A Better American Obesity Report? Fat Chance

Looks like it’s that time of year again for the latest review of the USA’s epidemic of corpulence, issued jointly by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Associated Press writer Lauran Neergaard’s account of the ever-worsening news on that front was posted on-line by (among others, I’m sure) the Washington Post.

Over here in Europe, the only on-line publication that I can catch in my RSS-net handling the subject is Flanders’ leading newspaper, De Standaard. Inevitably, the piece (no by-line, just credited to the Belga news agency) is entitled Americans keep getting fatter; and the accompanying photo meant to illustrate the theme does get things rather ass-backwards. This is a somewhat briefer treatment than Neergaard’s, but it nonetheless is able to repeat for De Standaard’s readers all the main statistics: 23 states listed as having even more obese people than last year, Mississippi as always at the top of the list, etc. The Flemish piece does add a bit of new material about the impact that the authors of the report think the current financially-troubled times will have on the situation. You might think that impact on people’s health would be favorable (folks not being able to afford so much food, etc.), but you would be wrong. Rather, cheaper food tends to be less healthy, and plus we can also expect the rolls of Americans not covered by any health insurance at all to rise, in parallel with cases of stress and depression.

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