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The Obesity Epidemic
An SI Board Since March 2012
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Emcee:  Just_Observing Type:  Moderated
Nearly 34% of United States citizens are obese, which is triple the rate of most of its peer countries. And these obesity rates are set to soar. 83% of American men are projected to be obese or overweight by 2020.

A variety of factors have been proposed for the skyrocketing rates of obesity in the US - GMO foods, environmental toxins like BPA, pesticides. BGH, Trans fats, MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Processed and Refined foods, High calorie meals in restaurants, Corn fed meat, High Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid ratios, Arsenic fed to chickens to fatten them - the list is endless.

Even babies are becoming heavier.

"In 2006 scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health reported that the prevalence of obesity in infants under 6 months had risen 73 percent since 1980. “This epidemic of obese 6-month-olds,” as endocrinologist Robert Lustig of the University of California, San Francisco, calls it, poses a problem for conventional explanations of the fattening of America. “Since they’re eating only formula or breast milk, and never exactly got a lot of exercise, the obvious explanations for obesity don’t work for babies,” he points out. “You have to look beyond the obvious.”

The obesity epidemic is also driven by our economy. Ken Rogoff of Harvard has coined the term "Coronary Capitalism" to explain our current economy:

"But the obesity epidemic hardly looks like a growth killer. Highly processed corn-based food products, with lots of chemical additives, are well known to be a major driver of weight gain, but, from a conventional growth-accounting perspective, they are great stuff. Big agriculture gets paid for growing the corn (often subsidized by the government), and the food processors get paid for adding tons of chemicals to create a habit-forming – and thus irresistible – product. Along the way, scientists get paid for finding just the right mix of salt, sugar, and chemicals to make the latest instant food maximally addictive; advertisers get paid for peddling it; and, in the end, the health-care industry makes a fortune treating the disease that inevitably results.

Coronary capitalism is fantastic for the stock market, which includes companies in all of these industries. Highly processed food is also good for jobs, including high-end employment in research, advertising, and health care."

The discussion here will be focused on the causes of the obesity epidemic and how the current economy drives this epidemic.

We can also discuss the consequences of this epidemic on public and personal health and its consequent diseases such as Metabolic Syndrome (40% of US adults have that ) and Diabetes (350 million in the world).

We will also focus on ways to avoid this epidemic and its consequent diseases.

No country for thin men

zerohedge.com

US obesity data and statistics

cdc.gov

Know and reduce your diabetes risk by 50% or more

diabetesrisk.net

BPA's Obesity And Diabetes Link Strengthened By New Study

huffingtonpost.com

Study suggests 10 new causes for obesity

cbsnews.com

Obesity linked to money insecurity in affluent nations

bbc.co.uk

How obesity is reshaping our world

bbc.co.uk

Being overweight in later life puts you at higher risk of brain decline, Korean research suggests.

bbc.co.uk

Religious Young Adults Become Obese By Middle Age

northwestern.edu

Rising Indoor Winter Temperatures Linked to Obesity?

sciencedaily.com

Pesticides linked to Obesity and Diabetes

plosone.org

Avoiding Obesity

articles.mercola.com

Please feel welcome to add your thoughts and ideas on this worldwide epidemic
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