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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 8, 2007 / 23 Menachem-Av, 5767

A little fat between friends is ... too much

By Betsy Hart


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Why am I not surprised? Second hand obesity has now been documented.


That according to a study just out in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, and funded by the National Institute on Aging.


AP science writer Alicia Chang summarized the study this way — "If your friends and family get fat, chances are you will too, researchers report in a startling new study that suggests obesity is (both) 'socially contagious' and can spread easily from person to person."


The study found that one's chances of becoming obese through "contagion" is most significant when it comes to good friends, even friends who live far apart, much more so than among those who swim in the same gene pool. If your pal becomes obese, your chances of tipping the scales too much will go up 57 percent; 40 percent if your sibling becomes overweight; and 37 percent if your spouse does.


Two-thirds of Americans are now overweight or obese. Obesity is America's second leading cause of preventable death, after smoking, and it's fast closing in on becoming number one. It claims about three hundred thousand lives a year.


The finding that it's social relationships, not genetic ones, which offer the biggest risk in weight gain just — again — reiterates that obesity is not primarily about random genetic malfunction. It's about a generation of us who just can't say no to anything, including food. But it's becoming increasingly clear that it's also very much about a food culture that feeds that lust pun intended.


In any event, the idea that this is "startling" to researchers is the element of all this that I find most, well, startling. I've written in the past that I genuinely feel obese people, particularly the rapidly growing number of obese kids, present a health risk to my kids. After all, when my children look around and see overweight and obese people and children everywhere, it could easily make them think it's, well, at some level OK.


It's just human nature to think that "everybody is doing it" or "that guy is doing it even more than I am — so no problem!"


And seeing food itself everywhere only "feeds" into this too.


I hear from friends who tell me about the office "foodie." The typcially heavy person who fills his or her desk with chocolates, potato chips, cookies and is always ready to share.


If one is struggling with weight — that's a way to fail. Where are the second-hand smoke police when you need them?


Why can't such people be told, "this is a snack free zone," and then be forced to suck down the goodies outside the front door of the office on a freezing cold day? Seriously.


But if the "foodie" doesn't get you, the food culture might. Snacks and goodies at every church, school, or kids' event, it's always somebody's birthday in the office (don't we have to have cake?) and the grotesquely huge portion sizes at most restaurants, especially when it comes to desert, never cease to amaze me.


I continue to think that resisting this stuff is ultimately up to each one of us. (We had junk food when I was a kid, too.) But more and more, I'm beginning to see that the increasingly ubiquitous food culture is becoming something like our increasingly ubiquitous pornographic culture.


It's just everywhere. And so a good thing, sex, food, in the right context, becomes a perverted, controlling monster in the wrong one.


If that perversion is not of interest to you in the first place, of course, it might not matter how much is around you, you typically won't succumb to it. But if you have a weakness for the stuff at all, watch out. It can destroy you.


In other words, this latest study shows — again — that Americans have to wake up and stop taking our obesity epidemic ... so lightly.

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JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

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