Wednesday 21 January 2009

Book ~ "The Fattening of America: How The Economy Makes Us Fat, If It Matters, and What To Do About It" (2008) Eric A. Finkelstein & Laurie Zuckerman

From ~ Everyone knows Americans are growing fatter but health economist Finkelstein crunches the economic figures behind the nation's obesity epidemic and the results aren't pretty. Along with health-care writer Zuckerman, researcher Finkelstein delves into how modern technology reduces the cost of producing higher-calorie processed goods, decreases our activity level and puts our health in danger. Finkelstein debunks myths about the long-range cost of food production and consumption and scrutinizes the impact of genetics and U.S. fiscal policy on the nation's waistline, frequently using economics metrics in his analysis. Generous with summaries of major points, Finkelstein simplifies current stats to explain how the country's thunderous weight gain is straining Medicare and Medicaid and hurting our military readiness. The only positive effect he sees from the obesity epidemic is the creation of the ObesEconomy— a market sustained by gyms, diet drugs and other products and services designed to curb weight gain. Horrified by studies that reveal that obese children have a quality of life similar to children with cancer, the investigatory economist even throws in some health tips on dropping pounds. Despite a frequent reliance on economic tools and indicators, this combination study/motivational guide makes for a pleasant educational read, comparable to a vegetable puree snuck into a dessert.

I find books about weight loss interesting.

Though I found Finkelstein to be an arrogant ass, there was some interesting info.

It didn't preach how to lose weight and offer a new and improved diet plan.

It was more about why we are becoming overweight ... junk food is cheap and available, healthy nutritious foods are more expensive, we are working more so don't have time to exercise, etc.

Is the fact that we have medical plans that take care of us encouraging us to not lose weight? We pop pills to make us well.

Should governments impose "fat taxes" on foods that contain lots of sugar and fat like they do with cigarettes and alcohol?

If parents have allow their children to be overweight, is it child abuse?

What do you think?

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