“Spreading rapidly and extensively by infection and affecting many individuals in an area or population at the same time, as of a disease or illness. (Source: The American Heritage Medical Dictionary, by Houghton Mifflin Company)
I’m going fly in the face of our current media and government rhetoric by saying NO, OBESITY IS NOT AN EPIDEMIC. There is no virus, infection, or transmission mechanism that would characterize a true epidemic. It would certainly be true to say that obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Unlike epidemics, however, the solution is not a breakthrough medical “cure” or eradication of a virus.
So, why is the term ‘epidemic’ used so frequently with regard to obesity?