Every Saturday, we get our favorite writers to throw a guest article together, while we pass out somewhere outside and sleep the weekend away. Today, we have Lia and Nick Romeo from ThingsToBeMiserableAbout.com. Not only do they run that blog, but they also have a book, 11,002 Things to be Miserable About. Want a copy? Find out how at the end of the article!
We all hate home foreclosures, rising unemployment rates and Wall Street CEOs bitching about how tough it's going to be to afford chauffeurs and summer homes on $500,000 salaries.
But it turns out that the recession has also had some less-heralded--but possibly even more depressing--effects. Like these.
6People Are Getting Fatter
Since the recession began, workers at the Spam plant in Austin, Texas have been putting in overtime, churning out batches of the pink, glistening, vaguely meat-like substance with "a mere hint of sodium nitrite" for the millions of Americans who can no longer afford real meat.
The disturbing surge in the sales and consumption of Spam is part of a larger trend, in which people are choosing cheaper--and generally more fattening--food (or vaguely food-like) products, and packing on what media outlets are cutely calling "recession pounds." McDonald's sales are up, even as privately owned restaurants fail right and left, and Americans--3.8 million of whom already weigh over 300 pounds--are getting even fatter.
In fact, one study estimates that a 10 percent increase in the poverty rate would lead to a six percent increase in the obesity rate. Just what we need.
[num] 5[/num]And Uglier
Well, there's always plastic surgery, right?
Not during the recession. For most Americans, the option of having that extra fat vacuumed out of their thighs has gone the way of new clothes, Caribbean vacations and being able to retire before they're 85 or so.
Rates of lipo, as well as rhinoplasty, boob jobs, Botox and all those other little enhancements that make it possible to look at our neighbors--and ourselves--without grimacing, are down. Way down. In plastic surgery hub Orange County, business has dropped 30-40 percent. Keep in mind, this doesn't affect the country club wives who get new boobs because they're bored. That 30 percent is coming out of the middle class. The folks who've been saving up to have the goiter removed so they don't cause children to run screaming from the room. And what about the plastic surgeons?
And if you can't get depressed about a drop in plastic surgery, in an unrelated but also uglifying trend, ever since the economy tanked, men, for some unexplained reason, have been much more likely to grow bushy facial hair. Yes, that's right, beards are back. Maybe men are trying to protect themselves-- metaphorically--from all the turmoil out there. Or maybe they're just too depressed to shave.