Mar
29

Steve Siebold in Amsterdam: Where are the fat people?

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I was giving a speech in Amsterdam, and was shocked to see how few fat people there were. As you know, Amsterdam is famous for several things, including being known as the bicycle riding capital of the world. No wonder these people are so fit, no one seems to own a car! They ride their bikes to work all year long. I was so blown away by the lack of obesity that I took a video camera out in the middle of Dam Square searching for fat people, and I couldn’t find any! Amazing. 66% of Americans are overweight or obese. 46% in the UK, and 50% in Australia. In Amsterdam the obesity rate is less than 11%. New research in the United States came out today citing the addictive nature of many foods loaded with fat. While this may be true, we are still responsible for putting the food in our mouths. Alcohol is addictive too, but you don’t blame the liquor companies for being a drunk. Mental Toughness is about taking responsibility for our habits, actions and behaviors, regardless of how the much media or the government wants us to believe we need them to tell us how to live and what to think. Check out this very short video of Dam Square in Amsterdam and see if you can find the fat people. And no, I didn’t visit any of the coffee houses or any other unique attractions. (except the Van Gogh Museum. Which was excellent :) Steve Siebold

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Comments

  1. Dave Stonyer says:

    I suspect anyone from Holland would be equally shocked when they arrived in America. (or UK, Australia or New Zealand). In NZ we have so readily adopted the MacD, Wendys, KFC, Pizza Hutt, Dominos…….offerings that obesity here is just as bad as USA.
    The latest farce is the local WeightWatchers and MacDonalds promoting Macs “foods” as being suitable for those following weightwatchers diets. As if people go to Macs hoping to lose weight!!!!
    Perhaps we need a world-wide campaign to “Stamp Out The Fatness”?

  2. I spent five months in Malaysia and Singapore in ’04/’05 and saw the same thing – especially in Singapore. It was in such a contrast to the USA that it literally jumped out at me over and over again – almost everyone was trim. In Malaysis there was some obesity and over weight but not close to like it is here.

    Sidebar: for the first time in my life at 5’6″ I towered over many Malaysians especially the Chinese. I finally knew what it felt like to be a tall guy! Also, people were very very very polite and friendly.

    Have fun enjoy the trip, Steve.

    Mike

  3. Dave says:

    Many cities in Holland, Italy and other countries are planed so people can walk to all the needed services as stores, mail, church, market and many other venues.
    Some cities are limiting urban sprawl. Planning development and expansion makes for better transportation, sewage, hydro and countless other services. Limiting sprawl encourages the re-use and reinvention of old core areas that other wise would be abandoned or ghettos. We need civic leaders that can take tough but reasonable stands to make our cities more healthy.
    Even here in North America we can walk or bike to many of our destinations such as going to buy a small quantity of goods or visiting others. Fitness greatly reduces health related issues, gives balance and a postive mindset.

  4. The USA has evolved into a sick care rather than a wellness oriented nation and ironically we have had the best sick care system in the world in many ways – also ironically called health care which has some merit in what we call it and a lot of merit in how it’s worked.

    You make some great points, Dave. When people are goal oriented and longevity with good health and wellness is one of the goals they do the right things. Even with the way our cities and towns are designed there is ample space to exercise and ample healthy food to eat.

    What does the future look like with obesity and over weight Americans being over half the population?
    ————
    We are still responsible for putting the food in our mouths. Alcohol is addictive too, but you don’t blame the liquor companies for being a drunk. Mental Toughness is about taking responsibility for our habits, actions and behaviors, regardless of how the much media or the government wants us to believe we need them to tell us how to live and what to think. – Steve

    THAT says it all!

    Mike

  5. dave s says:

    Hate to tell you Mike, but the latest figures from USA put 70% of americans as overweight &/or obese.

  6. Art says:

    The only overweight people there…..are people visiting from other countries!

  7. I’m in the wellness industry I know the stats – 70% is pretty accurate. Weight loss is a good example to use. Our company has a great product for that – others do too – but if all people did was get into healthy eating habits and do a little exercise for the next year they’d see results.

    I’m singing o the choir here – everyone here knows this – Stevs’s Die Fat book is intnded to wake up people. Will it? A few.

    In Malaysia and Singapore we ate four or five times, sometimes six a day – a little something this time, something else next time – usually one larger meal – and we walked a lot.

    How do you “get” people to take charge of their lives, take responsibility for their actions, and live and die by them with no delusions? It’s NOT with the government stepping in and saying: Your Government will take care of you.

    The more that happens the more we sink into a nation of helpless mindless directionless lifeless people in growing numbers.

    I think there is a counter trend to all of this that’s mostly invisible but solid and growing in numbers and if a critical mass ever is reached it will become a very visible movement in the opposite direction.

    Or am I deluding myself?

    Mike

  8. Chris says:

    Amsterdam is a very old city (certainly in comparison with American cities) and as such it’s layout mostly pre-dates the car and the Dutch would rather keep their quality of life and traditions than tear everything down.

    There are other major differences too – practically everyone has a bunch of hobbies that don’t involve watching TV and almost no-one works beyond 5pm(ish) so they have much more time to be active and going outdoors is strongly ingrained in Dutch culture.

    Most European capitals are the same – their layout was designed with pedestrian in mind. It does cause some problems though – London is almost permanently congested with car traffic because it simply isn’t possible to widen streets without pulling down buildings of historical significance. As a result more people walk/take public transport – and London is less fatter than most parts of the UK.

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