Thursday, September 13, 2012

Luring Fatties to Fast Food

A new analysis of mountains of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed Michigan is one of the fattest states in the nation.

Nearly one-third of Michigan adults are obese. We ranked fifth worst in the U.S., behind only Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Alabama. Such rankings are not precise, of course, but this one used body mass index data, a fairly good general obesity guideline.

It matters not.  Scientific studies are unnecessary. One need only look around at the hefty bodies waddling around the area.   But we ought to rate a little forgiveness.  Temptations to stray off the healthy eating path are many and powerful.

A "Hot and Juicy."
Last month, resistance to junk food was especially tough to maintain.  The local Wendy’s mailed an ad with seven coupons offering free or cut-rate goodies such as “The Baconator,” chili cheese fries, and a “hot and juicy” cheeseburger. Beautiful wife Sandy was across the little pond visiting relatives in Wisconsin, and I admit to succumbing to the lure of the Wendy’s ad (actually, more than once.) while her cooking expertise was elsewhere.

Cost-conscious diners could hardly do better.  Wendy’s served me a cheeseburger, fries, and a “small” drink for $3.26, including tax.  No tip needed there, either. When I presented my coupon, the clerk said, “Just keep it, you can use it as often as you want for the whole month.”

At about the same time, Rhino’s, my favorite tavern, entered the high-calorie, low-cost fray by announcing it would serve quarter-pound burgers for $1.50 as long as road construction nearby continued. The construction is planned to last two years! 

Wendy’s burgers are good; Rhino’s burgers are great.  No frozen patties at Rhino’s; each burger is “freshly made and hand-crafted” and cooked to order—rare, medium, or well-done, whatever you specify.

Until 6 p.m. at Rhino’s you can guzzle all the light beer served in frosted mugs you want for 75 cents a tap.  Combine the cheap beer and cheap burger with a half order of beer-battered fries (few humans can eat a whole order), and you have a lot of stuff.

Sandy and I do that once in a while. It’s a cheap date. Our latest bill for four beers, two burgers, and fries came to $12.35, including tax and tip.  Service at Rhino’s is excellent. Patrons who want to continue to fit into their jeans are wise not to show up to experience it very often.

Fat-food enticements seem to be everywhere in Plainwell, Michigan. Real cheapskate aficionados can walk a block past Rhino’s to the Tenth Street Saloon.  There you can get TWO hotdogs with chips for $1.00. It’s frightening. We’ve only entered the place once. Nothing healthy is served there.

At Wendy’s and Rhino’s, burgers come with a leaf of lettuce and a slice of onion and tomato.  Can we claim that bow to veggies as one small step toward better health for Michiganders?


Kay said...

I had no idea food was so cheap in Michigan. You won't quite see that in Hawaii. We think it's amazing that a hotdog and drink at Costco is $1.50, but that's probably the only place you'd see that. No wonder the place is packed.

Still, the obesity rate in the U.S. is frightening. It's always startling for us to go to other countries and everybody looks so slim.

schmidleysscribblins, said...

Wow, it is frightening. Americans are eating themsselves into disability. Wonder who will pay for all of it? Dianne

Big John said...

Once I would have said "Only in America" ! but for some years now it's been the same in the UK, except that the prices are very much higher.
I had to laugh at Kay's comment .. "to go to other countries and everybody looks so slim". She should visit 'little old England' and see the mountains of flesh wobbling along streets.

joared said...

I heard that report and I still can't figure out why Michigan would be singled out as having so many more problems than even their surrounding states.

I've succumbed to occasionally going to a fast food place for a fish sandwich -- it's deep fried, comes with a few pieces of lettuce with a bit of tomato drug through -- at least I hope that's what that red stuff is. Do you think I may be getting too many calories with it?

Schmidley's question -- we know who is going to pay for it -- all of us, as well as those who develop the health problems pay two ways.

JHawk23 said...

In my callow youth I could eat such treats without gaining weight. Now, regretfully, it ain't so - have to be sure I only have that burger/fries occasionally.

I'm still a glutton for potato chips, though - I'm only slightly exaggerating when I tell friends I consider the 10-ounce bag a one-person serving.