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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!??