The Number 1 Reason Americans Are Getting Fatter: We’re Not Smoking

A working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that the declining use of cigarettes explains our obesity rates


The sidewalks are getting crowded.

Several years ago, I attended an educational course in attended in Manhattan, New York.  While I was in class, coach toured the city and I remember him telling me that he always knew when it was break time or lunch; the sidewalks filled with the people who worked in downtown Manhattan for smoke break.  By the end of the week, we decided the people of New York were more likely to die from lung cancer or heart attack from their fast-paced living.

There are a lot of skinny people in Manhattan proving my point right there.  Today, about 30 percent of Americans are obese — not fat, obese. That’s roughly a 100 percent increase from just 25 years ago. As the country loses manufacturing jobs, more jobs are moving to desks and Americans are becoming more sedentary.

With the decline in our economy and the tightening of our pocketbooks, cigarette smoking is also declining. This should be good, right? What typically happens when a smoker tries to quit? They gain weight.  All of a sudden, they have a disease called, ‘Hand to Mouth’.  They don’t know what to do with their hands and that oral fix they need. Hence, ‘Hand to Mouth’ and weight gain.

So if the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that the declining use of smoking explains our obesity rate, then it must be true.  So I’ve decided to rethink my lifestyle because I have been doing it all wrong.  Starting tomorrow, I am going to wake up and smoke a cigarette with my cup of coffee.  Skip my healthy breakfast because it will make me fat and instead of working out, I will watch all you misinformed people work out and laugh because you are wasting your time and energy.  By the way, I will be laughing and watching you from across the alley with all the peeps who are outside on smoke break, because it will ensure that I will never be obese, and smoke me a pack of cigarettes for time.  3, 2, 1, GO!

You know I am not being serious here. I am never going to give up fitness for cigarettes and I am never going to take shortcuts on my health. It is good that smoking has decreased but lets be real people, a 100 percent increase in obesity is disgusting. Go to the gym. People say smoking helps them cope with stress, working out helps reduce stress. People say smoking suppresses appetites, working out helps maintain a healthy weight. Working out doesn’t cause cancer, emphysema or heart disease and smoking does. I am glad people are taking the step of quitting step; now let’s take the next step to healthy lives.


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