Sunday, January 19, 2014

Big Fat Crisis: Why are we getting so fat?

Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; Richard D. Wolff (,,, "Economic Update," 1-19-14, 9:00 am); Wash Post;
Go on. I'm listening.
Deborah Cohen wrote a book -- A Big Fat Crisis: The Hidden Forces Behind the Obesity Epidemic — and How We Can End It. Our obesity can be treated as an economic matter, explains Professor Richard D. Wolff, if we are to overcome it.
A Big Fat Crisis
Matthew Hutson (, Jan. 10, 2014)
The commercial says I'm lovin it
The causes of the obesity epidemic -- a plague afflicting 150 million Americans, plus the remaining 150 million who help shoulder $150 billion in annual medical costs and must suffer colleagues and loved ones succumbing to disability and early death -- can be crystalized in one telling statistic: 
Around one in two hardware stores sells food. They mostly offer candy bars and other treacherous snacks near the checkout line. Thanks to an aggressive food industry, we cannot go anywhere without the temptation to make bad dietary decisions.

Besides keeping us alive, food is a nexus of many deep concerns -- philosophical, spiritual, political, sensual. We have strong feelings... More
Rich get thinner, POOR get fatter
Melissa Healey (, Jan. 13, 2014); PNAS (
Ma, tell the other kids not to stare at my boobies!
As in so many matters of health, obesity more seriously affects [poor] adolescents in families with lower incomes and educational attainment and, researchers say, the trend is getting worse. 

From many corners of the United States -- Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Mississippi -- recent years have brought [a little good] news about the rise in obesity among American children: 
Several years into a campaign to get kids to eat better and exercise more, child obesity rates have appeared to stabilize and might be poised for a reversal.
But a study published Monday (1/13/14) in the journal PNAS [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America] suggests that among adolescents, the hopeful signs are LIMITED to those from better-educated, more affluent families.

Among teens from poorer, less well-educated families, obesity has continued to rise. Nationally, rates of obesity among adolescents 12 to 19 did not rise between 2003-2004 and 2009-2010. But during that period, obesity rates among adolescents whose parents have no more than a high-school education rose from about 20% to 25%.

We're rich and thin.
At the same time, the teenage children of parents with a four-year college degree or more saw their obesity rates decline from 14% to about 7%.
"The overall trend in youth obesity rates masks a significant and growing class gap between youth from upper and lower socioeconomic status backgrounds," the authors of the latest research wrote. More

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