The Dangers of Overweight and Obesity

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Fifty years ago a lot of Americans suffered (and some died from) hunger … and in a few countries some still do die . But today, they are much more likely to die from causes related to obesity, e.g., obesity-caused ailments such as as diabetes. Just how many deaths can be attributed to obesity or overweight depends on whose statistics you believe, but obesity is almost certainly an important cause of death. Today in most countries, expecially the U.S., eating too much is a bigger health problem than eating too little. Even people below the poverty level are eating too much, according to an “op-ed” (did you know that this stands for “opposite the editorial page”, and means it is an opinion rather than (presumably) factual news?) article by Harvard adjunct professor Robert Paarlberg, based on his book “The United States of Excess: Gluttony and the Dark Side of American Exceptionalism”. This example of people NOT below the poverty line shows the dangers of obesity: the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was “probably linked to obesity, diabetes, and coronary artery disease” according to his physician (and diabetes is often caused by overweight or obesity).

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