Hungry Hungary Hippos

The United States is infamously world renowned for being large and in charge.  Obesity is a major factor leading to diabetes and heart disease, two serious health concerns, affecting more and more people at younger and younger ages.  Yeah, something needs to be done about it.  And things are being done, finally, as society becomes willing to change.

In addition to being the home of some of the fattest people in the world, the US also succeeds in spreading its unhealthy ways globally.  Hungary's second largest city of Debrecen has very little American influence.  The main influences, however, happen to be in the fast food industry.  McDonalds first opened here about 15 years ago.  Within the past 3 or 4 years, KFC and Burgerking chains have been successfully added to the city's fast food repertoire. People often ask if I eat such fast food, and are usually astonished by my quick response of, "hell no."  "But you're American..." they respond.  

Out of all the great things that come from America, why is it that this bullshit becomes globally successful?  Undeserving corporations become affluent as unhealthy ways are adopted by naive cultures all while reinforcing the image of fat, lazy Americans.  Great.

Although the introduction of genetically modified and processed unhealthy foods by American corporations has not triggered a Hungarian obesity problem de novo, it definitely sends the wrong message.

With or without the adoption of American fast food, Hungarians don't have the healthiest of diets.  One of my first meals here I went out and ordered the 'fitness special' - I thought it would be a safe route, but turned out to be fried chicken over a bed of oily yellow rice.  Not bad, but not what you may think to be a 'fitness' meal.  Meat, oil, potatoes, cabbage, oil, cheese, and oil are staples of the Hungarian diet.  

That being said, I don't eat out much.  I take advantage of the markets where there are decent fruits and vegetables to be found...

... as well as stinky vats of pickled everything. 

Although the food isn't up my alley, it is a big part of the culture here.  Culture is something that I have unconditional respect for, regardless of its ingredients, stench, or appearance.


1 comment:

  1. sugar, fat, salt. It's science dude. the scientists that create that shit know they are making something as addictive as nicotine.