Girth, God, and Country


Nativists who fret that today's immigrants aren't assimilating can pull up to the buffet table, loosen their belts, and relax. The Washington Times reports that

…obesity is relatively rare in the foreign-born until they have lived in the United States—the land of drive-throughs, remote controls and double cheeseburgers—for more than 10 years.

Only 8 percent of immigrants who had lived in the United States for less than a year were obese, but that jumped to 19 percent among those who had been here for at least 15 years. That compared with 22 percent of U.S.-born residents surveyed.

The story is based on a study published in JAMA today. One of its authors concludes that chubby immigrants are just living the American Dream, with sugar on top:

"Part of the American dream and sort of life of leisure is that you also have some of the negative effects, and obesity is one of the major side effects of the success of technology and just having a life of leisure," said co-author Dr. Christina Wee of Harvard Medical School. "It's a double-edged sword."

Whole thing here. Last summer, Jacob Sullum asked whether the size of your butt is the government's business (even the office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). And I suggested that the spirit of America resides almost exclusively in distended waistbands of every pair of stretch-fabric jeans from sea to shining sea.