Posted by: Budger | October 28, 2009

Warning – Eating that Whataburger Could Clog your Arteries…

I try to stay off my soapbox in my blog, but every once in awhile, something happens that I just can’t ignore.  Last week, I had my follow-up and pacemaker check with my cardiologist.  Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Bradycardia, and had a pacemaker implanted.  This was a huge shock as I had been focusing the previous 3 years on eating healthier and exercising to outrun the family history of my father dying of heart disease at 46. 

As I walked into my doctor’s office around lunch time, I immediately smelled a familiar smell.  Hmmmmm french fries….  French fries????  WTF?  Am I in the right office?  I check the door, and sure enough it clearly says Cardiology, and then I see it – two women having a picnic of super size Whataburgers, french fries and sodas in the waiting room.  I signed in and sat down as far away as possible, which was only across the coffee table, from where their picnic was spread.  I sat there and watched as the giant greasy hamburgers dripped down their hands, and as they discussed which fast food hamburgers were better.  Then I watched as one lady frantically tried to clean mustard off of her oxygen canula.  I was astonished.  I had just finished my lunch of grilled chicken, wild rice and veggies.  I was dismayed.  I even tattled to my doctor, who told me they weren’t his patients.  I know!  My doc would have had my butt in a sling if I had done that.  And with all of the debate going on in the world today about obesity and the general health of Americans, I couldn’t help but think   – Personal Responsibility People!!!! 

When you strip away all of the other blame about why Americans are unhealthy and overweight – there is always one underlying issue – Personal Responsibility.  YOU are what YOU eat, what YOU put in your mouth.  Now I have my own weight issues.  I am hardly the poster child for health or healthy Americans, but I recognize that despite the family history, despite the health issues that sometimes make exercising difficult or impossible, despite all of the challenges of time, commuting, etc. that I am responsible for my obesity.  I am the one that can wipe out a bowl of chips and salsa so fast that the waiter questions whether they remembered to bring them.  I am the one that can make being a Couch Potato an Olympic Sport.  And again, I am far from perfect.  Not only can I wipe out a bowl of chips and salsa while being a Couch Potato, I can throw a pity party that makes a Martha Stewart function look amateurish.  But the bottom line – I do it to myself.

So if you think your diet is influenced by unhealthy fast food, don’t buy it.  If you believe that you are being led down the rathole by a diet of High Fructose Corn Syrup, don’t eat it.  Make a different choice; read the labels; buy something different.  Even some of the fast food joints are offering healthier alternatives, so use your right to choose.  It’s not easy, but in the long run it’s worth it.  And when you splurge, don’t make it permanent.  It’s a lifestlye, not a temporary commitment.   And let me underscore that it’s a choice, and I don’t want my choices taken away.  I want to be able to walk into a Whataburger and order that hamburger occaisionally.  Or if that won’t work, I can go to Wendy’s and get a salad. 

The last thing we need is a warning label: Warning – Eating that Whataburger could clog your arteries.  Really????  That must be why I’m sitting in a Cardiologists office. 

And in closing, my checkup went very well.  Doc was happy that I chose my grilled chicken, wild rice and veggies, and so was I.



  1. All good points. One fundamental challenge is my theory that fat has a negative price tag. Plain and simple, if you look around, you’ll typically see that the low-fat or fat-free version of stuff usually costs more, presumably because the maker had to work to remove the fat content, and/or struggle with their recipe to arrive at a similar taste using alternative ingredients. Yet, if you look at foods that are by nature high in fat, they usually have an even lower price tag. Extrapolating that means that fat has a negative price tag – putting (or leaving) more fat in will lower the price of the food item. Those who are balancing pennies with pounds most carefully may find themselves having to decide against a slippery slope.

    • I agree with that to a point. It is true that the healthier stuff is more expensive at Wendy’s, but I have been eating healthier for the last 3 months now, and my grocery bill has actually gone down a little. And I’m eating a greater variety of foods. I stay away from the stuff marked low-fat typically because they make up for it by loading it up with sugar, and instead try to find things that have healthy fats like Olive Oil. I’ve also cut down on the going out for Mexican food from 2 times a week to maybe once a month.

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