Originally Posted by Criseyde
That said, I think Kate Harding is missing one thing... the fact that obesity has actually increased in the last several years. She's probably right that it's genetically determined, i.e., I ate a SAD for my whole life until the last couple years but I'm obviously genetically thin. But for a large number of people, a "normal healthy diet" by modern standards causes weight gain. .
Agreed. Certainly a large component of metabolism IS genetically determined, but I highly doubt that 60+% of the US population would be overweight if people weren't eating so much processed crap. Look at pictures from only 35 years ago: some people are fat and some are thin, but far fewer are fat than today, and extreme obesity is also less prevalent. In the late 1970's, Americans worked sedentary office jobs and watched lots of television and ate McDonalds. What they didn't do was ingest HFCS, eat so many "lowfat" (high sugar) pre-prepared microwaved meals, or eat ridiculously large portions (e.g. 20 oz. "single servings" of cola today vs. 12 oz. single servings then). Go back another 50 years, and there were even fewer overweight people: work was more often physical, people walked a lot, and everyone ate what was in-season and available.
Go back to 1900 or so, and this gentleman was considered so large that people would pay money to see him in a freak show:
Sure, he's heavy, but nobody would even notice him on the street today, except for his circus outfit.