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Interesting piece in the New York Times about how scientists are beginning to believe that one of the reasons that obesity has become such a large issue is that so many people have stopped smoking.

Essentially, the argument goes, people are putting doughnuts in their mouths whereas they used to put cigarettes.

The good news is that even as obesity becomes epidemic in nature, “the nation also is healthier. Life expectancy has gone up by more than six years over the past three decades, and heart disease, long the major killer, is on the wane,” the NYT reports. And if obesity isn’t a good thing, it certainly isn’t as bad a problem as cigarette smoking.

The notion of unintended consequences also affects other public health issues. Because people are living longer than ever, it means that society has to deal with other diseases that never used to be a problem, simply because most people didn’t live long enough to contract them.

Scientists note that there hasn’t been a direct clinical connection made between the decline in the smoking and the increase in waistlines, for the statistical correlation certainly seems clear.
KC's View:
Perhaps the object lesson is that people are always going to have bad habits. It’s just that some habits are more destructive than others…

Or, as a philosopher/troubadour once sang:

    Bank of bad habits
    The price of vice foretold
    One by one they'll do you in
    They're bound to take their toll
    The wrong thing is the right thing until you lose control
    I've got this bank of bad habits in a corner of my soul…