Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2004


This Article is not so much about the scales we use to measure weight, but the scales we use to infer causation and assign responsibility-including the scales of justice. Ultimately, the problem we face is not obesity itself. Obesity is only a symptom of the problem. When scientists and public health experts point to various environmental agents-whether larger portion sizes, corn subsidies, video games, or urban sprawl-they, too, overlook the deeper source of our troubles. Our real problem is that we have an extremely difficult time seeing and understanding the role of unseen features in our environment and within us and too readily attribute responsibility and causation to the more obvious "personal choices" of the obese.



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