Studying Obesity, Learning Nothing

Weight ChangesIn 1960, fewer than 13 percent of Americans were obese, and diabetes had been diagnosed in 1 percent. Today, the percentage of obese Americans has almost tripled; the percentage of Americans with diabetes has increased sevenfold.

Meanwhile, the research literature on obesity has also ballooned. In 1960, fewer than 1,100 articles were published on obesity or diabetes in the indexed medical literature. Last year it was more than 44,000. In total, over 600,000 articles have been published purporting to convey some meaningful information on these conditions. (NYT)

Comments (17)

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  1. Laura says:

    Those are really amazing stats, to see the disparity between 1960 and today!

    On the obesity front, children are so much less active today, and it’s sad that climbing trees and playing outside have been replaced with video games and computers. And I think we’ve also just become lazier, in general. No wonder obesity has tripled!

  2. Karl says:

    It is probably due to the diet. Maybe we could learn something from the Far East, like China or Japan. They eat more healthier than us.

  3. Barry Carol says:

    I attribute the huge increase in obesity in adult Americans over the last 30-40 years to increased portion sizes and the proliferation of fast food restaurants. Also, I’m told that the cost of healthy food on a per calorie basis is 10-12 times higher than junk food. Given that price disparity, it’s economically rational for lower income people to favor junk food even if they have convenient access to healthy food which they usually don’t.

    While Asians do have a far lower incidence of obesity than Americans do, when they come to America and adopt more of an American diet and assimilate into the American culture, their obesity rates starts to move up.

  4. Lucas says:

    “In 1960, fewer than 13 percent of Americans were obese”

    Instead of the one fat kid, now its the one skinny kid

    • Trent says:

      Who gets teased instead. Our culture decides to pick on skinny people and instead praise “Curves”

      • Lucas says:

        Forcing people to accept the new norm. Instead we should fight to make people healthy and continue to shun the overweight and change policies to allow healthy eating

  5. Trent says:

    “leading authorities” disagree with one another daily.

    The amount of people who complain its obesity then do nothing to exercise or eat healthy need to stop talking.

  6. Buster says:

    I cannot say that I’ve ready all 600,000 journal articles. However, I will make a bold claim: I know how you can avoid the scourge of obesity!

    Watch what you eat, avoid excess carbohydrates. Count your calories; 2,000 for women; 2,500 for men is a good benchmark, Exercise, walk, run, bike or play basketball. If you do all these things, you will almost assuredly avoid becoming obese.