01 September 2011

How bad is it out there?

What is life like in a place without many fruits and vegetables available? The Internets Celebrities are hard to classify--they are three guys from the Bronx who make funny documentaries about serious stuff. Some years ago, they chronicled their neighborhood bodega:

Is obesity really such a problem in America today? Emphatically, yes.

I encourage you to play the CDC's slideshow on obesity by state over the past 25 years. Although Colorado currently has the lowest obesity rate in the country, its current obesity rate would have made it the fattest state in the country in 1996.

The CDC's county-by-county statistics are sobering. Some counties in Alabama and Mississippi have upwards of 40% obesity among adults. And the costs, from higher fuel costs for fatter passengers to exploding health expenditures, are accruing quickly.

But I don't feel like I see many obese people when I go around town. My time in hospital and clinic is teaching me that many are tucked out of sight, at home, in hospitals, and in nursing facilities. Obesity makes walking around more difficult (or impossible), and the social stigma against obesity makes some people reluctant to leave the house. But they are there, their ranks are growing, and the medical profession has few tools to treat (let alone cure) obesity. There is an urgent need to act.