Thursday, May 04, 2006

Does prosperity have to mean unhealthy?

Study Shows Americans Sicker Than English

CHICAGO - Middle-aged, white Americans are much sicker than their counterparts in England, startling new research shows, despite U.S. health care spending per person that's more than double what England spends.

To my father and his generation, anyone who was larger was admired. "Fine figure of a woman" they would say. Because to them poverty meant being thin - not enough to eat - an outward sign of lack of success. Bad association - fat was prosperity. Fat was good. There was too much physical work back then for anyone to be obese unless there was something wrong.

Then there was the idea of the English upper class having the money to be thin. I suspect that's where the Americans found the concept for their high society of "never too rich, or too thin".

Yet somehow in this world where wealth and sloth seem to be synonymous for a huge majority and the ideal for so many no matter what "class", we seem to have lost that old connection. Hence this trend in our American based (?) society towards prosperity, complacency and obesity.

Will we turn it around?


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