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Old 11-18-2010, 12:27 AM   #1
Toomas Ilves
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Diseases of Affluence

A Canadian combat doctor in Afghanistan writes in literary journal about Westerners getting fat.

http://maisonneuve.org/pressroom/art...ses-affluence/
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:22 PM   #2
James A Stevens
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Re: Diseases of Affluence

Wow, that is one heck of an article. The guy manages to eloquently state what modern medicine in starting to say more and more - stop eating crap and exercise!

Mind you it is pretty scary what the modern human is doing to himself, thank god for paleo and crossfit is all I can otherwise that would be me.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:16 PM   #3
Jonathan Dilgen
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Re: Diseases of Affluence

I didn't particularly enjoy the author's style on my first read-through, but the scope and substance were fascinating and well researched. A challenging read on several levels...good stuff.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:35 AM   #4
Ian Peek
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Re: Diseases of Affluence

The problem with such idealistic articles is that the barriers to changing society are effectively insurmountable. We don't realize the consequences of our actions, and yet are surprised when diagnosed with illnesses or conditions. We can gorge ourselves on food (cheap or otherwise) because we have it, and we can still wake up and live our lives the next day in the same fashion. We don't need to be physically active at all, and can live long lives.

Why even bother comparing us with an Afghani person? Sure, they might not have too much body fat & better health, but do they all have multiple cars, homes with AC, extra money for vacations, cable TV, gym memberships, day care, pre-made coffee from a specilized store every morning, fast food, nicely paying occupations, higher education, constant entertainment, easily obtainable junk food, etc.? No. Who cares if we get heart disease? The benefits of an affluent society seemingly outweigh the diseases of affluence, and as a result, we are willing to accept them.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:53 AM   #5
Allen Tluczek
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Re: Diseases of Affluence

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Originally Posted by Ian Peek View Post
Why even bother comparing us with an Afghani person? Sure, they might not have too much body fat & better health, but do they all have multiple cars, homes with AC, extra money for vacations, cable TV, gym memberships, day care, pre-made coffee from a specilized store every morning, fast food, nicely paying occupations, higher education, constant entertainment, easily obtainable junk food, etc.?
Or, literacy? We should be compared to people who DO have all those things.

Also, cool article.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:33 PM   #6
Vince Mannella
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Re: Diseases of Affluence

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Originally Posted by Ian Peek View Post
The benefits of an affluent society seemingly outweigh the diseases of affluence, and as a result, we are willing to accept them.

Until the healthcare system is so overburdened with rich fat people that it can no longer take care of anyone else.

It's not neccesary to have a McDonald's on every corner pumping out pseudo-beef-like burgers for $0.99 so rich people can cram 100 of them down their gullet.
Eating and living healthy isn't hard, it is just a commitment. Many people in the western world choose to not make the commitment because they don't care. In the afghan's world it is not a choice...they must live like that to survive.

The bottom line is that westerners need to live healthier life-styles. I wouldn't cry one bit if every McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, and Wendy's went out of business tomorrow.
Fast, cheap, unhealthy food is killing North Americans one quarter-pound'er at a time.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:01 PM   #7
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Diseases of Affluence

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Originally Posted by Vince Mannella View Post
Until the healthcare system is so overburdened with rich fat people that it can no longer take care of anyone else.

It's not neccesary to have a McDonald's on every corner pumping out pseudo-beef-like burgers for $0.99 so rich people can cram 100 of them down their gullet.
Didn't you read the article? Obesity rates (and the diseases that go with them) are much higher among lower income groups. It's not rich people keeping McDonald's in business.

Katherine
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:30 PM   #8
Jason Wallis
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Re: Diseases of Affluence

Depending on one's point of view, our poor could be considered rich when compared with the rest of the world. I don't have numbers, or the inclination to go look for them, but I suspect that many of our poor have cable tv, dishwashers, etc.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:43 PM   #9
Nathan Bedle
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Re: Diseases of Affluence

Although the article was interesting, and brought up some good points, I think he's on the wrong track with the Afghans. As I see them (everyday here in Afghanistan) their apparent 'health' as defined by the author is not all that healthy. Their caloric intake is almost entirely from rice and bread, very few vegetables or proteins are consumed. The result is that they are typically either very skinny or fat. I think the results of the author's findings have more to do with the age of the Afghans- their life expectancy is somewhere around 40- they would have to be eating much worse than western cultures to match us if their median age is half of ours.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:27 PM   #10
Steven Chicoine
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Re: Diseases of Affluence

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
Didn't you read the article? Obesity rates (and the diseases that go with them) are much higher among lower income groups. It's not rich people keeping McDonald's in business.

Katherine
The US poor ARE relatively affluent compared to much of the world.
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