The Ironic Politics of Obesity

Topics: Obesity and Weight Loss

For a real wake-me up, check out Science Magazine in February, and its feature on obesity…and especially Marion Nestle’s data about why we are where we are–her editorial cites the Pogo theory—we have met the enemy and she is us–of obesity. She writes, “Overweight comes from consuming more food energy than is expended in activity. The cause of this imbalance also is ironic: improved prosperity. People use extra income to eat more and be less active. Market economies encourage this. They turn people with expendable income into consumers of aggressively marketed foods that are high in energy but low in nutritional value, and of cars, television sets, and computers that promote sedentary behavior. Gaining weight is good for business. Food is particularly big business because everyone eats.”

Can you see it? Krispy Kreme taxes? Subsidies to farmers to grow vegetables, instead of not to grow tobacco? Not that far away!