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0 comments · August 30, 2012

Homeless and Overweight: Obesity Is the New Malnutrition

A new survey finds that one in three homeless people in Boston are clinically obese, a number that casts in relief the strange reality of food in the 21st century United States.

Not long ago, malnourishment was embodied by emaciation. Now it’s far more likely to be hidden in folds of fat.

“This study suggests that obesity may be the new malnutrition of the homeless in the United States,” wrote the researchers, led by Harvard Medical School student Katherine Koh, in an upcoming Journal of Urban Health study.

The findings are the latest and most dramatic illustration of what’s called the “hunger-obesity paradox,” a term coined in 2005 by neurophysiologist Lawrence Scheier to describe the simultaneous presence of hunger and obesity.

Around that time, a vernacular sea change occurred, with “hunger” and its connotations of starvation replaced by “food insecure,” a term more descriptive of people who might consume enough raw calories but not enough nutrients.

read more: Wired.com

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