Meagre market, massive munchies …

A report on the widening girth of America hit headlines today. The expanding waistline of America (and elsewhere no doubt) continues despite economic constraints. We continue the unnecessary and excessive calorie consumption even if we can’t afford it financially or even for the good of our health.

For a very few people, obesity is physiologically difficult to control. But for most of us its just a question of eating less. Less fat, less sugar. Fewer chips and fries. Less sweets and candy. Less pop and less beer.

It hurts our hearts and our bank accounts. Bigness is not a sign of wealth, it’s a sign of ignorance and lack of self control.

This view is not to condemn fatness, that’s natural. People come in different shapes and sizes. And the BMI scale is quite narrow such that people you would say are thin, fall in to the “overweight” category. The photos you see in the reports are of people that are far beyond the normal, and in a natural world would not occur. Our modern technology and infrastructure allows this unnatural behaviour. The numbers show that as a species we are losing control and the medicine tells us it’s a waste of healthy resources.

In 1991, no state had an adult obesity rate above 20%, and in 1980 the national average for adult obesity was 15%. Today most are over 30%. And worse, the rate among children is higher than for adults so the trend seems certain to expand.

Obesity is fuelling rates of chronic disease, and is responsible for a large, and growing chunk of domestic healthcare costs. It is linked to a range of health problems, including heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

BBC: US obesity problem ‘intensifies’

Yahoo News: Obesity Rates Continue to Climb in U.S.

Yahoo News: Mississippi’s still fattest but Alabama closing in

NYT Health Guide – Nearly two-thirds of the United States population is overweight.

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