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“Overnutrition” In The Contemporary West

By Matthew Yglesias  

"“Overnutrition” In The Contemporary West"

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I’m not sure I love this verbal formulation, but the basic data seems right:

One thing Mr. Fogel did not expect when he first started his research was that “overnutrition” would become the primary health problem in the United States and other Western nations. Obesity, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension and some cancers, threatens to upset the links in the upward march of size, health and longevity that he and his colleagues have spent years documenting.

This is just one of several ways in which life is different for a rich country. For the vast majority of human history “more calories available” has been a pretty untrammeled good. In the contemporary developed world, that’s much less clear.

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