Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

I was stunned as I scrolled through this short Powerpoint presentation composed by the CDC, published in JAMA over the years. Its a compliation of obesity rates beginning in 1985, going up until 2005. What might be the cause for the surge in obesity rates? Possibly the over-availability of cheap oils and starches, says the International Task Force on Obesity.

Makes this recent news release regarding the risk of polycystic ovary syndrome even more important.

Want better gas miliage? Some suggest shedding the pounds. A new pill from a Belgian group, called Rimonabant, may speed the process.


  1. #1 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    October 28, 2006

    Obesity on the rise? Makes sense to me. I weigh more than I did in 1985, and I’ll bet you do too.

  2. #2 blipey, FCD
    October 28, 2006

    I don’t find it shocking, perhaps only because I have been following this trend for a while. I do find it many other things, however: frightening, sad, a little baffling.

    I’ve taught in a summer theatre program for the past 4 years and the things that kids spend their time on now-a-days is quite different (obviously). It is sometimes difficult to get the students to go outside or get off their rears and do something physical (even if it was related to class). they would much rather sit and play PS2, or sit and text-message friends, or sit and watch DVDs.

    Lots of sitting going on. Now, I also sit some, but I’m old, and I still sit less than I do anything else. Strengthening this culture of sitting, a school in Attleboro, MA has outlawed tag at recess. Wouldn’t want to create any activity that might lead to litigation or some such non-sense.

  3. #3 Janne
    October 28, 2006

    Very unlikely to be any connection (though I’d want to get definite word on it), but the rise in obesity rates coincides fairly well with the introduction of growth hormones as feed supplement in large-scale farming in the US, and we do know there’s still traces of it in the slaughtered meat.

    I kind of wonder if having a steady diet on such meat and thus constantly dosing yourself with very small amounts of growth hormone could possibly exacerbate the trend of increasing body weight? My own gut reaction is that the doseage is much too small to make any difference even when taken near-daily, but it would be nice to know it for a fact.

  4. #4 Robert P.
    October 30, 2006

    Unless that picture on the previous post was from a long time ago, I would bet that Shelley has gained a LOT of weight since 1985…like a whole body’s worth.

  5. #5 Shelley Batts
    October 30, 2006

    Considering I was about 5 years old in 1985, yeah, I agree with that logic. 🙂

  6. #6 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    October 30, 2006

    They’re on to my subtle humor.

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