I found a 2011 study by the University of Michigan the other day. The study suggests that obesity may be an unintended side effect of free markets, and I found that very interesting.
They found that, of the 26 nations studies, countries with a higher density of fast food restaurants per person also had a much higher obesity rate. That’s not too surprising, but here’s where it gets interesting. They also found that those countries with more open markets, including the U.S., the U.K., Austraila and Canada, had a higher concentration of fast food restaurants and higher rates of obesity.
Robert De Vogli, associate professor and lead researcher for the study, says that “obesity research largely overlooks the global market forces behind the epidemic. In my opinion, the public debate is too much focused on individual genetics and other factors and overlooks the global forces in society that are shaping behaviors.” Wow! This is a very interesting conclusion and we agree.
We often tell people that only 20 percent of our health issues are a result of genetics, while fully 80 percent are the result of lifestyle choices we make each day. De Vogli’s research draws a pretty solid relationship between liberalized market policies, the growth of fast food companies, and the increase in obesity rates. He believes that there is no other biological, genetic, psychological or community factor that can explain this relationship.
It should be clear to most people that there is a solid relationship between eating fast food regularly and weight gain, along with other chronic diseases like diabetes. This is because the typical fast food meal is high in calories, sugar and fat, and low in essential nutrients.
Obesity and its related illnesses account for about 400,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Yet, when anyone tries to address this issue through legislation, they are vilified. Look at the recent outrage over New York’s recent efforts to ban sodas over 16 ounces in restaurants, for example.
We can do something about obesity if we really want to, and it may start with tighter regulation of the free market.
Remember, healthy choices you make each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?
Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? Check out our FREE eBook at www.HealthyFamilyFuture.com. Many of the strategies in this book can be used by both children and adults.
You may also want to read: Is Healthy Eating Becoming Chic?, A Calorie is Not Just a Calorie, Can You Pronounce the Ingredients in Your Food?