As if that were even humanly possible. Currently, 34% of the US population can be considered as ‘obese.’ And according to researchers at PLoS Computational Biology, that figure can be expected to rise to 42%, before it finally levels off. Swell.
The researchers say that one factor, in addition to fatty foods and a sedentary lifestyle, is the concept advanced a few years ago that whether or not our peers are fat has a direct impact on us. Initially, critics of the idea thought that it was fraught with inaccuracy, that you can’t actually ‘catch’ fat from your friends. But, if you think about it, it makes a certain degree of sense. If you’re surrounded by the chronically overweight, it’s your new normal. And you’re more likely to eat like the obese, and feel it’s fine to look like them as well.
And, to put a political twist on this, if we could bring the obesity rate down to below 15%, that, more than anything, would advance the cause of health care in this country than anything you could legislate.