Tag Archives: Obesity

Fat by choice: a quest for meaning

Amer Toutonji Charleston, South Carolina, USA   Tom-Ton – Fat Boy. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0 An early bird, Brian wakes up no later than 5:30 am to get on with the first meal of the day: twelve eggs and ten sausages, or their equivalent. Most recently weighing in at 530 pounds, Bryan, or […]

Fasting: for body and spirit

Isabel Azevedo Porto, Portugal   St. Catherine of Siena was known for rigorous fasting and abstinence. Her fast was so severe at times that it was questioned by her sisterhood and the clergy, who insisted she eat properly. Having struggled with the obesity epidemic for decades,1,2 the scientific and health care communities are now giving […]

What could have been

Gordon Sun Downey, California, USA     By Stephanie Chen and Gordon Sun Every year, there are 400 stories like these. The second-year medical student. The social butterfly of her 106 classmates, yet her bubbly personality masks the loneliness of living on one coast after spending the first twenty-five years of her life on the […]

The tempestuous reign of King Sugar: superfood to health hazard

John Turner Liverpool, United Kingdom   Sugar Loaf and Victorian Sugar Scissors, ‘Nippers’ c.1850. Islington Education Collection, London “What am I to buy for the sheep-shearing feast? Three pounds of sugar, five pound of currants . . .” – William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, Act IV Scene iii, 36-49 A scarce, expensive luxury sweetener for two thousand […]

Life at the table

Isabel Azevedo, MD, PhD Universidade do Porto, Portugal   Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 1412 – 1416 Herman, Paul, and Johan Limbourg Musée Condé, France In the days when human time was organized differently and every hour had its meaning, meals were community events, mostly family events, where people met to socialize as […]

Rice and reason

Wendy J. Gu Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA   Nian gao may be deep fried for New Year’s Day Rice, noodles, breads, buns, and pancakes all appear in traditional Chinese cuisine, but white rice is the ultimate staple. It can be found at all meals, from breakfast to dinner to dessert, in various guises and preparations, but it […]

A culpable culture: underlying factors in obesity among Hispanic women

Sarah Bahr Indianapolis, Indiana, USA   La maja vestida, c. 1803, Francisco Goya The modern obesity epidemic is an extensive, and growing, problem worldwide. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that the obesity rate doubled among adults and the number of overweight children tripled […]

The unconscious eater – The modern glutton

Goutham Rao  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania   It is a basic truth, well known to physicians and many others, that the size of one’s body is an accurate reflection of how much one eats. As a physician specializing in caring for overweight and obese children, I know how difficult this is for many to accept. Telling overweight […]

Obesity and art

Bojana Cokić Zajecar, Serbia   Obesity is the oldest and most common metabolic disorder of humans, as shown even by the sculptures of ancient civilizations, the Greek caryatids, and Egyptian sphinxes and mummies. Many artists have painted it on their canvases as seen through the prism of their artistic eye and in accordance with the […]