The theme of the article was that American Doctors were reluctant to diagnose obesity in patients, as they would feel insulted, and either leave (thus costing the doctor $$$) or even worse, sue (more $$$!). Thats funny enough...
Clearly there are more "fat" people out there today (otherwise the article would not be written, however in trying to come up with an explanation (in fact , to come up with an "Its not My Fault! (for eating too much) " explanation) I think the author has somewhat ignored causality:
I woudl argue that an increasingly sedentary lifestyle is a consequence of individuals being fat - not a reason or excuse.
And as for "increased availability of high calorie food" as a legitimate reason - come off it!
Are a whole swathe of society are being ambushed by super-size burgers each night as they answer the door (to take delivery of a Pizza presumably)? Or an epidemic of cheap chinese refrigerators with failing lights are meaning people are accidentally mistaking a full fat 32 ounce Coke (with fried) for a bottle of Evian each and every time they feel thirsty.
Or are food companies simply making more and more high calorie food in order to to feed the insatiable demands of the legions of lardies parading daily across the sidewalks and shopping malls of the USA?? I know which one I believe!
Finally, I can fully accept that some people are genetically predisposed to be "larger". But there are more fat people now than ever before. So unless this is a random mutation caused by previously undetected space rediation, how can this be a reason for the wave of obesity?
Unless it is FAT LOVE becoming more acceptable? More lardies are makin' bacon together, and breeding whole litters of rotund pie-munching piglets?
And if its becoming more acceptable, where is the stigma attached to that - surely this means the stigma of obesity is in decline, not growing?
So, Doctors of America - feel liberated! Tell those pork-barrel patients to rejoice, get as many as you can on your books - and start a dating service in your waiting room !
Society won't wait any more !!
naaah. Freakonomics, thats what this is - not sociology!