What a terrific article on perhaps, North America’s Biggest Loss - love for the Great Outdoors and it’s Terrible Consequence: the Obesity Pandemic. I’m allowed to sit in this chair till April 20th but come April 21st I’m going to be out there chasing Vitamin D and crows (not ravens).
Side note: I sometimes wonder if we’ll look back at the obesity pandemic in our modern-era and talk about it with as much revulsion and fear the way we do with plagues of the past.
Double side note: I do remain highly sensitive to those who suffer from health ailments and therefore are unable to retain any sense of power or control over their BMIs. The rest of us: the World is your oyster, get your bad selves out there.
As seen in the New York Times today:
Something’s amiss. A third of all American adults — check, it just went up to 35.7 percent — are obese. The French don’t even have a word for fat, Paul Rudnick mused in a mock-Parisian tone in The New Yorker last week. “If a woman is obese,” he wrote, “we simply call her American.”
And, of course, our national branding comes with a host of deadly side effects: heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, certain kinds of cancer. Medical costs associated with obesity and inactivity are nearly $150 billion a year.
This grim toll is well known. Cripes: maybe surgery is the answer, or a menu of energy drinks and vodka (the Ann Coulter diet?). Count the calories. Lay off the muffins. Atkins one week, Slim-Fast the next. We spend more than $50 billion on the diet-industrial complex and have little to show for it (or too much).
But there is an obvious solution — just outside the window. For most of human history, people chased things or were chased themselves. They turned dirt over and planted seeds and saplings. They took in Vitamin D from the sun, and learned to tell a crow from a raven (ravens are larger; crows have a more nasal call; so say the birders). And then, in less than a generation’s time, millions of people completely decoupled themselves from nature.