I' ve Seen the Future, and It Is Fat – and other news

by DavalosMcCormack on August 4, 2008

Ok. It’s Monday. You have spent a lovely weekend eating great food, hanging out with friends and family. Maybe you had a beer or two more than you normally do, an extra slice of cheesecake. But that’s ok right. Well, as if Monday wasn’t hard enough here’s some news to kick start your week into a gloomy one. By the year 2030 almost 9 out of ten Americans are going to be overweight or obese. What does that mean? Well, if you are at a family gathering and there’s ten of you and you see one of your cousins is skinny it means you are overweight!

OK.. so not so simple. But the study is true. It was done by the folks at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Normally I wouldn’t mention the full name but I’m hoping one day Michael Bloomberg will buy Healthy and Simple for an obscene amount of money and then Shirley and I can spend the rest of our lives doing all the things we’ve always told people not to do.

But I digress. So, the study says if current trends continue then by the year 2030 around 86 percent of Americans 18 and older could be overweight or obese. As a result of that health care costs would double every decade and could reach $956 billion. That means one out of every six dollars spent on health care will be spent in treating problems related to being overweight or obese. Those problems include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea. Not to mention all the other quality of life issues.

Happy Monday!

Want To Get More Exercise, Move to a New Neighborhood

So, after that last cheery item here’s something a little more hopeful. If you want to be more active then live closer to work. Sounds simple doesn’t it but then great ideas often are.

The study, in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that “older” neighborhoods such as those found in many cities are much more walker friendly because they are closer to where most people work, they have shops nearby, they have cafes, restaurants etc close at hand that people can walk to rather than drive to.

So, whereas in a suburb if you want to get anywhere you have to get in your car, in the city you can often find what you need within walking distance. Depends on the city of course. But if you choose the right one, and the right neighborhood you are much less likely to drive as much, you are more likely to walk more and more likely to be at less risk for obesity.

University of Duh Study on Why Some Students are Bigger than Others

I love these studies. They tell you what you pretty much already knew but they do so in a peer-reviewed journal. That means they spent a lot of money telling you the obvious and that doing so could well boost their academic career prospects.

Here’s the latest one. A study from the University of Alberta found that the reason some university students put on more weight than others is because they spend too much time watching television. Brilliant!

Well, let’s face it Canada has some pretty long, brutal winters so you have to do something. But this study says that some students who watch too much TV are seeing too many commercials, and many of those commercials are for fast food or snack foods so the students end up eating more junk than other students who don’t watch that many commercials and end up getting fat.

The lesson from all this; if you live in Canada get out while you can! Well, probably not. Either don’t watch too much TV. Or if you do you could Tivo everything that way you can skip the commercials. Or you could just watch non-commercial channels where you won’t be bombarded by commercials – there’s some great stuff on C-Span, and watching a hearing by the House Subcommittee on Agricultural Subsidies is unlikely to leave you slavvering for a Big Mac.

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