Some wonderfully nuanced analysis, as usual, from GD Stone.
Multiple choice question: What does the “Obesity Epidemic” have to do with agriculture?
- What epidemic? Obesity is an age old problem, and this “epidemic” is an invention of the press and the diet industry.
- There’s an epidemic alright, caused by a flood of cheap calories.
- There’s an epidemic alright, and agriculture is to blame — but it’s not the calories, it’s the toxins.
We can deal with answer #1 first. BMI (body mass index, the standard measure of weight adjusted for height) has been climbing rapidly; 1980 is often specified as the start of the climb. BMI has been going up gradually in the world, steeply in the US. The average American is 28 lb. heavier than in 1980. This is not an invention.
But there is still a grain of truth in answer #1. The only thing that is going up faster than BMI’s is the obsession with bringing…
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