The Huffington Post has recently published a story with a fascinating animated map (no, we aren’t going back to high school geography). If you have ever wondered if obesity was catching like a pandemic, you might not be so surprised. Information gathered by the CDC in the United States in its Behavioural Risk Factor Survey has been used. Huffington Post originally posted the story on the 19th of August, 2015.
“The word pandemic brings to mind an infectious disease that spreads through the world’s population causing a global health crisis. So I found it interesting to see that many scientists are now using the term to describe obesity.”
The map shows obesity spreading across the United States of America from 1985 until present day. It is coloured to show obesity as a percentage in the population. Watching the map grow and change is startling, and the observer can actually see obesity spread like a disease from state to state.
The most common stance on how to tackle the risk of obesity is with lifestyle modification, such as a low calorie diet and regular exercise. Now it seems that the findings are at odds with what the government recommends to help prevent weight gain. It seems that geographic location can also influence your obesity risk:
“One of the key findings of the report was that individuals had much less choice in the matter of their weight than they would assume, and that the present epidemic of obesity is not really down to laziness or overeating but that our biology has stepped out of kilter with society.” [cited by Huffington Post ]
So what is the solution? Max Gulka at Huffington Post thinks he has the solution:
“Maybe we would do well to break with USDA, and start viewing obesity more like a communicable disease.”