For Caucasians obesity is defined as a body mass index, BMI, over 30. For Asians, it is over 26. Asians tend to have smaller bones and muscles for the same height. While most statistics have been reported in terms of BMI of more importance for the development of lifestyle diseases is the, internal abdominal fat known as visceral fat. A better measure of the health effects of obesity is waist circumference at the level of the umbilicus but it hasn’t been routinely measured. In phone surveys it’s much easier to ask about height and weight. For optimal risk reduction waist circumference should be less than half the height. This rule is independent of age, race and sex. Below this level dangerous levels of visceral fat are avoided.
1987. The first statin, Mevacor, is licensed.
2004. Seventeen years of statins.
The acceleration in the incidence of obesity began in the early 1990’s in all of the “Westernized” countries of the world. Unless there was a pandemic of a virus which destroyed the “baristat” regulating body weight we must hypothesize a factor which destroyed the desire of people to avoid the well-known consequences of gluttony. This factor is quite likely the introduction of the first statin, Mevacor, in 1987. The implication of extensive drug-funded medical terrorism was that not to measure one’s blood cholesterol was a death sentence but all one had to do was lower it with statins and one could eat anything, a classic case of moral hazard, an unintended consequence of technology. While some critics have tried to deny the obesity epidemic its consequences are now obvious, expensive and disastrous. Food, especially when highly-refined, with high concentrations of sugar, salt and mouth-comforting grease, can be addictive. See our photo essay on Food Addiction. Drugs for lifestyle diseases are unethical when prescribed before lifestyle change because they only exacerbate the addiction.
If you want to see what the future will look like take a trip to Disney World in Orlando. This ?women is eating a Mickey Mouse shaped chocolate coated Ice cream bar. The two mouse ears have already been consumed. Total calories about 500. That is more than a quarter of the calories she should consume for the whole day. Food addiction kills and maims more people than all other addictions combined. Statins only encourage food addiction by promising to obviate the destructive consequences.
If the the average attendance at Disney World is a harbinger of the future here is what it will look like. So far the predictions have been very conservative. It is always possible that with current (2008) huge rises in oil and food prices people may see a financial if not health advantage to calorie restriction. But price never affected cocaine or heroin addicts and as yet food costs have not resulted in reduction of food consumption.