The Battles

Americans seem to be in trouble. Three-fifths of us are overweight, including a third of our children, the first generation predicted to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. Rates of diabetes and the host of obesity-related diseases have exploded, but so have allergies, reproductive disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, learning disabilities and many types of cancers.We’re told, often enough, that as a society we Americans just don’t get enough exercise. Apparently we’re intellectually lazy, too, pretty ignorant about sound nutrition and how to make the best food choices.

For those who believe this, our national character explains a lot about why we lead the world in developing the so-called “diseases of civilization.” What it doesn’t explain is why the rest of the world gets fat, and sick, too, when we export our diet. Could there be something wrong with the picture of the lazy, slothful American. Could it be the food choices made for us, not by us.?