Everyone is Getting Fat

Everyone knows Americans are fatter than ever, but a new book, The World is Fat, by Barry Popkin reveals that it’s not just us hopping on the obesity train. According to Popkin, over a billion people worldwide are now considered obese. A billion!
This includes people in China, in Africa and in rural parts of South America.
How is this happening? And is it our fault? Many people used to believe that obesity was caused by Americans and was exported worldwide through the sale of fast food, high calorie beverages and other fatty American foods. But it seems that is only part of the problem.
Popkin says:
“What’s happened is that from 30 years ago to today, we’ve had an exponential explosion in what we can think of as the “obesogenic environment.” You see food available everywhere. You can’t move more than 100 feet without seeing a caloric beverage. In most of the world, it used to be that people mostly drank water, and today they’re consuming more and more sweetened beverages…Then you match that kind of diet with human biology. We naturally prefer sweet and fatty foods because of what those foods used to mean for survival when we were hunter-gatherers. They had the nutrients we needed, and they let us store more energy for the hungry season.”
Add the increased availibility of food to the fact that people are moving less (thanks to the advancement of technology) and weight gain is inevitable.
Individuals can combat obesity by doing the obvious – moving more and consuming less – but Popkin argues that there needs to be a global initiative to fight this problem. The only question is: what can we do? If this is the natural progression of things, is there really anything anyone can do to stop it? Is the world just going to keep getting fatter and fatter?

Holiday Flings: The 4-1-1 on the H-O-T
Holiday Flings: The 4-1-1 on the H-O-T
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