• Hey, did you know we have an obesity problem?

    I’m in a bit of a cynical mood, so you’ll have to tolerate a little sarcasm from me here. Are there people alive who don’t yet know we have an obesity problem? If there are, would they possibly be convinced the problem exists by one more report or study? No? Then can we all agree that we need to stop pointing out the problem and maybe do something about it?

    *Deep breath*

    The Institute of Medicine has released a new report, “Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation“. Here’s the infographic:

    To their credit, they suggest a number of actions in addition to pointing out the problem. Moreover, these recommendations acknowledge that obesity requires a holistic solution; no one thing is to blame. These steps include:

    1. Integrating Physical Activity Every Day in Every Way
    2. Making Healthy Foods Available Everywhere
    3. Marketing What Matters for a Healthy Life
    4. Activating Employers and Health Care Professionals
    5. Strengthening Schools as the Heart of Health

    Can we get started?


    • My kids’ school has events like bake sales, kids bringing in birthday treats and French classes making crepes at least once a week, if not several times a week.

    • 7. End government subsidizes for high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated corn oil, the building blocks of fast food.

    • I agree that obesity is a problem but perhaps not as bad as people are lead to believe:

      Looking at corrected BMIs, according to the breakdowns adopted by the world’s governments, the authors found that compared to ‘normal’ BMIs (18.5 up to 25):

      ● being overweight (BMI 25 up to 30) was associated with a 25% lower risk of dying

      ● being obese (BMI 30 up to 35, which includes about 80% of all obese people) was associated with a 12% lower risk of dying.

      ● And the risks associated with the most ‘morbidly obese’ (BMIs 35+) — the uppermost 3% of this Canadian cohort— were statistically the same as those with ‘normal’ BMIs. [RR=1.09 (0.86-1.39, 95% CI) versus RR=1.0.]

    • Here is another link:

      Of curse at some very high weight obesity does effect health but that
      is only true that the very high end and it seems we do not have a solution for that, but sometimes I think that we should just be more honest and admit that we do not like people to be fat because being fat creates an externality in that we do not like to see fat people and then address the problem from that perspective rather than health. Further because we do not like to see fat people, fat people are less happy themselves.

    • Did you know we have a ……. problem? In fact, yes.

      But did you also know we have a political power problem, in that major players in the food-production and food-processing industries (and their ad agencies and lobbyists and suppliers) are fully vested in the existing social arrangements that produce so much obesity, who will fight fiercely against efforts to make healthy foods available everywhere or to market what matters for a healthy life, because their profits and power depend on preserving the existing arrangements. They will be joined by a lot of health care players: the diet industry, and the bariatric surgery industry, and the hospitals that fill beds with chronically ill people with diabetes or heart disease….and so on.

    • New York City is addressing a lot of these already. With a lot of push back from industry.