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  • What's behind the "obesity" crisis? A whole lotta smart money is what.

    Today in the Guardian there was a piece on the obesity crisis.

    I know, I know. 

    (My last job before I hung out my shingle as a weight loss / binge eating coach was working for the Harvard Public Affairs and Communications office, where we published new "obesity" findings seemingly every week. And these pieces were very popular. Like, a lot more popular than other amazing research, of which there is a ton at Harvard. This drove me nuts.)

    Anyway, the Guardian article is pretty different from what we usually see. So far from fat-shaming and offering just-do-it-just-diet solutions, it looks at the problem of weight gain in whole populations. And the author points to systemic causes like [spoiler!] capitalism. An excerpt:

    "...food companies have invested heavily in designing products that use sugar to bypass our natural appetite control mechanisms, and in packaging and promoting these products to break down what remains of our defences, including through the use of subliminal scents. They employ an army of food scientists and psychologists to trick us into eating more than we need, while their advertisers use the latest findings in neuroscience to overcome our resistance.

    They hire biddable scientists and thinktanks to confuse us about the causes of obesity. Above all, just as the tobacco companies did with smoking, they promote the idea that weight is a question of “personal responsibility”. After spending billions on overriding our willpower, they blame us for failing to exercise it."


    Obviously, there's still a lot we can do to manage our weight and health, like taking control of our own food supply and making the best choices that time and money will allow

    But we still live in a world that was largely made before we got here, and being reminded of that does a lot to get rid of shame. It's very helpful to have smart systems thinkers point out the layers beyond the individual.

    Here's the full piece by George MonbiotWe’re in a new age of obesity. How did it happen? You’d be surprised

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