Author: “Obesity Is a Lifestyle Choice”

January 12, 2008

I don’t know what a “health economist” is, but it sounds pretty straight shootin:

 As adult obesity balloons in the United States, being overweight has become less of a health hazard and more of a lifestyle choice, the author of a new book argues.

“Obesity is a natural extension of an advancing economy. As you become a First World economy and you get all these labor-saving devices and low-cost, easily accessible foods, people are going to eat more and exercise less,” health economist Eric Finkelstein told AFP.

In “The Fattening of America”, published this month, Finkelstein says that adult obesity more than doubled in the United States between 1960 and 2004, rising from 13 percent to around 33 percent.

I wonder if anyone might take offense at obesity being called a “lifestyle choice.” Certainly, there are many people who suffer from various diseases and disorders that encourage obesity. But I would be willing to wager that for ever 1 such case, there are a dozen instances of laziness and overeating.

Here’s a radical idea for my American generation: Turn off the Xbox, unplug the iPod, and take a nice stroll through your neighborhood park. There just may be more in it for you than you think.


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