fridays are for sharing! here’s something I liked this week…
This week, I stumbled onto 4700 words of interesting. “The obesity era” is David Berreby’s take on the way the world looks at the obesity epidemic for Aeon magazine.
In my opinion, it’s good to read things that stretch you – either because they suggest new ideas to you or because they present the opposite side of a thing you’ve taken a perspective on. Check and check. I definitely read about some new things in this one (from marmosets and macaques and mice and domestic animals paralleling the trend in rising obesity to alternative theories on what’s behind the obesity epidemic) and I certainly was challenged.
I am a firm believer that personal responsibility is a big factor in obesity, though I do think there are forces that make it harder for some people to take personal responsibility for it than others (mostly social). The article got particularly interesting when Berreby touched on a theory that suggests that we should toss out the personal responsibility perspective and look at finding an economic system that would make nutritious food accessible to everyone. The questions that brought up for me are numerous, but I particularly question who would decide what nutritious looks like? And how this food system in an alternative economic system would look?
Even though there were parts of this piece that I didn’t entirely agree with, I do think it’s worth considering the message Berreby’s trying to get across:
“And so the authorities tell us, ever more loudly, that we are fat — disgustingly, world-threateningly fat. We must take ourselves in hand and address our weakness. After all, it’s obvious who is to blame for this frightening global blanket of lipids: it’s us, choosing over and over again, billions of times a day, to eat too much and exercise too little. What else could it be? If you’re overweight, it must be because you are not saying no to sweets and fast food and fried potatoes. It’s because you take elevators and cars and golf carts where your forebears nobly strained their thighs and calves. How could you do this to yourself, and to society?”
What do you think of the obesity epidemic?
Have you heard of alternative theories on obesity?