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Old 08-10-2020, 01:56 PM   #1
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The RV lifestyle and obesity

Honest question here...

Throughout our 8 seasons of RVing we have learned and observed many things. This year there have been a couple new ones. We typically camp provincial parks and the private RV resort thing is a newer thing now that we have kids of age to benefit from the extra amenities.

That being said, we saw that an estimated 3/4 or more of the guests that stayed there were obese. This brought me to the question of which came first?

Does the RV lifestyle attract overweight people? Or does the RV lifestyle cause people to become overweight?

Throughout our extended stay, most people just sat around all day and ate/drank. It was a profound observation that led me to the question.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:04 PM   #2
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We actually stay more active while we are camping. Exploring, bike riding, walks etc.. But yea i know what you mean. A lot of people just sit around eating and drinking most of the day. We eat a lot but remain super active to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I wish more campgrounds would have gyms in this day and age. Not even Disney's Fort has one. My solution is bringing a set of workout bands with me just to get a quick morning workout in. We also try to walk or bike everywhere lol It helps!
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:53 PM   #3
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Honest question here...

That being said, we saw that an estimated 3/4 or more of the guests that stayed there were obese.

Does the RV lifestyle attract overweight people? Or does the RV lifestyle cause people to become overweight?
The American lifestyle causes people to be overweight and obese. It's not just RVing... Here's the chart from a few years ago, it's "rising" since then...





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Old 08-10-2020, 03:08 PM   #4
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And youíll also notice that weíre doing it to our little friends as weíre sitting around the camp fire.
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:17 PM   #5
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The high rates of Type II diabetes isn't from RVing.
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:46 PM   #6
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What you're seeing is a representative sample of the overall population.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:21 PM   #7
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We camp to lead an active lifestyle, and of course enjoy our family time together.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:47 PM   #8
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Obesity is and has been a problem for several decades. Our foods are full of sugar, the wrong fats and way too much grease. Our kids are fat and their parents are fat. Look at news reels from the 40s through the 70s. Few if any fat people.

The people I see camping are the same fat people that I see at Costco and other stores. They are gulping big soft drinks and their kids are eating something all the time while their faces are stuck in their phones. We have become a nation of very unhealthy people.

We have worked hard at maintaining our health which includes not eating out five times a week and spending time at the gym or working out while on the road. I see more people walking now than I used to but if you walk you dog at 2 miles per hour neither of you are getting much out of it. Exercise is a life long practice.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:15 PM   #9
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I laugh when I see a buggy full of junk food an a 12 pack of diet what ever. I think why bother with a diet drink. Put down the bag of Cheetos, get off the couch an step away from the t.v..
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Old 08-11-2020, 06:35 AM   #10
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And today’s jobs has a lot to do with it. Very few are physically demanding today and of course eating habits. Luckily I’ve never had a weight problem. In high school at 6’2 160lb everyone thought I was skinny. Today some 38 years later at 178lb and see a lot of people from school and like wow! The thoughts in my head about them!!
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Old 08-11-2020, 06:45 AM   #11
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Our go to local campground is River's Edge here in Connellsville. Sitting right on the river, most people there are biking on the GAP trail, kayak on the river, fishing, etc. The campground itself just leads to being active.
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JaycoMLOK View Post
And today’s jobs has a lot to do with it. Very few are physically demanding today and of course eating habits.
I personally don't think that's it, it's more about consuming MORE calories than what you're burning off. Balance that, and the weight issues can be controlled. Put MORE in than you're burning off, and.... Yeah, a desk job isn't very physically demanding, but then you don't need to supersize your lunch.

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Luckily I’ve never had a weight problem. In high school at 6’2 160lb everyone thought I was skinny. Today some 38 years later at 178lb and see a lot of people from school and like wow!
I can relate to that too. I think I'm up like 5 lbs. since graduation from college.

People see me and say that same thing, you're skinny, did you lose weight? I have to really bite my tongue and not say "No, I haven't lost any weight, you've just gained a ton"...
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:00 AM   #13
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It's one thing for someone to carry some extra weight, but when I see them sitting on their chairs literally all day smashing chips and beers, day after day, I can't help but draw conclusions... This is by no means a judgement on character, but more of an observation of the RV lifestyle. It can be extremely sedentary and gluttonous or active and healthy.
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:57 AM   #14
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As someone who is officially in the morbidly obese category, although every thinks I am about 75 to 100 pounds lighter than I am, including at the doctors office when they start at 250 and I tell them they need to be 100 higher and they ignore me. Anyway, I do work an office job, I sit at a desk all day, most of my coworkers are not obese, the desk job does not help but it is not a total factor. I have always been overweight as an adult, after university during the tech bubble pop in 2000 I worked a very physical job, I did not lose weight, I just eat way too much. I eat less now but am only maintaining my high weight. The problem is exercise in that I don't get much at all. This is a factor of just time and circumstances in a way, but I can make time for it. The biggest factor is actually the lack of fitness, remembering when I was 17 still overweight but somewhat fit makes the lack of ability to do anything difficult, getting so out of breath can seriously sap your motivation and enjoyment. I have in the past found that if I work thought the initial problems to the point where I am starting to feel improvements then that does resolve itself, unfortunately for me that single instance where I really got it going was derailed by the birth of my son and wanting to spend time with him got me back to the bad place. I know what I am doing is sending me to an early grave but I have not gotten off my fat arse (yes I actually do say that) to do something about it. As for camping one of my aims was to actually hike, but with the Dog getting older and the kid we have yet to do much of that, something I was talking the wife about yesterday. Thankfully the kid is very active and likes to have one of us come with him which helps to a degree.

I don't often sit around drinking beer and eating all day, I do just sit around however. Most of us know this is an issue, we just need to find the right motivation to get started.
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Old 08-12-2020, 11:19 AM   #15
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DW and I are both active. Both have office jobs. Both have gained more weight than we would like. DW is an exerciser guru. Even today, it is raining. She has gone out for two runs already and walked the dog. Me, no way! its raining, I have no desire to go out in this crude. Running, not going to happen unless I'm being chased my a lion. But I am active. Very rare that I site an watch tv, even took it out of the TT. I have during this covid time been watching to much tv, as I am not going out as much, and staying closer to home. I find the gym absolutely a horrible place to go. Give me a pick axe, shovel, hammer some task, and I will build, dig, landscape all day long. But forget the dread (tread) mill at the gym.

My issues is carbs, in any form, especially sweats. I really do not eat a lot, and I stop eating when full. I do not have an issue leaving food on the plate. I actually like cruise ships, as I loose weight (never take an elevator) and eat way better, as there is more veggies and fruit on my plate.

With all that said, we tend not to go to RV resort style parks as there is not a lot of physical things to do. We tend to go to a lot of SPs, as they tend to have lots of trails to hike and/or bike. The dog is getting older and having issues with long walks now, two miles is about her limit, unless it is really cool out. Up until maybe 1.5 years ago, we would hike 10+ miles a day with her, and she would go probably 20+miles running back and forth through the woods and prairies. Now, she sticks close to us. We hate going off on hikes without her, as she loves going so much. Sometimes we leave her back in the camper and go without her, but it is not quite as much fun, and usually talk about what she would be or would have been doing in her prime. We would do the same with the bike, ride 10-15 miles, and she would run along side me the entire time. Now, maybe she'll run or a trot for a 1/4 to 1/2 mile, then its lets walk and smell the roses.

Some of it is age catching up with us, as I am not as energized as I use to be. Eating to much fried foods, drinking to much soda/beer, and just sitting around. If I could loose 20-30 lbs I would be happy, 40 lbs, I would be ecstatic.
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Old 08-12-2020, 02:15 PM   #16
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I don't pay much attention to what my fellow campers look like when camping. Too busy eating and drinking beer.
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Old 08-12-2020, 02:59 PM   #17
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I'm also in the "obese" category. But all my "numbers" have historically been in-line (no high blood sugar, normal cholesterol, normal blood pressure, etc) just a little (okay, a lot) extra around the mid-section.

I used to work a physically demanding job, and was still overweight. Now with a completely sedentary job, I find I have to watch what I eat A LOT more closely, and I'm not very good at that, so I've put on quite a bit of weight. My main problem is that I just love food. Good ... bad ... I love it all. And when I was a kid, my parents were the ones who forced me to "clean my plate", and the food back then wasn't exactly good for us as we didn't have a lot of money at the time (healthy food can be more expensive by volume than garbage food). So I didn't really learn good, healthy eating habits from a young age.

All of that being said, we burn more calories (by A LOT) when we're out in the camper. We're always walking/hiking around. Walking around museums, hiking to the river, hiking trails, riding bikes, walking around land marks, swimming, etc etc etc. And the food we eat while we're out is generally healthier. Not always, and not all of it, but generally it's self-prepared, and we eat more fruits and veggies when we're in the camper for some reason? We do partake in more indulgent treats sometimes though... We typically are only sitting around in the evenings as it gets dark and the boy goes to bed.

I'm getting to the point where physical activities that were easy not that long ago are getting significantly more difficult, so I'm on the cusp of making some significant changes. Since I've been overweight all my life, it's not like I don't know what needs to be done. I know full and well HOW to lose weight, HOW to live healthier, but I'm just not good at DOING it.

Funny story about that: A buddy of mine and I were talking one day and he said "Do you know how much cholesterol whole milk has in it?!" I said "Sure I do, and there's lots of sugar and fat in it too. You didn't know that?" He asked me how I knew, and I told him "I've been overweight my whole adult life, I've learned more about nutrition and what's in food than any normal person should have to learn". He said he's never had to worry about weight, so he never really looked at what was in his food. How nice for him...

No excuses here, it just is what it is.

All of that being said, my 5 YO son is getting to the point where he can go on longer and longer hikes. So pretty soon I can see us backpacking. I did that A LOT as a younger man, and I enjoyed it immensely. DW is not the least bit interested, so I haven't done it in a while. Now that I'm going to have a "backpacking buddy" again in my son, I'd like to get back into it. DW has committed to keeping the camper handy as a base camp for us on our excursions.

But here's one thing I'd like to say to the OP and some of the others here. Don't judge. You don't know what those people have been through. You don't know what their daily life is like. You don't know if they have unseen barriers that make things like staying fit and healthy more difficult. I agree, it's difficult to watch people just sit around and stuff themselves silly, seemingly exasperating their health problems, but it's not your place to judge them for it. I hate to think what you think of me sitting in my campsite enjoying a couple of beers in the evening, even though I just spent the entire day chasing my kid all over the river burning a couple thousand calories...

Just be a good neighbor, a good friend and/or a good example.
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:53 PM   #18
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I don't pay much attention to what my fellow campers look like when camping. Too busy eating and drinking beer.

I laughed out loud when I read this. Although I am fit, I donít really pay attention to what other campers do or look like. I could not care less as long as they are quiet when Iím sleeping lol...

Way too many people judging others in life... If someone wants to eat chips and drink beer all day, whether camping or not, who cares?
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Old 08-12-2020, 04:05 PM   #19
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We have not noticed that in our travels. We are full time and usually stay at Golf Resorts or in areas that have things to see and do. It is a wonderful and very enjoyable way to spend your life no judgement and really nice people. Live, love and travel.
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Old 08-12-2020, 04:55 PM   #20
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Way too many people judging others in life... If someone wants to eat chips and drink beer all day, whether camping or not, who cares?
Well, I've seen it written, some people care, because they will be paying for those people's future healthcare in increased medical premiums for all.

..."In addition to growing health care costs attributed to obesity, the nation will incur higher costs for disability and unemployment benefits. Businesses are suffering due to obesity-related job absenteeism ($4.3 billion annually). These costs also will continue to rise."
http://www.healthycommunitieshealthy...ts-of-obesity/
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