How do you go from not being obese to not being slim?” We have a huge market, and we have the potential to generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year if we’re successful. And so one thing we’re trying to figure out is how do we change the way we’re teaching our children – the way they view obesity and how they treat it, how they treat people who live with it, how they treat fat people. How do we get them to respect us more? How do we empower them and help them learn things about themselves that they might be able to help people with? That’s really difficult.
And so if we can solve this problem in our communities and our culture, then we can start to make a big dent in the problem. If those communities and those cultures have been so successful in the past, why wouldn’t they succeed?
And then there are economic issues involved, which is that we’re just not good at dealing with the fat. We know that we have this problem, but the people who are the most effected are the people who have the least access to help. We don’t understand what to do for people who are the weakest in our society or if they’re disabled. We don’t know how to care for them. That’s not just economic issues, it’s a human issue.
And then there’s also, if we can create a society where people care about these issues, I think we’ll get around all of these issues and help them.
GROSS: I want to hear from our resident obesity expert, Dr. Tom Frieden. Let’s talk about this obesity epidemic.
FRIEDEN: There’s a lot of things that drive the obesity epidemic. One is poor nutritional choices, which are caused partly by lack of exercise and partly by the foods we eat.
And two, we have to take health into account when we’re eating. You know, we eat things our bodies don’t need. And even when we’re eating, we’re moving. We’re using energy inefficient, artificial, refined, low-fat products. I don’t think that’s going to make us thinner. I absolutely – especially with that kind of diet, if we go to places where they use refined sugars, those carbohydrates are converted to fat, and the body doesn’t metabolize it easily. And the body is in a very vulnerable state. And so the health effects of those are going to be very negative.
And I can’t explain to
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