Thursday, May 19, 2016

Non-Organism-related Epidemics

And more recently the term epidemic and pandemic have been applied to the spread of non-organism-related phenomenon among human beings, which I find particularly fascinating. Data from the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [NHANES] revealed that a whopping 68.5 percent of Americans were overweight and 34.9 percent were obese. Obesity is now being called a disease. That meets part of the definition of an epidemic, but is obesity contagious? Apparently so. Tanzi and Chopra in Super Brain point out that in the social network of family, coworkers, and friends, simply relating to someone with a weight problem makes it more likely that you’ll have one. Data collected by social scientists have shown that if one person becomes obese, the likelihood of a friend following suit increases by 57 percent. If a sibling becomes obese, the chance that another sibling will become obese increases by 40 percent. An obese spouse increases by 37 percent the likelihood that the other spouse will become obese. (More tomorrow)

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