Obesity is the most ominous harbinger of poor health that Western nations currently face. Tens of millions of people will fall prey to disability, putting our health care systems under greater strain than has previously been seen.
There are many people and institutions working to reduce this problem, but their point of attack is often illogical and misinformed. 1st there are the many quick-fix promises and gimmicks. Obesity is not a condition that can be fixed in a few weeks or even a few months, and you should be aware of diets, potions and pills that create rapid weight loss with no promise of good health in the future. The diet that helps to reduce weight in the short run needs to be the same diet that creates and maintains health in the long run.
2nd, the tendency to focus on obesity as an independent, isolated disease is misplaced. Considering obesity in this manner directs our attention to a search for specific cures while ignoring control of the other diseases to which obesity is strongly linked. That is, we sacrifice context.
Also, I would urge that we ignore the suggestion that knowing its genetic basis might control obesity. There was great publicity given to the discovery of the “obesity gene”. Then there was the discovery of the 2nd, then the 3rd, the 4th and on and on. The purpose behind the obesity gene search is to allow researchers to develop a drug capable of knocking out or inactivating the underlying cause of obesity. This is extremely short-sighted, as well as unproductive. Believing that specific identifiable genes are the basis of obesity (i.e., it’s all in the family) also allows us to fatalistically blame a cause that we cannot control.
We can control the cause. It is right at the end of our fork.”