Obesity and Health

Archive Report

Growing National Health Problem

Extent and Causes of Obesity in America

Imprisoned in every fat man, British author Cyril Connolly once wrote, “a thin one is wildly signalling to be let out.”1 In America, that “thin man” is having a hard time escaping. Obesity, long the subject of humor, has become a national health problem involving tens of millions of people and recently drawing congressional attention. During hearings this year by the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, Chairman George McGovern (D S.D.) called obesity this country's No. 1 form of malnutrition. Not only that, he said, the obese are getting fatter and the number of obese Americans is increasing every year.2

The number of Americans who are overweight is largely a matter of conjecture. ...

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