Why Asia Has No Obesity Problem

What America can learn from Asia where there is no obesity problem.

For the last three years I have gone to a different Asian country each year: Vietnam, Laos, and Malaysia.  Last night I woke up with a start as it occurred to me that obesity is not a problem in any of those countries!  Holy smokes! Entire countries without obesity problems.  I dont think I saw a single obese person in any of those countries, and I only saw a very rare person that could stand to lose 10 pounds. How is it that America with all its medical technology, gastric bypasses, and wealth gets fatter and fatter every year where less wealthy Asian countries have the obesity problem licked!  The answer is startlingly simple.

I was in Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia for two to three weeks in each country for a total of eight weeks.  In that eight weeks, I ate in about 160 food establishments.  In not one of those 160 restaurants was dessert offered or was it on the menu.  How un-American is that?  In America, if a meal doesnt end with a piece of Apple pie or chocolate cake its not complete.  In Asia, “dessert” is fruit!  Without even asking, they bring out a plate of fruit at the end of the meal and the table shares it, each spearing the fruit you want with your toothpick.  There are no fudge stores in the tourist attractions.  There is no cotton candy at the street markets.  There are no candy bars at gas stations or convenience markets.  They do have 7-11 stores in Malaysia but imagine this, they dont have candy nor do they have double big gulps!  I was incredulous.  What could 7-11 possibly sell if they didnt sell candy or sugar containing sodas?  In the USA, that occupies 50% of their floor space.

I think you see where I’m going here and the connection I’m going to draw.  Countries where sugar and simple carbs (empty calories) are commonly consumed like the USA have an obesity problem whereas countries where sugar, candy, and cake are not available are lean.  Is the solution to obesity that simple?  Well, its not that simple.  Why dont Asian countries like sweets but Americans crave them?  Is it cultural or genetic?  My guess is that if it were only cultural that we would have imported our bad sugar habits to Asia long ago like we exported our cigarette habit to them.  My guess is that there must be a genetic component to sugar craving.   Genentech, are you listening?  Come up with a product that eliminates the craving for sugar and you will make literally hundreds of millions of dollars a year on the first effective fat loss pill!

OK, there is a second component to why Asian countries have no obesity problem.  From what I saw, its secondary but its definitely worth noting: they are far more active than Americans.  They get a lot more exercise in daily life than the average American.  In America, we complain about our traffic problems but we are whiners.  We sit in our air conditioned cars while drinking our double frapachinos and dripping juice from our big macs on our big distended bellies while sitting in traffic and talking on our iPhones.  In big cities like Hanoi, the traffic is so bad as to be mind boggling.  Its literally a sea of mopeds.  Trying to drive a car is crazy, most people prefer to walk.  Cars are luxuries that few can afford, even mopeds are out of the reach of many – so they walk.  Walking and bicycles as transportation.  Most Americans do not associate walking and bikes as transportation, but rather consider them sport or exercise.  Its why their is so little respect or consideration for cyclists in America, they are “needlessly” taking up road space that rightfully belongs to that two ton car.

One last thing that should be mentioned, because of many Asians genetic intolerance to alcohol, they consume far less alcohol per capita than we do.  Alcohol is the worst of the simple carbs because it has nearly twice the calorie density of sugar.  There is a reason its called a “beer belly” in America!  Its not uncommon for an American to have a six pack on both Saturday and Sunday.  If someone who was maintaining their weight starts drinking two six packs every weekend they will gain 27 pounds of fat in a year!  Yes, alcohol is a big part of the American obesity problem too.  Asians dont consume sugars, either white refined sugar nor the sugars in alcohol.

So, why doesnt Asia have an obesity problem?  Its because 1) they dont eat sugars and 2) they exercise more.  Sound famailar?  Look at my page on how to lose weight.  I say its as simple as 1-2-3:

  1. eat a little bit less (by cutting out a few sweets for example)
  2. exercise a little bit more (by biking to work instead of driving for example)
  3. drinking more water

63 thoughts on “Why Asia Has No Obesity Problem”

  1. I dont know how much being poor has to do with obesity as a lack of willpower to eat right. For example, last week i went to safeway and got 8 chicken skinless breasts for like 10 dollars. They are a healthy food, and they were fairly cheap.You can get veggies to fairly cheaply.

  2. I have a problem. Both my parents are extremely fat and so is my little sister. My older brother eats and drinks ANYTHING he wants and has the body of a god. I was the biggest in my family until I joined the highschool wrestling team as a freshman. Now I workout religiously, eat mostly fruits and vegetable, and ONLY drink water. Sometimes on the weekends I give in cause I have nothing to do and there is a noticeable difference in my physique just from two days of giving in. I try day in and day out to get my family to eat better and exercise at least a little bit. But it always ends in a fight and I give up. I mean I cant control them, but its really hard to be the only healthy person in a household of 5 and Im only 17 making minimum wage so its not like I can move out.. ANY IDEAS????

    1. ScoobyForPresident_BrinkForGod

      I think the best advice possibly is that you continue being on your path dedicated to health and fitness. Sometimes it is easier (mostly for it is undeniable) to teach by example rather than by words. Even the most thickheaded person can’t truly deny what he/she witnesses with the own eyes. If I understood you right you have made some real progress already, going from being the biggest to become most likely the fittest and toughest in your family. And that’s great!

      Stick to it and your family will see the permanent difference. Make a statement by maintaining this lifestyle, so they see this is not just a temporary thing or a fashion trip. If you train right and consequent, nobody will be able to take or argue away your gains in energy, muscle and vitality. And that is what I exactly mean by teaching by example.

      The difficulties to talk your family in living more healthy might have several reasons. As far as your parents go – maybe the thought that their kid now tries to come across as their authority on nutrition and lifestyle doesn’t sit to well with ’em.^^ But regardless what the reason is. Don’t put to much pressure on you. Ultimately it is upon your family members to do the math and turn things around. The best you can do is to be the forerunner (literally) and show them the difference. But don’t brag about it and avoid to be too schoolmasterly. People – unfortunately – have often overwhelming resistance mechanics when it comes to defending their bad habits. So to convince somebody to drop this or that habit or to develop a more healthy lifestyle can be really hard. And it can be seldom done by mere words.

  3. you need to one more important thing that is Asians usually eat by chop sticks and phycologically you cannot eat much with chopsticks and time consumed is more so u feel full stomach though its not. secondly less oil and more of soups with lots of green.

  4. my dad works at genentech. haha.
    i dont think they could ever make a pill like that. people just need to use some plain simple ol damn self discipline and deny themselves it. its purely psychological.

  5. i live in the us, growing up in poverty with a family of 9 we only ate once a day at home and once at school. fast food take out was a delicacy to us, everyone in my family was thin we only ate lentils and cheap bread, it wasnt until we all got older and got jobs til we started drinking coffe, energy drinks, fast food, heavily processed foods, that we started to get fat.

  6. If only I could find a job close enough to walk or bike to….Not really a fair comparison in a wide open and spread out land such as the USA. But it would be great to encourage less driving and more biking/walking when possible.

  7. im malaysian,my mothers family consists of 75% obese persons.my sisters obese and shes only 10.
    there are a lot of lazy malaysians out there, riding motorbikes even when going to markets less than 100 meter. we just love going out at night hanging out at the mamak cafes with oily foods and sweet drinks.god knows how malaysians love their food. and demographically we eats white rice as staple food its just cultural difference but the basis is that everybody loves foods. and im wondering how can you not find overweight person in malaysia.

    heck im used to be overwieight.and im one of the lucky malaysian who found this website and managed to lose 25 kgs in less than 6 month.

  8. Scooby,
    Couldn’t agree with you more on all accounts. A similiar conclusion can be made about “healthcare” and drugs in this country. We have (as you said) the most developed medical technology, but one of the poorest health records (37 out of 191 countries), whereas some third world countries are healthier overall (less diseases and longer lives) than Americans. We don’t just get fatter and fatter, but sicker and medicine (drugs), while good in emergencies have no business in real healthcare. Drugs are poison, pure and simple, to be used only in extreme cases. However, trillions are being made yearly, so keeping the populace stupid (as opposed to promoting real health) is a vested interest to be protected!!
    You are so far ahead of the pack on all your thinking, and I’ve learned so much and progressed in my training much more in the past year, than in all the other 20+ since I started pushing iron. Thanks so much!
    Greg

    PS-Have a great holiday and say hello to Hans! Come to think of it, haven’t seen him lately, is he on sabbatical?

      1. Philipp,
        I’ll name two; Sweden and Finland, both of which according to the original definition, (not the pejorative which came later) following World War 2 when the term “third world” was coined (meaning countries not aligned with capitalism or communism), are in the top 7 healthiest countries!
        Happy Holidays!
        Greg

          1. Philipp,
            Sweden and Finland were neutral at the time the term “third world” was started. Did you read my original explanation at all? They did have reading comprehension and history where you went to school, didn’t they?!
            Besides, this isn’t a political discussion and my point was quite simple; the US is the “gold standard” in medicine, and therefore if medicine was the answer to health, we should be number one. We’re not even in the top 10! We’re treating symptoms not pursuing health, and as long as we continue down that road we’ll never be included in that list.
            Cheers,
            Greg

          2. You are confusing political alignment with socio-economic development.
            First World: industrialized, market economy, democracy
            Second Word: industrialized, planed economy, communistic party rule
            Third World: non-industrialized countries

          3. Philipp,
            I’m not confused. You are, and have been from the beginning. I recognized the two different definitions, hence my elaboration in my first reply.
            You made an erroneous assumption from the start; that I was referring to the definition that came later, the disparaging, socio-economic one. The original definition (yes, a political term) as I said, referred to any country not allied to either of the main powers. If you had made less of an effort to appear adroit, and instead, read my posts carefully you might have understood.
            However, this debate over terminology (one I will no longer have) is really just a diversion on your part to continually ignore my original point, that there are countries healthier than the US; and that for what ever reason has “ruffled your feathers”!
            If you’ve got nothing to add to that discussion, then please don’t bother anymore with this inane repetition, as it is getting both tedious and exceedingly boring!
            Nostrovia!
            Greg

  9. That´s also for Europe…Asian food is very healthy. Not enough protein? I doubt that, because in Japan you eat a lot of fish. A bit too much I guess. All that whale “research” ships.

  10. It’s not just america that has an obesity problem, most of Europe does too, speaking from England statistics show around half of all women are obese which is terrible, and means there’s a 50% chance you will end up with a fat chick.

  11. I agree with you Scooby (UK) our pallets have become used to sweet things and i for one have decided to watch my nutrition and have the urge for sweet things but manage to quash temptation. People are used to eating junk and being surrounded by it doesn’t help. Every supermarket is filled with junk at least 75 per cent of it is anyway. In UK we have problem of binge drinking aswell no other country in the world seems to have the obsession about drinking 8 pints and getting smashed on a friday night in the rest of Europe a couple of glasses of wine or the odd beer suffice. In the UK like the US it is tough as even in a supermarket only about 10 per cent of the stuff is of any nutritional value the rest is junk. And i’m not a ripped powerlifter just enjoy climbing and cycling.

  12. But if you came to South Korea… you would see a different picture. People are slowly becoming fat here due to the western influence in the diet. I see McDonalds and other fast food chains all over. It’s so sad to see this. I hope South Koreans wake up… before they become fat…

  13. I agree that asian nations have a better concept of food portion sizes than the west. they also usually have a variety of different side dishes offered in appetizer-size portions that either accompany / create the meals, with the base being vegetable or some kind of lean meat.
    eg japanese sashimi (sliced raw fish),
    tsukemono (assorted pickles),
    soups and tofu
    the staple gohan (bowl of rice),
    possibly 1 or 2 fried plates,
    drink of matcha (green tea).
    This would be an example of a traditional course meal in Japan. Note high fish intake = high protein / low carb, and the rice pretty much serves to fill you up + provide carbs. Round-robin type food isnt restricted to asian nations either: it is seen in europe too as ‘tapas’ in spain and in greek and italian culture to name a few. the objective is to encourage talking and ignore the small portion sizes. the time taken to eat miscellaneous small meals means your brain registers the feeling of ‘fullness’ better than when wolfing down a large-triple cheese burger combo.

    also note frying is not traditionally japanese; it is chinese. japanese traditional food was either raw or steamed/boiled etc. frying would explain why modern american chinese food is so bad for you: it combines the fat and grease america loves with the excessive consumption of a typical american into one neat little take-home box that serves only to swell your waistline. japanese sushi is such a better fast food option if faced, provided you arent choosing the deep-fried filled ones, or buying ten for yourself, of course :)
    japan also has the traditional okinawans, whose diet (among other things) makes them one of the most long-living peoples in the world. their diet exemplifies the meaning of food portion sizes and self-control. they practise hara-hachi-bu (腹八分) eight-stomach-parts, meaning eat until you are 80% full, which prevents overeating and gluttony and consequential weight gain.

    see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_diet
    (I know it is wikipedia, but at least it provides you with a basis to research from)

    source: european born-australia living, studying japan, japanese and general Japan-ness.

  14. Japan is perhaps richer than America and they still aren’t fat. In fact they have the least heart problems and have one of the highest ages of death. There’s a “supersize me” cultural issue in America regarding eating habits as well as overall laziness.

  15. I was going to comment on how you might have been overlooking our marketing and upsell culture but then I saw: “My guess is that if it were only cultural that we would have imported our bad sugar habits to Asia long ago like we exported our cigarette habit to them. My guess is that there must be a genetic component to sugar craving.”

    That’s an excellent point! Another possibility is still cultural- they have a culture of consuming fruit- which is very good for a dessert anyways. Also, when you already eat lots of fruit, it’s difficult to replace it sweets. I mean, ever eating a fresh, ripe Hawaiian papaya and then tried to eat a Reese’s cup afterwards? It’s no contest- the papaya wins hands down for me. I can’t stand durian but anyone who eats those doesn’t think anything else compares.

  16. Scooby, while agree with the epidemic of obesity that you mention. I have to respectfully disagree about the car thing. Our country has moved many people to suburbs and the majority of these places it is a NECESSITY to have a car, as even walking to the store is not feasible due to the distance. Other than that, yes people need to stop eating empty calories and get off their fat asses!

  17. I am surprised after reading that ” smoking habits were imported from America to Asia”. I doubt if this statement is true. Sorry if I am sounding rude. Just sharing my opinion.

    1. It’s very very true for anyone who’s traveled in Asia. Cigarettes are ubiquitous there. I understand how you can doubt this- I mean look at Beijing air. It’s like inhaling 20 cigarettes when I get off the plane- why would I still need cigarettes? But from a on-the-ground perspective I totally agree with Scooby here- definitely a lot of smoking there.

      And after rereading, I’m not sure if you’re also implying that you doubt the source of the smoking culture to spread to Asia. He is wrong about it being America in a literal sense, but if he’s referring to America in the metaphorical sense, as in Western culture, he’s absolutely correct.

  18. u idiot the countries u mentioined are third world countries, they cant afford the shit we have, how do i know, cause im from there, u think they magically resist sugar? they would eat it if they could, by the way my family is from laos they make unhealthy greasy shit too an often

  19. As a Malaysian living abroad, I noticed that a lot of westerners crave sugar-filled drinks and fatty foods as they are a part of their life.

    In Malaysia, it is still common for people to consume sugar drinks or soft drinks, but everyone is health concious as they know that consuming too much lead to bad health etc. In my point of view, this discipline is linked with ‘strict’ (well… stricter than the west) parenting linked to our childhood. Our parents rarely allow us to eat desserts like ice-cream or cotton candy after dinner and when eating out, they don’t allow us to drink coke or whatever sugar-filled soft drinks except for fresh juice, tea, coffee… As we grow order, we tend to only consume them in moderation or in rare occasions only.

    We are not willing to spend our money on them too even though we are ‘not’ poor.
    It’s not genetic or whatever as Scooby stated, its the environment you are in.
    Since moving to the U.K. and being surrounded by crazily amount of junk foods and soft drinks, I’ve changed from a conservative and thrifty Malaysian chinese teenager to a daily sugar beverage drinker and junk food fat loving eater. No joke, I’ve changed in less than 6 months after being in a brand new environment and sugar cravings just took over me. (I’ve drastically changed my habit and diet since being aware of that).

    Short, fighting obesity is almost impossible if you are in that environment, unless you manage to take them to Asia for 3 months and live in a new lifestyle, you’ll see the difference =)

  20. I have just returned to North America about two weeks ago having spent four years in Japan, and to add to Scooby’s comments I can tell you that everything here (in the US at least) is about 100 times sweeter than what’s served over there.

    Take Starbucks, for example: when I arrived in Japan, I always found that the Japanese soy chai latte had little to none of that sweet chai flavour goodness–so I always asked for a couple of extra pumps (a request that always garnered strange looks until I became a regular customer). After a while I became more concerned about my calorie consumption and adapted to the Japanese chai style, and it became ‘normal’.

    Returning to the US, the same soy chai latte at Starbucks (no extra pumps) is so incredibly sweet it almost fizzes in your mouth like soda pop! It’s in.SANE. And, it’s not just Starbucks! Every cafe I go to offers such incredibly sweet additives to their products I feel as though I’ve just consumed my entire daily calories in a single cup!

    When it comes to food, serving sizes here are about 200-300% of what’s served in Japan. Then, there’s the whole dessert phenomenon that Scoobs has mentioned. When people order cakes or other desserts there, it’s a little event around which friends have coffee or tea and really long conversation. It’s not inhaled rapidly capping off an already large meal as per the norm here in North America. I should add, though, that very often the serving sizes vs. the price for food in Japan is a complete rip-off. Don’t get me started on trying to ‘customize’ your meal orders there, either. Japan has how to eat healthy down to a near-science* –but actual food service lags far behind the US.

    Scooby’s main point is clear: odds are stacked against North Americans trying to successfully reduce their caloric intake / body fat and remain healthy. It’s important to be familiar with the caloric value of what you’re eating BEFORE looking at the menu. Once you know what your average daily calorie consumption is only then is it safe to enter the fat-inducing realm of the restaurant menu!

    *If you’re not vegan or vegetarian. Japan has a terribly long way
    to go in these respects.

  21. Yoko Joséphine Matsui

    I’m a Japanese and I believe Japan has the lowest obesity rate currently. So poverty or wealth has nothing to do with obesity. I’m rather upset with people who say poor are lean. I think there’s more obese people in low income group than high, in USA, isn’t it? It’s more of food preference issue. Genetic? What about Danish? I’ve been to USA or Europe several times and I do notice cakes or candies are a lot sweeter and have more sugar than Asian cakes or candies. Preference to consume simple carb or sugar plays bigger part. But Asians eat white rice which causes another issues. And we aren’t consuming enough protein/fat which makes us very small. So there’s no health heaven on earth.

    1. I agree with this. Being below the poverty level it can say it is so much harder to eat healthy. I have to spend a fortune on whole foods or I can get one of those 3 dollar everything included meals loaded with absolute crap. The horrible processed food is simply cheaper and I think it’s a tragedy that in America for the poor to eat they are almost forced to eat unnhealthy. It’s almost like someone is trying to get rid of the lower class…

    2. Poverty has a LOT to do with obesity. People with low incomes don’t often calculate the long-term benefits of shopping for pricier, healthy food options. Therefore, they go for the low-cost, low-nutrient, high-calorie food which leads to increased body fat and reduced energy.

      This economical/nutritional cycle perpetuates itself repeatedly, and now we find that occupants of the lowest-end of the income ratio are massively over-weight. A problem that once plagued the extremely wealthy (when they put on pounds as a display of wealth) now plagues the extremely poor!

      If low-income people recognized that spending more of the little money they had on healthier food, they would see this is this best possible long-term strategy: it improves both short and long-term mental and physical health, thus providing more energy and opportunity to climb out of the economical hole they started in.

      When low-income people do not make this calculation, the result in the short-term is obesity, lack or energy, and reduced mental aptitude. The long-term is even worse: as adults these people are likely to suffer from diabetes, or an array of other diseases, for which they will have to pay tons of cash on the drugs they’ll need just to stay alive.

      You’re correct when you say there’s no “health heaven on earth,” Yoko, but poverty and diet have very much to do with obesity, low energy, illness, and the motivation to educate oneself.

      1. Yoko Joséphine Matsui

        I agree with you, Marcel. But I still do not think it’s wealth or poverty issue. I gave a good thought about it and would like to provide a different view. It looks like countries with long history and old tradition have a food style that has been keeping its people healthy. USA is a relatively young country with diverse people, so it’s hard to establish a food culture that is suitable for everyone. It’s a great country with lot of talented people. But I think establishing a food culture requires 10 centuries or more.

        It’s easier to be healthy for people with established food traditions because eating mom’s food is enough. Mom’s food is always tasty with very inexpensive and healthy ingredients, at least for me.

        Till USA establishes good food tradition, its government must really educate people well to eat well with scientific approach. If its government is unwilling to do so to low income people, it’s more of political issue.

        And when it comes to politics, ummm. What can I say…

      2. Marcel is 100% correct, socio-economic stature has everything to do with obesity. Overly processed food are cheaper than whole food alternatives in most developed nations. This tends to be the opposite in developing or 3rd world nations. Highly processed, refined carbs are exceptionally prevalent in North Americas grocery Stores. It is amazing when you consider how much square footage in a grocery store is dedicated to processed, refined foods VS whole foods.

        1. The socioeconomic problem certainly plays a big role. But it is also a mentality issue. Especially in the western world. We are treated as consumers 24/7. And food is easily one of the biggest markets. So what kind of products go over? The products that can be marketed the easiest. And a low price tag is just one attribute. Also how convenient food is, plays a big role. All this processed crud is easy to market, because it requires no time and effort to prepare it. Nobody needs to be a cook to warm something up in the microwave. So all this unhealthy stuff is not only cheap, it also caters to people’s laziness. It requires no or just little preparation. Therefore, it doesn’t interfere with valuable TV-time. And on top of that it pummels the tongue in most tempting ways, due to sweet taste or greasy joy. Convenience and artificially ”improved” taste are also a significant part of the picture.

          It is a matter of the overall consumer’s lifestyle, which is encouraged more and more. You not only see this in the U.S. Here in Germany and many other European countries obesity is totally on the rise.

          Oh, and let’s not forget that poor people are often less educated and too lazy to change their ways.

          Greetings from Germany and stay healthy! Scooby – keep up your magnificent work here. It’s much appreciated and I love the new design.

      3. My only problem with this is I think for those of us trying to be healthy without the income to do so are left with choices I don’t see you understanding. Put yourself in the position of having to choose between healthy food or electricity or your very home. When budgets are stretched to the point most lower class budgets are stretched it is often decided by those few dollars. It is not like I can go ok, I have to east these next two weeks and I need electricity to survive and keep the food I buy fresh, I guess I will go with the cheaper electricity this time around so I can afford the healthier more expensive food option. I can’t speak for everyone below the poverty level as I preach health and healthy food to everyone who will listen, however, when it comes down to the end of the budget week and I am broke, I would much rather eat something of a lower nutritional value than freeze. It is a matter of survival for some folks that people who haven’t been forced to make these choices can’t understand.

    3. yeah, i am from mexico, which is technically a 3rd world sh*t hole and yet we’re 2nd fastest nation next to our american neighbors, the problem yeah its sugars and carbs and lack of exercise mainly

    1. i think everybody will like high fast foods because our bodys are made to save calories, as simple as that, However our minds are strong too, so you can get a point (like me) that when u ate those foods you just don’t like them.

      and yes, nice post =)

      1. Great reading!

        I can tell that here in Brazil, we have been increasing the obesity problems as well. We’re kind of an american colony in therms of capitalism, the brazilian middle class dream seems to be to live in the american lifestyle, which is terrible.
        We have been increasing economically, our streets have a lot more cars than before, shoppings are like anthills, and guess what? People are fatter and fatter!
        And yes, among the poor, the situation seem to be even worse. I think it’s a mix of not having nutritional information and money to buy decent food. It’s actually expensive to eat healthy! On the other hand, the rich are seduced by mcdonalds, sugar, alcohol, etc, and the constant appealing junkfood marketing just like in the US.

        I believe it’s capitalism’s fault. The way of the capitalist system is to have constant or even increasing consumption. It’s not important what you’re actually buying, as long as you ARE buying.
        This phenomenon ocurs in everything, everything is planned to be extremelly intresting before you buy and have an extremelly short lifetime after, a kind of “planned obsolescence”. So the act of buying becomes more important and more pleasant than the actual usefulness of the stuff you bought.
        Translating that logic to food, we see that the industry explores our survival instinct that makes high carb/high calories/sugar/fat be atractive, and develops products that contain only this junk, sacrificing the important nutrients of the food. So, if one businessman can invent something that you will be desperate to eat, regardless of what it will do to your body, it’s great for capitalism, because it will foment the economy, it will generate jobs, it will make people practice the act of buying more often, they will spend their money, and that’s the only single point of capitalism. Apply the extremelly advanced marketing techniques, especially directed for children, and the results are what we see today. Rich are fat because of alienated consumption, and the poor are fat because of ignorance and lack of money.
        Only the well informed, not poor, iron will persons will win the fight against capitalism, and be healthy. It’s very sad.

        Thanks Sooby for all your noble work!
        Leandro.

  22. They are also poor so most of these things as u said they can’t afford. I think as a nation progresses from poor to developing to wealthy people enjoy more luxury. I’m sure the US in preindustrial era had no obesity problem

    1. Yes Vietnam and Laos are poor but Malaysia is not by any means poor, in fact, in many ways its infrastructure is in much better shape than in America. I dont think poverty is part of the equation of obesity.

        1. And the value per capita? And the wealth distribution (because a country can have a high income per capita, while 95% of it is in the hands of very few)? And the cost of living (minimum wage in Portugal is 485€, but good luck finding a even a ROOM anywhere near lisbon for less than 200, then electricity for a family for less than €100, gas at 1.85€/L…)?

    2. What came first the human physiology? or the advancement of nations? I believe a country in luxury can still be healthy, and not be obese. Its what a civilizations people define as luxury thatbecomes a common social adoption of good or bad habits. The body’s use of different micro and macro nutrients is the same as it was in the dark ages.

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