Eating & Not Eating
Apparently the United States is suffering from two opposed epidemics at the same time. On the one hand there’s anorexia — that’s the eating disorder where you can starve yourself in a mistaken attempt to achieve an impossibly thinner, more perfect self. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, anorexia is “a hidden epidemic.” On the other hand, we have obesity – a not so hidden epidemic.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association as many as 10 million girls and women, and 1 million boys and men, have eating disorders. And the peak onset among girls comes at ages 11 to 13. At the same time, Cynthia Ogden, PhD, a CDC epidemiologist, along with other researchers, made a study of weight in the United States and discovered that 31 percent of adults are obese. Not only is one-third of our population obese, but two thirds are overweight. And obesity begins among the young: 15 percent of children and teenagers age 6-19 are overweight. Furthermore, Ogden reports that the proportion of obese people has been growing for the last few decades, particularly among blacks — 50 percent of all non-Hispanic black women are obese.
Whereas anorexia, or more properly anorexia nervosa, is a disorder of willful not eating, obesity comes partly from overeating but mostly from eating the wrong foods and drinking the wrong drinks. Obesity appears to be by far the greater of these two health problems. Indeed, if current trends continue, the health problems spawned by obesity alone will overwhelm our health system. We’re reporting these twin epidemics just in case you haven’t got enough to worry about.
The illustration above this piece is, of course, Jack Sprat, who ate no fat, and his wife, who ate no lean. And if you don’t know the Jack Sprat nursery rhyme, we’re really sorry about your neglected childhood. Our particular version of the couple who licked the platter clean was done, we believe, by Frederick Richardson for Mother Goose, the original Volland edition, in 1915. We don’t know what Jack Sprat is doing with that knife, but we think it will give little children the wrong idea of how to handle a cutting utensil.
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Gene Mirabelli writes most of the posts here, so we're very pleased to announce that his recent novel, Renato, the Painter, has won a first prize for Literary Fiction in the 2013 Independent Publisher (IP or "IPPY") Book awards.
The Awards program was created to highlight the year’s most distinguished books from independent publishers. Award winners are chosen by librarians and booksellers who are on the front lines, working everyday with patrons and customers. Some 125 books competed for the literary fiction Gold Medal. These books are examples of independent publishing at its finest.
Publishers Weekly says "In prose as lusty and vigorous as Renato himself, Mirabelli captures the feeling of coming to terms - ready or not - with old age." For more about the writer and his book, turn to our contact page or to the author's web site.
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