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Thursday, December 4, 2008

things to ponder

It was my turn to present to the group in our Journal Club meeting today. The last one for this year.

I talked about the relationship between marital status & gender and food insecurity. We always thought that women are more likely to report food insecurity after a divorce, but this article proves otherwise. Divorced men are more likely to have food insecurity.

While mounting evidence is available on food insecurity is related to obesity, especially among women, looking at the marital status is an interestingly new area. Evidence shows that in men, the worse food insecurity gets in a household, their body weight tend to decrease compared to fully food secure men. As oppose, in women, they tend to become overweight and obese as the food insecurity level getting worse. We always thought that women-headed household or single parent might likely to have food security problems. Nevertheless this is not always the case.

Another interesting point to note is that men will get heavier after marriage. This is because their eating habits have been influenced by their partners'. Another theory is most married people tend to eat more with families around, and they are happy and well taken care of. Some papers said that getting married will make you heavier and getting divorce will make you loose weight. For me this might be transitional, while they try to cope with the changes of the situation. But it might be right for most men, as they do not normally cook or do the food shopping.

All in all, targeting obesity problems has become more complicated. While the epidemics has become major problem, the caused and factors contributing to overweight and obesity discovered has also varied. It used to be a disease of the wealthy, but now it spread among the poor. We thought people with full access to food will become fat easier, but now people with not enough food to eat are fatter. What's next?

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