obesity: culprit or symptom?

A post last week at Diet Blog asked the question Can We Blame Obesity for Chronic Illnesses?

The article that triggered this blog post was found on the Reuters website. The gist of the Reuters article is that more American’s are suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. 

And of course, there’s the token “obesity is causing this” declaration. 

The rise in Americans with multiple chronic illnesses comes as obesity and sedentary lifestyles have grown more common. Obesity contributes to many chronic ailments including diabetes.

Yeah, let’s blame obesity! Obesity is at fault for all America’s ills!. Boo obesity! Boo fatties! You’re costing us a shitload of money every year! Boo! Boo! Rubbish! Muck! Filth! Boo!

Boo!

Is anyone else tired of hearing this? 

Could science please pull it’s head out of it’s ass and try looking at this from a different perspective?

Shift your focus a little. Try working from a different theoretical position. There is something bigger going on here. There is a different culprit and obesity is just another chronic disease along with the high blood pressure, and diabetes, and high cholesterol. 

What is that phrase… “correlation does not imply causation.”

I say emphatically that obesity is a symptom of something bigger. It is not the cause of all these other things. The cause, as even the above quote from the Reuters article points out, can include a sedentary lifestyle. Also, poor diet. 

And not just poor diet but an industrialized diet. The American diet changed completely with urbanization. No longer could everyone have their own dairy cow and grow their own vegetables. No longer was it feasible to have a small plot of land to raise chickens and sheep and cows to feed your family.

Animals have been corralled, caged, and immunized to the point that their by-products, the stuff that ends up on our tables, are inferior to the spread from 100 years ago. Heck, even 50 years ago. Heck, at the rate of the decline of America’s health, even 25 years ago.

We now subsist on foods that have been crazy altered. Wheat is stripped of it’s color and flavor and then enriched with “nutrients” (the nutritional quality is questionable at best). Milk and milk products are heated to kill bacteria (just in case it’s been contaminated) and that process kills off the healthy enzymes and bacteria that is in milk, leaving behind dead bacteria and enzymes that cause allergies and lactose intolerance.

Sugar is refined and liquified and put into every packaged food. Meats are cured and pulverized and dyed before they ever make it onto store shelves. Chemicals and dyes are used in nearly all foods to extend the shelf life.

Is it any wonder that America’s health is declining when this is the type of “food” our grocery stores are stocking and food manufacturers are producing? Food that in no way contributes to a healthy, balanced diet.

And so far, there doesn’t seem to be any stopping the decline of America’s health. If you want to fix America’s health crisis, fix America’s food suppliers. 

And please, stop blaming obesity.

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