Healthy Competition Effective in Fighting Obesity Epidemic

Seeing old friends from Baltimore this week, we were shocked. A couple of them – who were previously middle aged and almost portly – were young, tan and fit. We were almost afraid to say anything, worrying that they might have a wasting disease.

Fortunately, that was not the case, as one explained:

“We realised that we were all getting too fat. So we started a competition to see who could lose the most weight. The company put up US$1,000 – the prize goes to whoever loses the most in a 12-week period. It’s amazing.

Maybe this was just what people needed. All of a sudden, everyone is losing weight. I think the whole group – there are 45 people in the competition – has lost 600 pounds already…in about a month. And even people who didn’t sign up for the program are noticing…and they’re losing weight too. And then their wives and husbands see them slimming down…and they don’t want to be left looking like fat slobs. We never expected anything like this…but it is absolutely amazing. It’s working.”

Meanwhile, a report from the OECD tells us that another big bubble is growing – a bubble of blubber:

“More than 50% of adults are now defined as either being overweight or obese in no less than 10 OECD countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Greece, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Hungary and the Czech Republic. By comparison, overweight and obesity rates are much lower in the OECD’s two Asian countries (Japan and Korea) and in some European countries (France and Switzerland), although overweight and obesity rates are also increasing in these countries. Focusing only on obesity, the prevalence of obesity among adults varies from a low of 3% in Japan and Korea to a high of 32% in the United States.

“Based on consistent measures of obesity over time, the rate of obesity has more than doubled over the past twenty years in the United States, while it has almost tripled in Australia and more than tripled in the United Kingdom. The obesity rate in many Western European countries has also increased substantially over the past decade.

“Gender differences are striking. In all countries, more men are overweight than women, but in just over half of OECD countries, more women are obese than men. Taking overweight and obesity together, the rate for women exceeds that for men in only two countries – Mexico and Turkey.”

Bill Bonner
Markets and Money

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind Markets and Money.
Bill Bonner

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Take heart in your weight reduction that you are contributing to global cooling.

An article in New Scientist this week under Comment and Analysis

Claims that the fat slobs of the world are a main contributor to global warming.

The argument is that fat people consume more food, (more has to be grown) drive even the shortest distances, set the air conditioners on higher settings, use more medication, drive to the doctors more often, adding up to massive increases in petrochemical products being used thus making the place warmer faster than it needs.

Have a slim day

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