I just read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taub and am working my way through The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I'll post my review in a bit. In the meantime, I've been pondering the great mystery, why did Americans start getting much fatter starting around 1980? What happened? I'm looking for suspects that become significant around thirty years ago, when the curve really took off.
Here are some of the suspects, in no order:
1. Automation/lack of physical activity
2. Climate control
3. Late nights/poor sleep
4. High fructose corn syrup
5. Steep rise in soda consumption
6. Diet soda/artificial sweeteners
7. "Fat free" mania
8. Social norming
9. More two income families=> no time to cook or engage in active play
10. Shorter lunch times-- 20 minutes to eat?
11. Climate control
12. Decline of family meals/eating on the run
13. Corn in everything
14. Rise of Omega 6 vs Omega 3 fat
15. Estrogen-like chemicals leaching from plastic
16. As mothers get fatter, our kids get preprepared for fatness in the womb
17. Rise of Internet, Xbox, DVDs and DVRs
18. Indoor versus outdoor play sets the stage for more fat cells in childhood, which means fatter adults
19. Explosion of easily available, cheap, heavily advertised, hyperpalatable foods
20. Fewer people in the middle class
21. It was my fault. I hit puberty in 1978 :)
Did I miss any? Who do you think the major culprits are? Tomorrow we'll board the luxury railroad car, I'll take up my Miss Marple-style tatting, and tell you who I think is responsible for fattening the body in the library.