Kevin Patterson compares global obesity and diabetes rates:
Afghans die through causes that are widely considered avoidablewar being chief among those, but also tuberculosis, complications of childbirth, measles, meningococcus and polio. This fact is revealed conclusively by the life expectancy in Afghanistan, the lowest in the world: thirty-nine. Westerners are made ill by diseases the Afghans avoideven among the very elderly, traditional peoples do not suffer cardiovascular diseasewhile the Afghans perish from diseases we are too rich to tolerate.
Patterson blames Western obesity on urbanization:
For all its magnificent and extensive wilderness, 87 percent of the [Canadian] population lives in a community with at least ten thousand neighbours. Afghans are at the other end: less than 12 percent live in cities. No lattes, no internet, no phone, no pool. And no XXXL elastic stretch pants. After wealth and death rates, the biggest difference between Afghanistan and Canadaand the hallmark of the world’s creeping homogeneityis urbanization.