Thursday, 11 October 2007

Cuba's economic crisis: good for health?

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The economic crisis that hit Cuba in the 1990s was generally considered to be a bad thing, except in one regard -- the health of Cubans. Since then, it's become apparent to researchers that the rates of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and obesity have significantly dropped, according to this interesting article from the New York Times.

Why? Well, hard times forced Cubans to eat less than usual -- from 2,899 to 1,863 calories on average a day, which is usually regarded as a healthy amount. Plus they were forced to trade in driving their cars for walking and bicycling.

Still, it's kind of sad the poverty is the only thing that really leads to major change in the war against obesity. We North Americans would never wish to fall on hard times like that, but it would sure solve a lot of weight problems, don't you think?

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