17 December 2004


How many times have you heard that news that so-and-so was so thin when he left for the States, but when he came back years later, you couldn't recognize him because of the added pounds?

Well, don't be surprised anymore.

A new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirms this widely held observation:

CHICAGO Dec 14, 2004 -- Long-term exposure to American culture may be hazardous to immigrants' health. A new study found that obesity is relatively rare in the foreign-born until they have lived in the United States the land of drive-thrus, remote controls and double cheeseburgers for more than 10 years.

Only 8 percent of immigrants who had lived in the United States for less than a year were obese, but that jumped to 19 percent among those who had been here for at least 15 years. That compared with 22 percent of US-born residents surveyed.

"Part of the American dream and sort of life of leisure is that you also have some of the negative effects, and obesity is one of the major side effects of the success of technology and just having a life of leisure," said co-author Dr. Christina Wee of Harvard Medical School. "It's a double-edged sword."

[ABC News]

The abstract of the JAMA study can be read here.

I'm sure most Filipinos will just ignore this finding. Most of them still do not realize the dangers of becoming overweight or fat. Or may be they do, but still think it's really not that important.

I mean, if most of them would rather get kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents than die of starvation here, then they might just ask, "What the heck is wrong with getting fat in the US?"

You'll never know the REAL ANSWER until you're sick and lying in a hospital bed sometime in the future.

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