National Geographic : 2004 Dec
Forum August 2004 "Why Are We So Fat?"garnereda lot of attention this month. Readers wrote in with theirown answers to the question, citing metabolic rates, the effects of high-fructose corn syrup, and large portions.Some decried society'sfocus on fat, in particu larthe negative pressures on women to stay thin. Othersfelt the story, especially the cover, had nothing to do with geography and did not belong in our magazine at all. Why Are We So Fat? I plugged Arnold Schwarze negger's numbers into the body mass index table that was in cluded in "Why Are We So Fat?" He's six feet two inches and weighs about 235 pounds. According to the BMI table, this puts him well into the obese cat egory. I've seen the same table reproduced in many other articles, and it seems as though it should always carry a dis claimer that the results may be skewed depending on the mus cle mass of the individual. I believe it is the table itself that carries too much weight. DAN HANNA SantaBarbara,California The obesity epidemic is rapidly becoming a public health crisis in industrialized countries. The increase in obesity is appearing in disproportionately higher FOR MORE INFORMATION To get NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC please call 1-800 -NGS-LINE (1-800-647-5463). Hearing-impaired TDD users may call 1-800-548-9797. The magazine's website: nationalgeo graphic.com/magazine For an online index of all National Geographic publications, go to: nationalgeographic.com/publications numbers among people of lower socioeconomic status. For the poor in wealthy nations, foods that are highly caloric and low in nutritional value (99-cent burgers, anyone?) are the most affordable, while the leisure time and resources needed for regular exercise are hard to come by. This is yet another example of the many disparities in health experienced by the most vulner able members of our society. RACHEL GOLD Portland,Oregon School age is the most important time to begin to stop obesity. Stop advertisements for fast food, sodas, and sweets during children's TV time and forbid selling such things at schools. ANA POUZADA Oporto,Portugal FROM OUR ONLINE FORUM nationalgeographic.com/magazine/0408 I was sorry to read the disclaimer suggesting that slow metabolic rates have little effect on obesity. Forty-six years of personal expe rience with people who have had to fight this problem show that metabolism definitely has a pro found effect on obesity. ROSCOE VAN DYKE SantaAna, California NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * DECEMBER 2004 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "For the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge." The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C ., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 7.500 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., Presidentand CEO Executive Vice Presidents TERRENCE B. ADAMSON LINDA BERKELEY, President,Enterprises TERRY D. GARCIA, MissionPrograms JOHN Q. GRIFFIN, President,Magazine Group NINA D. HOFFMAN, President,Books and School Publishing Group CHRISTOPHER A. LIEDEL, CFO BOARD OF TRUSTEES GILBERT M. GROSVENOR, Chairman REG MURPHY, Vice Chairman JOAN ABRAHAMSON, WILLIAM L ALLEN, MICHAEL R. BONSIGNORE, MARTHA E. CHURCH, MICHAEL COLLINS, ROGER A. ENRICO, JOHN M. FAHEY, JR, DANIEL S. GOLDIN, JOHN JAYISELIN, JAMES C. KAUTZ, J. WILLARD MARRIOTT, JR., FLORETTA DUKES McKENZIE, GEORGE MUlIOZ, PATRICK E NOONAN, NATHANIEL P.REED, WILLIAM K. REILLY, ROZANNE L. RIDGWAY, JAMES R. SASSER, B. FRANCIS SAUL II, GERD SCHULTE-HILLEN TRUSTEES EMERITUS Joe L. Allbritton, Thomas E. Bolger, Frank Borman, Lewis M. Branscomb,Robert L Breeden, Lloyd H. Elliott, George M. Elsey, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Frederick G. Vosburgh COUNCIL OF ADVISORS Roger A. Enrico, Chairman; Michael R. Bonslgnore, Howard G. Buffett, CraigD. Campbell,Jean N. Case. JulietC. Folger, Robert B. Haas, Robert A. Hefier III, David H. Koch, BruceL. Ludwig,Sally EngelhardPIngree, W. Russell Ramsey, CatherineB.Reynolds,EdwardP.RoskiJr.,B. FrancisSaulII MichelleSofisti,TedWai, GarryA.Webe,TracyR.WIostencr RESEARCH AND EXPLORATION COMMITTEE Peter H. Raven, Chairman; John M. Francis, Vice Chairman; William L. Allen, Martha E. Church, Steven M. Colman. Scott V. Edwards, William L. Graf, Nancy Knowlton, Dan M. Martin, Scott E. Miller. Jan Nijman, Stuart L. Pimm, Elsa M. Redmond, Bruce D. Smith, Hans-Dieter Sues, PatriciaC. Wright, Melinda A. Zeder EXPLORERS-IN -RESIDENCE Robert Ballard, Wade Davis, Sylvia Earle, Zahi Hawass, LouiseLeakey, Meave Leakey,Johan Reinhard,Paul Sereno Conservation Fllow: J. Michael Fay CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS-IN RESIDENCE Sam Abell, Annie Griffiths Belt, David Doubilet, Karen Kasmauski. Emory Kristof, Frans Lanting MISSION PROGRAMS Vice Presidents:BarbaraA.Chow,EducationFoundation; John M. Francis, Research, Conservation,and Exploration; Jacqueline M. Hollister, Development; Sarah Laskin, Public Programs. Exhibits: SusanS. Norton.ExpeditionCouncl: Rebecca Martin. Geography Bee: Mary Lee Elden. Lectures: P. Andrew van Duym, Gregory A. McGruder School Pubdshg Ericka Marknan, Sr.Vice President. International: Robert W. Herndez, Sr. Vice President. Human Resources: Thomas A. Sabl6, Sr. Vice President. Communications: Betty Hudson, Sr. Vice President. Treasurer H. Gregory Platts, Sr. Vice President NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VENTURES DENNIS R. PATRICK, PresidentandCEO TelevisIon:Timothy T. Kelly, President. National Geographic Channel: David Hasllngden, President, International; Laureen Ong, President, U.S. natonalgeographlc.com: Chris McAndrews,Senior Vice President and General Manager National Geographio Maps: Frances A. Marshall, President; Allen Carroll, Chief Cartographer Contributions to the National Geographic Society are tax deductible under Section 501(c(3) of the U.S.tax code. Copyright 2004 National Geographic Society. Allrghts reserved.National Geographic and Yellow Border:RegisteredTrademarks0 Mrcas Registradas. National Geographic assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Printed In U.S.A.