In 1981, there was no such thing as a DVR, sucking us in 24/7 and allowing us to watch every ... single ... episode ... of Kourtney & Kim Take New York ... in one sitting! We had green screen computers, Pong and Pac Man, but no Wiis, Kinects or PSPs -- definitely no Angry Birds that could be electronically flung on the subway or in your bed. And thirty years ago, Twitter was just a noise a sparrow or a horny construction worker on a New York sidewalk would make.
We're so proud of our iPads, our digital magazines, our ability to check President Obama's latest status update. We can get real-time tweets from @LadyGaga. But there's a price we pay, and it's written all over our asses! Our technology has come so far, but we've regressed physically. In fact, we're so sedentary, it's making us sick ...
Sure, some Wii games require us to move our bodies, but it doesn't make up for the fact that we're spending our days sitting on our butts watching other people work out for two hours (hello, Biggest Loser) and giving our thumbs the most workout of any part of our bodies, thanks to our smartphones. (But of course, if you're too lazy to pick up your thumb, you can get one of those phones where you just have to slide it from letter to letter to type.)
At least there's one upshot to our fat-making technology: America's not the only chunky kid in class anymore! The rest of the world is now almost just as obese, according to a new study in the Lancet. In fact, worldwide obesity rates have almost doubled in the last 30 years.
High-income American men (aka Wall Street Fat Cats?) are still the heftiest of all, ranking number one for being overweight (60 percent). This includes 30 percent who are considered obese, the heaviest group, which also ranks first worldwide.
Where do we as American women stand? We're fourth for obesity and second for overweight prevalence. That's rather grim, don't you think? But at least we're not as bad as women in southern Africa. They take the cake -- and are number one -- thanks to a 37 percent obesity rate. Eesh!
When asked what he thinks is the story across the globe, the Lancet researcher said:
At the most basic level, this is a result of more calories and less activity.
WOW! Is he a rocket scientist?! (Yes, that was a healthy dose of sarcasm.) What I mean is ... Why are we acting so ignorant about this problem? It's clear that thanks to our "Angry Birds"-filled and Twitter-rific world, we, as humans, are now sitting on our butts like, 500 percent more of the time, as compared to even ... well, 30 years ago!
Look, I wouldn't have a job if it wasn't for the Internet! But our 24/7 dependence on screens just terrifies me, because it makes me think we're headed right for a real-life version of Wall-E. If you never saw it, you really should, because it depicts humanity's imminent future: We'll be a bunch of blob-like beings who hang out in a mall-type spaceship all day, while flying around plunked in individual couches, drinking XL sodas and communicating with one another via text message.
If that image doesn't freak you the heck out, then, by all means ... I guess the best we can do is try to take those southern African women down for the #1 spot!
Image via Amy Moss/Flickr