January 3, 2014

People in the developing world are now even fatter than those in affluent countries.

"In 1980, less than 40 percent of Mexican women were overweight. By 2008, almost 70 percent were. In some Pacific Island nations, more than 90 percent of men are now considered overweight. The Middle East is also seeing a boom in chubbiness."

People like fattening foods, and when they can get them, they'll probably eat them, and they're going to tend to get fat. It's no mystery. The link goes to NPR.org, where there's a photo with the caption: "Government workers exercise at their office in Mexico City, August 2013. To counter the obesity epidemic, the city requires all government employees to do at least 20 minutes of exercise each day."

The top-voted comment over there is: "Can you imagine the backlash if the US government ordered all employees to do 20 minutes of exercise per day? People would scream about the waste of taxpayer money." I think what people would scream about is the government telling people what to do.

28 comments:

John Lynch said...

It seems to me that one could track human progress by the percentage of fat people in a society.

cubanbob said...

Just tried to read the comments there and its impossible to swallow the smug, arrogant mindset of the commenters. Basically it comes down to affluence is bad and noble poverty is good.

DKWalser said...

Can you imagine what would happen if the US government ordered citizens to exercise 20 minutes every day? If we stay on the current course, in a few years we won't have to imagine, we'll know. If government is responsible for our healthcare, it has the right to regulate anything and everything that might affect our need for care.

Anthony said...

Didn't Walmart try to make its employees move around more to save on healthcare costs? How did that work out?

rehajm said...

The world's largest longitudinal study of it's kind finds conclusive evidence of what scientists have long speculated to be true:

Bacon tastes good!

campy said...

if the US government ordered all employees to do 20 minutes of exercise per day?

Would stomping on the throats of the private sector count?

Nonapod said...

In many ways this is a good sign. We're able to produce more food on Earth than we need. In most situations in places where there are starving people, the reasons have little to do with a lack of food production and much more to do with horrible governments and/or warlordism.

Levi Starks said...

You need to spend more time listening to NPR,
It's all about "food deserts", and those greedy supermarket chains refusing to build grocery stores in bad neighborhoods/countries.
If only they had access to nutritional vegetables they would steer clear of the potato chip isle at the 7-11 on the corner.

Levi Starks said...

To be less sarcastic, it's about how the people in these nations have been conditioned by many generations of not knowing where there next meal would come from. When that's the heritage you bring to the hunger table, a calorie is a calorie, and the more the better. Just because pork rinds are plentiful today doesn't mean they will be tomorrow, or next year.

rehajm said...

Expanding waistlines are yet another sign of improving living conditions in developing nations. Prosperity does this to you.

Interestingly, while some still equate fatness with prosperity, the most affluent amongst us tend to possess buffer backsides.

Bill Millan said...

The reason so many poor countries have an increase in fat people is the consumption of cheap carbs.

Larry Nelson said...

Before I went on vacation the children were starving.
After my vacation the children were obese.
Wish I could turn around my health care provider that fast.

n.n said...

We should be questioning both.

Do people spend more time at work than at home? What are people doing at home that they have no time available to exercise until they reach work?

EMD said...

I blame Bush.

carrie said...

So, as people in developing countries get fatter, are their life expectancies getting longer too? Is being overweight (but not obese) also linked to having a longer life? I always thought that the standard normal weight charts were wrong.

Brennan said...

Good luck reducing waist lines in Mexico where corn is a staple of every single meal.

They're better off eating lard.

Brennan said...

The reason so many poor countries have an increase in fat people is the consumption of cheap carbs.

Yep. But they can feed the cheap carbs to the hogs and then eat the hogs.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Holy cow, even Samoans are fat now?

whswhs said...

Except for people in New York City, who are used to it.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

If Mexicans were more bothered by the idea of government telling them what to do, I'd be more willing to entertain the "natural conservatives" argument that certain centrist Republicans are fond of.

Unknown said...

If federal government employees started the day with 20 minutes of vigorous exercise, they might just get revved up and have more energy and actually get something done every day for the enormous amounts of money we throw at them.

Unknown said...

If federal government employees started the day with 20 minutes of vigorous exercise, they might just get revved up and have more energy and actually get something done every day for the enormous amounts of money we throw at them.

Sam L. said...

Well, there would be another 20 minutes of unproductive time. In many cases, we'd want them to triple that amount.

And EMD, it's all due to Climate Change (TM), which caused us to elect BUSH!!!!1!!! and Barry (O The Onederful, PBUH).

Larry J said...

Paul Zrimsek said...
Holy cow, even Samoans are fat now?


I take it you've never visited Hawaii. I've met many Somoans over the years. They're good people, all in all. I've never seen a wimpy Samoan but don't know why.

Smilin' Jack said...

"Can you imagine the backlash if the US government ordered all employees to do 20 minutes of exercise per day? People would scream about the waste of taxpayer money." I think what people would scream about is the government telling people what to do.

Yes. The US government should not tell its employees what to do.

EMD said...

Larry-

Paul Z. is a satirist of the highest order.

dbp said...

When I worked for the government (USMC) they made me exercise all the time.

Ambrose said...

We need to bring back smoking...