by Marion Nestle
Jun 26 2007

Charlie Rose: Obesity and Nutrition

I participated in a panel with Charlie Rose last night on the science of obesity. With five people around the table, it was hard to get a word in edgewise, but I did the best I could (take a look and judge for yourself). The central issue for the conversation was whether obesity is the result of genes or the environment. If it’s genes, let’s find a drug and solve the problem. If it’s environment, things get much more complicated because no drug can fix a society that makes food available everywhere, at rock bottom cost, in enormous portions. Genes matter, of course; not everyone who overeats gains weight. But rates of overweight started to zoom up just in the past 25 years or so, too recently for genetics to have changed. While the science types are working hard to find a magic–and highly profitable–bullet, people need to find ways to handle a food environment that encourages overeating. I’m in favor of policies to make it easier to eat more healthfully, ranging from restrictions on marketing junk food to children to elimination of farm subsidies. I’m sure you can think of more. I’m collecting a list. Send suggestions.

In the meantime, I have a bit more to say about these issues at Eating Liberally.

Comments

  • Anita Hirsch
  • July 10, 2007
  • 8:44 pm

I heard today on the news that water is getting the latest bad press. We drink too much bottled water….would we be drinking bottled soda instead. I think water is healthy and now the environmentalist want to take that away. What about the soda bottles, all the other plastic that is used and will be in the landfills…..all the plastic packaging. We need to spend more time on recycling…..we finally have kids drinking water……

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