A long time ago, obesity was often used as a shorthand for wealth, but over the decades obesity has become more and more correlated with poverty, both in culture and science (while wealth is increasingly correlated with being slim).
The trend is accelerating. Researchers from Cambridge University's Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) say the obesity gap between the rich and poor is wider than ever.
It's hard to pinpoint a single cause for this, but the usual suspects are: the cheapest calories are the worst ones (carbs, sugars, etc); exercise is expensive both in terms of cash (austerity has squeezed community centres and parks) and time; the cognitive capacity that could be used to plan better meals is absorbed by juggling bills, precarious work, and increasingly expensive housing; high-quality food is more expensive than ever and often not sold in the increasingly segregated neighbourhoods where poor people live.
But the underlying causes of childhood obesity are fiendishly tricky to fix. As Sir Michael Marmot, head of University College London’s Institute of Health Equity, puts it: “If you want to solve the obesity problem, you have to solve the inequality problem first.”
As rich children slim down, poor ones are getting fatter [The Economist]
(via Naked Capitalism)
Ziya Tong is a veteran science reporter who spent years hosting Discovery's flagship science program, Daily Planet: it's the sort of job that gives you a very broad, interdisciplinary view of the sciences, and it shows in her debut book, The Reality Bubble: Blind Spots, Hidden Truths, and the Dangerous Illusions that Shape Our World, […]
A new study on polar ice sheet melt warns that global sea levels could rise by almost six feet by the year 2100, an estimate twice as high as previously predicted.
Next year, NASA’s Artemis 1 mission will carry a baker’s dozen of small cubesats to space, including one that’s home to a colony of yeast cells. That cubesat, BioSentinel, will orbit the sun to help scientists understand how space radiation affects living organisms outside of Low Earth Orbit. NASA hasn’t purposely sent any lifeforms beyond […]
If you can build a cloud infrastructure, you can build a business. Companies are overwhelmingly turning to cloud computing to set up or bolster their network, and it’s easy to see why. It allows on-demand access to processing power, a la carte services, and nearly unlimited storage, all without adding extra systems and the maintenance […]
Does your gaming setup need an upgrade? No need to wait for Christmas. We’ve rounded up the latest tech accessories for your favorite video game platforms. All of them are already sale priced, but you can knock an additional 15% off the final price for Memorial Day by using the online code WEEKEND15. Audeze Mobius […]
Raspberry Pi is one of the world’s most versatile open-source computers. Alexa is a home automation hub with limitless potential. Together, they’re a dream team for ambitious makers, opening the door to everything from automatic lights to voice-controlled robots. Learning Raspberry Pi is meant to be relatively easy for newbies, but its applications with Alexa […]