Fear of a Fat Planet: Nearly a Third of the World Population Is Now Overweight

r of a Fat Planet: Nearly a Third of the World Population Is Now Overweight

A new study shows the scale of the global obesity crisis.

The Global Obesity Crisis: Nearly a Third of the World Population Is Now Overweight

(Photo:BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)





May 30, 2014

There are 1.35 billion people living in China, another 1.23 billion living in India. The world’s two most populous nations are each home to a crush of humanity that’s almost impossible to comprehend. But those numbers pale next to the overweight people who live in the world today—2.1 billion, or nearly a third of the world’s population.

The numbers come from a study published yesterday in the journal The Lancet. Researchers looked at 1,700 studies from 188 countries conducted between 1988 and 2013 in order to come up with a comprehensive view of what’s a truly global obesity epidemic.

However, it wasn’t North America—where Mexico and the United States have vied for the title of the fattest nation in the world—that registered the highest obesity rate. Rather, the Middle East and North Africa are the worst; nearly 60 percent of men and 65 percent of women are too heavy. The study says the U.S. is home to 13 percent of the world’s overweight population, the highest percentage of any country.

The sky-high rates in North Africa and the Middle East may come as a shock in the West, where public health stories from the Arab-speaking world can’t break through the wall of coverage of American invasions, oil, revolution, civil war, and military coups. If anything, most of the region borders the Mediterranean, which is most famous in dieting circles as a way to eat a healthy diet heavy in plants, seafood, and the occasional glass of red wine. Even if there’s less wine consumed with dinner in these predominately Muslim countries, they still consume a whole lot of olive oil. But the red flags have been flying for decades, however, and a combination of urbanization, globalization, and regional cultural norms has created a massive public health crisis.

In 2001, a study published in The Journal of Nutrition looked at the obesity rates in Morocco and Tunisia and found that while their governments were still working to address issues of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, the waistlines of women in both countries were expanding at an unhealthy rate. Public health officials were doing little at the time to address the problem, according to the researchers, “especially since female fatness is viewed as a sign of social status and is a cultural symbol of beauty, fertility and prosperity.” With more people living in urban areas, where processed foods were cheap and easily accessible, issues like malnutrition were steadily being alleviated. But the study goes on to say that, “Western culinary influences lead to new consumption patterns, which affect dietary habits and even the rhythm of consumption.” The study continues, “These new dietary habits have created conditions for chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes to take hold.”

Elsewhere in the region, especially in oil-rich countries, diet trends have followed a similar course. In Saudi Arabia, meat consumption increased by 500 percent between 1973 and 1980, according to a 2011 article in The Journal of Obesity. Changes weren’t as dramatic in less wealthy nations, but the same paper notes that people in Jordan nearly doubled how much meat they ate over the same period, and that the percentage of calories consumed as fat by children in Lebanon increased from 24 percent to 34 percent between 1963 and 1998.

Wealth and development can change diet and health by increasing the amount of meat used in regional cuisines—but American-style dining also seems to crop up in emerging markets around the world, and the Middle East in no exception. Just as global fashion brands and, more recently (and disastrously), institutions like New York University, have tried to catch some of the shimmer of the Gulf’s oil wealth, so have fast-food companies.

This $1,000 McDonald’s-Inspired Dress Is About More Than Income Inequality

“Demand for fast casual dining, which includes the more traditional fast-food chains such as McDonald’s as well as the table service brands like IHOP, is growing amid a rise in disposable income, extravagant shopping malls, and a seemingly unquenchable appetite for Western food concepts,” reads a 2012 trend story on the website Arabian Business. The article cites a study from the research firm Euromonitor that predicts the fast-casual dining in the United Arab Emirates will expand from $6.4 billion in 2011 to $8.7 billion in 2015. Burger chains are expected to propel the boom.

And just as meat consumption has increased across the region, so has the saturation of fast-food brands. The trade website Food Business Africa points out that the demographics across the Middle East and North Africa present an ideal market for fast-food companies: Huge populations of young people who have “grown up eating processed foods and dining in Western-style fast-food restaurants and coffee shops.” For the youth in this region—and around the world, for that matter—drive-through hamburgers are as much of a birthright as for kids in the U.S.

American-style fast food is no longer a foreign novelty, and neither is American-style obesity.

REDEMPTION! What You should know! Shelter killing is the leading cause of death for healthy dogs & cats in the United States!


Nathan J. Winograd

Mai 8 um 6:46 PM

Join us for a documentary film about the No Kill revolution in America. Coming to a city near you. Click on the links for tickets:

•Albuquerque, NM: http://bit.ly/1imaROu

•Atlanta, GA: http://bit.ly/1ktZuos

•Austin, TX: http://bit.ly/1m8chgh

•Boston, MA: http://bit.ly/1jI8oxB

•Charlotte, NC: http://bit.ly/1m8dILE

•Chicago, IL: http://bit.ly/P3f7qG

•Denver, CO: http://bit.ly/1nosnCi

•Fayetteville, AR: http://bit.ly/Qnt83o

•Ft. Lauderdale, FL: http://bit.ly/1iTYFkE

•Louisville (Shelbyville), KY: http://bit.ly/1hRMdRl
•Minneapolis, MN: http://bit.ly/1kXtdsN

•Norfolk, VA: http://bit.ly/PM8Qjx

•Phoenix, AZ: http://bit.ly/Q9Yk6B

•Pittsburgh, PA: http://bit.ly/QM7eqK

•Sacramento, CA: http://bit.ly/1qEtiAu

•San Francisco (Palo Alto), CA: http://bit.ly/1t5s97k

•Troy, MI: http://conta.cc/1iUoIcP

•Washington, D.C.: http://bit.ly/1qYvkKg

The film will be followed in most cities by a workshop on building a No Kill community and others with an after party. Check on the links for more details. Coming soon: Buffalo, NY, Cleveland, OH, Las Vegas, NV, Los Angeles, CA, Modesto, CA, Nashville, TN, New York, NY, Seattle, WA, and Tallahassee, FL.

•To watch the trailer, click here.

•For more information about the film, click here.


P.S. 99% of the film is uplifting and while a small number of images may be difficult, they are not gratuitous. While we expect people who see it will experience a range of emotions, the primary ones they will come away with are hope, inspiration, empowerment, and well, redemption. In short, it is safe for animal lovers to watch.

No Kill Advocacy Center | 6114 La Salle Ave. #837 | Oakland CA 94611
http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org | facebook.com/nokilladvocacycenter

“why are so many veterans homeless?”

“why are so many veterans homeless?”


My family and I travel down to New Zealand about every 3 years to visit our friends, family and Church; yet recently, I also had the privilege of making an unexpected and bittersweet journey to the country of my birth; I went to mourn the death, while also celebrating the wonderful long life of my Uncle Wayne; he is my humble hero, a wonderful example and a World War 2 veteran!

Every time we make this journey “down-under”, we have the honor of spending a lot of time speaking about what we do and how we work with homeless folk in Uptown, Chicago. Whether it’s in front of Titirangi Baptist Church, in a home-group or just chatting with a friend over a meal, people are genuinely interested and bombard us with heaps of relevant questions. Responding to these questions is never difficult or frustrating, we actually find all the sharing quite enjoyable.

Most of the kiwis (New Zealanders) we chat with have seen multiple images of homeless men and women sleeping on benches, pushing around overly stacked shopping carts, occupying “tent cities” or lining up for that elusive shelter bed. All the magazines, televisions, movies and books that occupy kiwi homes, along with the instant news that floods the Internet, cause the vast majority of our people to naturally wonder how extreme poverty can exist in the world’s most powerful and affluent nation! Poverty does exist in the “Land of the Long White Cloud”, but it’s vastly different to what is experienced and seen in the “Land of the Free”, so our minds are filled with intrigue and countless questions! …

READ MORE: http://freeingprisoners.blogspot.de/2013/09/are-so-many-veterans-homeless.html?spref=fb

Analyzing the Parole System and Effects on Recidivism

Analyzing the Parole System and Effects on Recidivism

12:00 AM  crime, criminal justice, Criminology Amp Justice, Crimiology Amp Justice, Incarceration, Mandatory sentencing, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, prison, Seiter, Seiter 2008  No comments

by Elizabeth Hall


US incarceration timeline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In today’s world, the criminal justice system operates on a perpetual backlog of cases, crimes, and criminals of all types.  The way that they deal with punishment has had to change to accommodate changes in the prison population, and part of the changes included the use of the parole system.  Through the parole system offenders could receive indeterminate sentences, which mean they may serve all, a portion of their sentence, or no time at all incarcerated (Seiter, 2008).  This system of indeterminate sentences gave rise to the rehabilitation era of sentencing, where the emphasis is on programs to return inmates to society as productive members. Today the criminal justice system has gone back to more determinate sentences but parole systems still exist in some states. …

READ MORE: http://criminologyjust.blogspot.de/2012/07/analyzing-parole-system-and-effects-on.html#.VB6g1LTwD5o

Support Parole For Eddie Africa

Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:

We are asking for your support at this critical stage to secure the freedom Eddie deserves.

NOTE: Please send all letters of support to Orie Ross, P.O. Box 575, Times Square Station, New York, NY 10108-0575 so they can be reviewed and sent to the Board. If possible, please send your letter so it arrives by Monday, September 29th. The final deadline for letters will be Friday, October 24th.

Board of Probation and Parole

Attn: Inmate Inquiry

1001 South Front Street, Suite 5300

Harrisburg, PA 17104

September 18, 2014

Regarding October 2014 Parole Hearing for: Edward Goodman #AM-4974

Dear Honorable Members of the Parole Board:

As a concerned citizen interested in helping Mr. Goodman successfully
transition into life outside prison, I am writing to ask that you
please grant him parole. He has served over 35 years of a 30-100 year
sentence, even though the average…

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Air Force funds pocket-sized drone for surveilling tight spaces

Air Force funds pocket-sized drone for surveilling tight spaces

CyPhy Works’ Extreme Access Pocket Flyer uses tether to fly without batteries.

Technology from the Extreme Access System for Entry, a tethered drone developed by CyPhy Works and tested by the Army, is being applied to an even smaller drone for the Air Force.
CyPhy Works

read more: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/09/air-force-funds-pocket-sized-drone-for-surveilling-tight-spaces/



Environmental Funding Bypasses Indigenous Communities

Originally posted on spiritandanimal.wordpress.com:

Environmental Funding Bypasses Indigenous Communities

Published on


Environmental Funding Bypasses Indigenous Communities

Multi-million-dollar environmental conservation efforts are running headlong into the interests of small local communities

Governments are encroaching on indigenous people’s ancestral lands in remote areas like Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. (Photo: CIFOR)

BALI, Indonesia – When she talks about the forests in her native Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, Maridiana Deren’s facial expression changes. The calm, almost shy person is transformed into an emotionally charged woman, her fists clench and she stares wide-eyed at whoever is listening to her.

“The ‘boohmi’ (earth) is our mother, the forest our air, the water our blood,” says the activist, who has been taking on mining and oil industries operating in her native island for over a decade.


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Gruesome Buddies: ISIS Beheadings and the American Death Penalty

Gruesome Buddies: ISIS Beheadings and the American Death Penalty.

“What is certain is that we, too, execute innocent people. We just do it after spending a lot more money to cover our asses.” (Photo: Truthout.org)

We are going to war again in Iraq and expanding the bombing to Syria, the seventh country in the Middle East to be graced with American bombings since 2001 (not including Gaza-Palestine, where American bombs are piloted by Israeli largesse). We’re doing this why? Because two Americans and a Brit were beheaded and American media whipped public opinion into a frenzy over it. The same media shrugged when 200,000 Syrians were butchered over the past three years, most of them by the same guy to whom the U.S. Air Force is about to give aid and comfort. The same media chest-thumped and encouraged the butchery of 2,000 Palestinians in July, about a quarter of them children, when Israel launched its latest massacre of Gaza residents. The killing was carried out mostly with weapons you and I paid for. But let the jingoes parade YouTube beheadings and Anglos, and suddenly it’s time to care.

At least this much is clear: we either don’t know what we want in Middle East or don’t have a clue how to go about getting what we want. We are not expanding the war again for humanitarian or strategic reasons. We are doing so as an emotional response, and because the president’s spine has been replaced with Playdoh. The beheadings were gruesome. And the brutality of the Islamic State is indisputable. But neither adds up to a compelling reason to step up the killing and get back into billion-dollar waste.

More to the point: we have no moral ground to stand on when it using the Islamic State’s bloodlust for execution as a spark plug for intervention. We do it all the time, just as gruesomely. Rick Scott has signed the death warrants of 13 people in his brief tenure as governor, a faster rate of executions than any of his predecessors in a four-year term. Florida has executed 81 people since re-instituting the death penalty in 1979, and the United States has executed almost 1,400 since 1976. We don’t show it on YouTube, because we’re ashamed while pretending to be civilized. We  hide it behind a grotesque dead-man-walking ritual that poses as solemnity.

But I fail to see how less gruesome it is than beheadings, particularly when we have a shameful record of executions gone wrong, whether it’s a head exploding in flames in our own Starke prison or injections’ lethality proving more leisurely than advertised, to the gasping inmate’s realization.

There are also some misconceptions about beheading as a method of execution. It’s not an Islamic invention. It’s a western invention. The Greeks and Romans, founders of our civilization and all things grisly, considered beheading the privileged way of dying, because it was quicker, more certain and less painful than other ways. They reserved the—what, favor, in their eyes?–for their own citizens. Non-Romans, as we well know from Jesus’s experience, got crucified. European countries subsequently reserved beheadings for their aristocrats. All European countries have since abolished the death penalty altogether, finding the act, not just the method, gruesome.

A few more backward countries are still at it of course, including Pakistan, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, which still has public beheadings. In that regard, those countries are no different than the Islamic State. And in that regard, we’re no different, either. We don’t behead people. At least not intentionally. That went out of style in the West with the retirement of the guillotine in Paris in 1977. But we electrocute them, lethally inject them, gas them, hang them or execute them by firing squad, as they still do in Oklahoma and Utah, though the two states, because they have such good hearts, also give prisoners the option of getting injected instead.

The conventional assumption, well-heeled by the American death penalty’s fans and PR specialists, is that capital punishment by these means is more humane, and that it’s more justified than the beheading of innocents. Murdering innocent people as the Islamic State does is barbaric. But it’s the fact that they murder them to start with that makes it barbaric, not the method. It’s not clear how less barbaric lethal injection is just because we say it is.

As for murdering the innocents: In Florida alone, 23 people have been exonerated off death row after conviction, after unexpected evidence turned up. Imagine how many people have been killed here and in other states who, on more careful review, would have been proven innocent. What is certain is that we, too, execute innocent people. We just do it after spending a lot more money to cover our asses. That’s without getting into the racism of a death penalty system that is far more likely to sentence blacks than whites for the same crime. So much for due process.

There may be a few legitimate reasons to attack the Islamic State, though I’d prefer it if Arabs were attacking them, not us. The Islamic State’s method of executions is not among those. Otherwise, we should be bombing ourselves. When it comes to capital punishment, not much separates us from the butchers of the Islamic State. That we do it in English, with more recognizable uniforms and behind closed doors doesn’t make it any less backward, any less barbaric, any less repulsive. This moral high ground can’t be claimed until the death penalty is abolished.