Entering the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia feels like entering a military base. We were screened, pre-approved and rescreened before we could enter the premises and go through yet some more security checks. The CDC has a huge database of diseases, which makes them a target for bioterrorists. “Does that collection include Ebola?” I asked while searching for hand sanitizer. The answer was “yes”.
In one of the early books of the series Little House on the Prairie, On the Banks of Plum Creek, Laura's father Charles Ingalls travels hundreds of miles away to find work after grasshoppers destroyed their crops.
It’s around Christmas and on the way back he gets caught in a horrendous blizzard. He survived by digging himself into a snow bank and by eating all the Christmas candy he bought for Laura and Mary. At one point the blizzard lulls and he spots the light from a lamp in a window and realizes that he is just a few meters from his house.
The United States is the fattest country in the world. It is also one of the wealthiest.
Those two pieces of trivia are not unrelated. In fact, there’s a noted correlation between bulging pay cheques and burgeoning body mass. The World Health Organisation (WHO) notes that higher and upper middle-income earners are more than twice as likely to be overweight than lower income people.