Sean, a nurse who blogs at My Strong Medicine cites some studies showing that lab animals, and even feral rats are getting bigger decade by decade.
From the dawn of time, rats eat everything they can find and spend the rest of their time scurrying. So, is it something in the water?
If it were just kids, we could blame obesity on the cutbacks in phys-ed classes, school vending machines that sell high-calorie junk, and the substitution of videogames for kickball. If it were just adults, we could blame obesity on supersizing, fast-food meals, and pedestrian-unfriendly towns that force everyone into a car. But while 68 percent of American adults qualify as overweight or obese, and 17 percent of children do (compared with 5 percent in 1971), there are other increasingly pudgy populations. Meet some overweight pets, lab animals, and even urban rats.
Follow this link to Newsweek for the rest of the story.
Weight control is a multi-factor challenge. Willpower and physical activity are key. Still, human nature hasn’t changed since the 1970’s, and the rat-infested alleys haven’t changed the lifestyles of the rats infesting them.
It took a long time for society to figure out what cigarettes do to the body. This will take longer, because it’s not going to come down to one bad chemical in the environment, but complicated interactions between diet, lifestyle, demographics and microbiology. What a mess. I’m going to put this netbook down and wash some dishes, and burn a few calories while I’m at it.