Monday, September 05, 2011

Studying Obesity

(From the archives, a post started in January 2011 but never finished)

Today I saw two articles. The first was in our Friday paper: "OSU wins $5 million grant for rural childhood obesity research", and the second was a blog post "The American Fast Food Syndrome". Oh, and I heard a story on the radio last night, "Overburdened Food Banks Can't Say No To Junk."

It got me to thinking about obesity again, and wondering how much money will we throw at studying this problem and how much time (lives) will we waste?

The OSU research has a goal of "improv[ing] the fitness level and reduce the body mass index of rural children, ages 5 to 8." That's a great goal, and you do need specific goals in order to win research money. Which are you more likely to give money to, a study with the goal, "make people happier" or one whose goal is "decrease incidence of days of depression in 20-25 year olds"?

We, in the U.S., seem to like to research the hell out of things and not do anything about it. How many diet/lifestyle studies do we need to do?

It's clear that if we feed ourselves too much food, and crummy food at that, we're going to get fat.  The government heavily subsidizes corn/soy/wheat/sugar and that gets turned into cheap junk food.

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