’t NOT have a car here. And people don’t adjust their lifestyle for that. When I was in Europe last summer, I don’t recall seeing many overweight people. A few on the heavy side. But downright obese? Not one that I can remember. We walked everywhere. From breakfast until past dinner. We were lucky to sit down for a few minutes on the underground, but really, our legs took us everywhere. I *was* snacking less, fewer opportunities, and more distractions… I swear to you my pants didn’t fit when I got home. I packed on tons of muscle in my legs (thigh gap!) thanks to the mountains. But like you said, the food was not “healthy”. Smothered in butter. Dusted with sugar. And I needed every calorie to keep me going. We need to do a better job adjusting for that in our everyday lives.

  30. Stephanie says:

    Cassie – have you read The China study?

  31. mindy says:

    I agree 100% with what you say about Asians being skinny fat. I am 5″3 and ~ 115 lbs. I have a cousin (who lives in America) who is 5″5 and ~105 lbs and another who is 5″7 and my weight!
    I don’t know why they are both so tall…maybe it’s the American food that makes them tall… , but they are both so thin! However despite them being thin, they hate exercise! One claims that she gets tired from playing 10 minutes of tennis and can’t run half a mile?? I personally am in love with running and can run up to 8 miles, so I was shocked when she told me this. I thought she was healthier since she was so thin, but I guess I was wrong.
    I sometimes do want to be thinner like her since “all asians are skinny/underweight” and I feel like an elephant in my family since I am healthy weight and like to exercise. It doesn’t seem fair to me sometimes since I work out so much and eat well like 75 % of the time and they still look better than me..

    hmm.. I wonder, if you could do a more in detail post about this?

    Thanks!

  32. Danny-J says:

    we thought the same thing in China– everyone was so small… but the FOOD… man.. it WAS greasy! and honestly, we were served pretty large portions… it was a bit of an enigma. I do think they walk a lot more and maybe snack less?
    it was just very interesting though.

    Glad you are enjoying it, we love reading about your trip!

    1. blogilates says:

      Someone below said that the restaurant style is not actually how cantonese home cooked meals are – they are usually steamed! So maybe that’s why. Plus people walk everywhere!!

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