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Critically Speaking

May 26, 2021

The obesity epidemic in the US and elsewhere shows no signs of abating. Overweight and obese people now make up more than half of the people in the United States. Everywhere you look, people are large, like it's the new normal. Yet the costs of health problems associated with obesity are huge, and numerous, ranging from hospitalization and medicines to absenteeism at work. Also, it doesn't help when advertisements and beauty contests targeting overweight or obese women, especially, are more and more prevalent. What kind of message does that sound? In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Walter Willett discuss this epidemic, the marketing behind many of the poor food choices made by the general public, and how all sectors of society need to be involved in creating a healthier population. 



 Key Takeaways:

  • A lot of the obesity epidemic gets it starts in early childhood, and children continue to get more and more obese as they get older. They're victims of a society that is pushing through very sophisticated kinds of marketing of unhealthy foods that shorten the lives of people who consume them. 
  • Even before the pandemic, life expectancy has actually decreased in the United States and we have fallen behind many other developed countries. 
  • The real costs to many of these value added foods are the health cost of the consumers, especially kids, and the habit that gets developed and continues on into adulthood.


"What we really need to do is make SNAP better for the participants, and that will be better for everybody. Our whole society does depend on having a healthy population." —  Dr. Walter Willett


Connect with Dr. Walter Willett:

Professional Bio:





Connect with Therese:


Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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