Why We're Losing the Obesity Fight

Frank Bruni says we're not appreciating the gravity of our weight problem
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2012 1:01 PM CDT
"We evolved on the savannahs of Africa. We now live in Candyland," write Michael L. Power and Jay Schulkin in their new book "The Evolution of Obesity."   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – It's time to stop sneering at the morbidly obese as "the undisciplined miscreants of modern American life," writes Frank Bruni in the New York Times; they're just doing what comes naturally. Bruni, riffing off the upcoming book and HBO documentary The Weight of the Nation, argues that obesity "is less a lurking danger than a likely destiny," a product of our agricultural superiority, economic security, and evolutionary imperatives.

Evolution has trained our bodies to store up fat for the lean times, and to rebuild fat stores should we ever manage to shed them. So "the battle is perpetual and maddeningly nuanced." You can't just quit eating like you'd quit smoking, so "every meal is a surrender that can be only partial, a feat of calibration." It's a monumental challenge, and to meet it "we need to rethink and remake our environment much more thoroughly than we seem poised to do."

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