Skip Lunch and Read This

Christine Whelan | Posted on 04/27/10

On CNN this week, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is anchoring AC360, and will be exploring the high-costs of obesity. (First Lady Michelle Obama's childhood obesity task-force has brought this issue back into the news. That, and the fact that most of the country is getting a look at themselves and their neighbors in shorts for the first time in months.)

Here's where I stand: We must educate the public about calories-in-calories-out and balanced diets -- not simply put all our energy into regulating what children (and the poor) eat and drink with the increasingly long arm of government paternalism. And yes, science and food technology innovations have roles to play, too. This issue has become a staple of most sociology classes I teach now because it raises excellent issues of race, class, education, government involvement, plus the role of science and business.

So if you're in the mood to skip lunch and get riled up about social issues instead, here are a few of the latest tidbits on the topic to check out.

  • The Atlantic's current issue has a fascinating (if at times, misguided) piece on class, politics and obesity, arguing why fighting obesity is not like curbing smoking habits.
  • Michael Milken tells BusinessWeek he disagrees: We need to wage war on obesity directly modeled after anti-smoking campaigns 
  • Should we work... while standing, or walking on a treadmill? The New York Times ponders. (This actually sounds kinda fun... I wonder if I could blog while walking... perhaps another excuse for an iPad...)
  • The new findings, published in the International Journal of Obesity, finds that it's actually out disgust with obesity that's holding us back. We chalk up those extra pounds to moral weakness-and that judgment isn't necessarily based on logic.

And for some extra bonus points, you can consider whether God will still love you if you're fat, and whether mindfulness meditation might be the cure. And then you can cry, binge eat, go to the gym or do whatever you do when you're frustrated with the state of the nation.


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