Monday, March 09, 2009

Breakfast of Champions

This week's Economist shared some figures on obesity in West Virginia in light of a discussion of health care reform.  Among the figures is that in one metro area, 77% of adults are overweight and 46% are clinically obesce.
Personally, I find those figures to be among the most depressing and demoralizing I can find in the news today.   Yes, our economic woes are regrettable, and yes, in many cases economic strain goes hand in hand with poor health, but I think we'd do well to start with our bodies and worry about our banks afterword.

I'm no health-nut, and my freezer looks a lot like Tony Hseih's, but I'd feel awfully bad about myself if I didn't feel more fit than most folks around me.  Sure, it's all relative and too-easily sated by the plumetting health-standards around me, but at least we're better than most.  

When asked why they buy (and eat)such huge amounts of lard, West Virginians simply respond that "we always have", yet West Virginians havn't always been fat.   Working in coal mines 12 hours a day doesn't leave time for getting fat (just getting emphazima).

Kurt Vonnegut dogs on West Virginia in Breakfast of Champions, which, coincidently, I just finished. I wasn't remarkably impressed or enthralled. I've read only limited Vonnegut, and none recently, but it struck me as heavy-handed and self-indulgent. It rings of a wildly-liked only because of it's author's existing fame. As a stand-along work...I'm unimpressed, though I won't pretend to have considered it too deeply. It just didn't seem to warrant it.

Code Complete is actually looking quite a lot more promising...and part II of Don Quixote may be on the way.

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