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    Monday, September 04, 2006

    Big Problems: Is this true?

    An obesity pandemic threatens to overwhelm health systems around the globe with illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, experts at an international conference warned Sunday.

    "This insidious, creeping pandemic of obesity is now engulfing the entire world," Paul Zimmet, chairman of the meeting of more than 2,500 experts and health officials, said in a speech opening the weeklong International Congress on Obesity. "It's as big a threat as global warming and bird flu."

    ..."We are not dealing with a scientific or medical problem. We're dealing with an enormous economic problem that, it is already accepted, is going to overwhelm every medical system in the world," said Dr. Philip James, the British chairman of the International Obesity Task Force.

    Bigger than bird flu, bigger than global warming. There are certainly more people suffering from obesity than bird flu, and the evidence for global warming isn't as solid as the evidence for obesity, but "overwhelming every medical system in the world?" This may come as a shock to people, but the hospital beds aren't populated exclusively by obese people. Sure, there are some, but take a tour of an average ICU or medical floor and you'll find just as many thin as fat patients. The growing aging population will overwhelm our medical systems before the growing fat population does.

     

    posted by Sydney on 9/04/2006 01:59:00 PM 3 comments

    3 Comments:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Ish Kumar, at 7:29 PM  

    Sydney, that article was both funny and depressing to read at the same time. As a modern woman, I often find myself struggling with my weight. However, reading the headlines, I wonder which is better. Starving people in Africa or fat people in industrialized nations? I think I would prefer to see someone struggling to lose a few or even a lot of pounds than not sure where their next meal is coming from. Given our sedentary lifestyle, it never fails to surprise me how easy it is for the pounds to creep on. It's sad to see other countries following the US. I wonder if we can manage to find a solution. Any ideas?

    By Anonymous Dara, at 6:54 AM  

    Given that being heavier as you grow older increases life expectancy, that healthy adults naturally gain weight with aging, and that losing weight (voluntarily or unvoluntarily) is associated with increased mortality, the hysteria over a modest increase in average weights of populations in industrialized countries (which luckily experience less hunger and starvation among its populations and simultaneously enjoy longer lifespans and better health) is laughable. But it is hugely prosperous for special interests. At an all-acute cardiac hospital here, I rarely see extremely "obese" patients -- by far, they are primarily older, thin, and have genetic predispositions for their various heart ailments.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:32 AM  

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