5 Things We Are Making Fatter (In Addition to Ourselves)
The fattest woman in the world wants to get fatter. And when you hear that, you kind of want her to don't you? You're sitting there mentally cheering her on thinking, Yes, push the human body to the limit lady, like a world class athlete competing in the sport of cheese-appreciation. The world we live in has become not only extremely fat, but extremely OK with the general idea of being fat. Unfortunately, while size would ideally just be a personal issue, it turns out that this overwhelming expansion is actually contagious in ways you wouldn't think possible. Here are some of the ways your beer belly is changing the world (literally) for the worse.
You're Making Your Pets Fat
You know how they say pets look like their owners?
"Hey, your dog looks like Michael McDonald too!"
Well, pets are getting just as chubalicious as their owners now too. Not content to push the boundaries of physics with our own expanding waistlines, we project our insecurities onto our animals; and as a result, they're bigger than ever. The expanding girth of our beloved pets is the number one health threat facing them right now. In America alone, over 50 percent of cats and dogs are overweight. And there is a good reason for this: It's because fat animals are totally fucking adorable.
The main problem is that our culture is so in love with sugar that we have actually started adding huge amounts of it to stuff we don't even eat, namely dog and cat treats. There is absolutely no need for this. I don't know if you've noticed but there is not exactly a lot of natural sugar in the mice, birds and fish that our pets would eat in the wild. By adding ingredients they have never experienced as a species we are actually "rewiring our pets' behavioral responses" and "creating cravings" that have literally never existed in dogs and cats before. We're taking animals that have never had a desire for sweet things and making them beg for peanut butter because it's so adorable when they try to lick it off and then they use their little paws like tiny furry people and...
Ahem, sorry. My point is: Screw you, thousands of years of evolution, I want a 30-pound kitty.
"I can haz heart problems down the line?"
It's actually gotten to the point where the average pet owner sees an overweight animal as "normal." We're so used to seeing super-sized bundles of fur running around (or just sort of laying there having minor heart attacks) that our perspective on what size a dog or cat should be has changed. Forty percent of owners with obese cats, not just overweight but obese, think their cats are at a healthy weight. It's this bizarre change in perspective that affects almost every aspect of the world-fattening (or Chubpocolyps. Or Fat-Assmageddon.)
You're Making Your Friends Fat
Are you concerned you might be the Fat Albert in your gang? Don't worry, you won't be for long; you'll make them fat right along with you eventually. According to a recent decades long study, behaviors both good and bad are actually contagious. If you and your friends decide to give up smoking at the same time, you are all more likely to quit. If you take up running with friends, you're more likely to make it a lifelong habit. And if you start gaining weight with friends, you are all more likely to end up hilariously overweight sooner.
It's something we can't escape: According to studies, your college roommate's GPA dragged yours down or up. If your sibling has a child, you are 15 percent more likely to have one in the next two years. If a person has friends that are in better shape than them to start with, just having them around keeps them alive longer. Of course, less and less people are staying really healthy these days, meaning you're much more likely to be experiencing the down side of this discovery.
If just one of your friends becomes obese, you are 57 percent more likely to follow in their footsteps. If a friend of a friend gains weight you are still 20 percent more likely to gain weight. That's right: You're getting second-hand fat. The pattern stretches on and on, just like those marks on your ass. So think about it when you're reaching for that eighth handful of Doritos; you're not just eating for you, you're eating for your friend, and your friend's friends, and your friend's cousin's boyfriend's sister's husband, and so on and so on, until Kevin Bacon eventually just dies of a coronary.
RIP Fatty McBacon.
You're Letting Actors Get Fat
But fuck Kevin Bacon's theoretical secondhand fatass; you've already done it for real. You've made Russell Crowe fat. And John Travolta. And Denzel Washington. Three men who were once ubuer-sex symbols are now nothing more than chubby leading men and it's because we decided it was OK.
Crowe started out as a muscular everyman; woman wanted to sleep with him and men wanted to have quick enough reflexes to dodge the phones he threw at them. Over the last few years Crowe started piling on the pounds, but still always managed to lose them in time for his next big role. Then he got cast in Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott, thus recreating the same team that brought us the eye candy-fest that was Gladiator.
"Are you not inexplicably aroused?"
Now, it's been 10 years since Gladiator; he can't realistically be in the same shape. But surely Russell got back into some kind of fighting form for Robin Hood. After all he's only 46, he had plenty of time to prepare and...
Recently, audiences have been accepting sex symbols that have gone to seed, in roles they are no longer physically accurate for, presumably because even having that little tubbiness still makes Crowe look like a sex-god compared to the veritable truckstop diner that the rest of the Earth is becoming. Oh, but still: No fat chicks. Sorry, ladies.
You're Making the Earth Fat
Contrary to what every teacher you've ever had told you, the earth isn't round: It's an oblate spheroid. In normal people terms, that means it's actually shaped more like a pumpkin than a basketball. But how close it is to looking like one or the other fluctuates; amazingly, the Earth can (and has) actually changed its overall shape several times in accordance with the global climate.
The Earth at her sexy best in the late 1980s: God, look at the way those continents jiggle when she orbits.
Since the last major Ice Age, the Earth has been getting progressively rounder. In 1998, that pattern flip-flopped and the planet started getting bigger around the middle. Like, significantly wider in the anthropomorphized "gut" region. According to one study, a "mysterious equatorial bulge" has emerged. The Earth itself is getting fatter. And it's our fault: The ice caps and mountain glaciers are melting, raising the sea level and therefore increasing the planet's girth around the equator. This redistributed weight changes the actual shape of the globe.
Earth after seriously letting herself go. God, look at that disgusting fatass.
Now before you go saying that it's not our bad habits and binge-eating that's causing the world to overheat, you should shut up, because it is. Many experts have proven that at least part of the global warming issue could be solved if we would all just lose a few pounds. By staying fat we consume more food, which means more land needs to be turned over to producing it, and we take more gas to get us around, increasing oil use and air pollution.
You're so fucking fat you're killing your grandchildren.
You're Making Jesus Fat
Earlier this year, a study of 52 images of the Last Supper was published in the International Journal of Obesity (good lord, how far have we fallen as a people, when we need actual peer reviewed publications devoted to the study of our gigantic asses?). The authors of the study wanted to find out if lifestyle changes in the general population affected the amount of food served in paintings of the Last Supper. It turns out that over the course of 1000 years, the size of the meal served increased by 70 percent. Since the Gospels only mention bread and wine being served, anything else on that table (and the amount) is purely left to the artist's imagination, which usually reflected the standard of the time.
Starting in 1308, we can see what a meager meal Jesus and his disciples had to split between themselves, with just some bread rolls and... some kind of pig fetus?
But the spirit is intact here; it is a modest meal by any standards. Now, by the 1400s, each of the 13 men are at least getting a decent portion, even if they end up having to swing by Arby's on the way home because they didn't want to look like pigs in front of The Christ.
But by the late 1500s, we've got an orgy of food: So much that one table simply cannot hold it all. Now we've even got serving wenches passing out bowls of nuts with one hand while doing the wash with the other, because old-timey bitches knew how to multi-task.
Society's changing perception of what is normal allowed the artists to get away with slowly morphing Jesus Christ from a humble, starving carpenter into a hedonist feasting with his entourage while groupies handle his nuts. If the Last Supper was a popular subject today, you'd barely be able to see Simon behind the buckets of chicken, Paul would be horking back a Double Down and Judas would be double-dipping egg-rolls in the ranch sauce.
Because he's History's greatest monster, that's why.
For more of Kathy's work, check out 7 Secrets Only Two Living People Know (For Some Reason) and The 6 Stupidest Things Ever Done With Historic Treasures.