What if, in defeating obesity, we get worse bodies and new and serious medical conditions?
These obesity drugs are changing everything. If you are badly overweight, they are transformational. Since there are so many people in this category globally, we can expect huge numbers of people to take them eventually. In the developed countries this could even be as high as 30-40% of the population. So, socially potentially hugely disruptive.
If I was overweight but now due to the pill, I am no longer in the category of obese. I am normal, even slender. No longer do I have to worry about the food I eat, well maybe not so much. So, my eating habits change, a lot.
I used to exercise a lot, but now it doesn’t matter, at least from a weight perspective. Do I continue to exercise even when it won’t make any change to my weight?
Exercise didn’t used to make me lighter anyway, but back then I didn’t know that. I had swallowed the fiction that exercise would solve my weight problem. Now, I know that was just a feel-good story to keep gyms and health professionals in business.
So, it’s likely that many people are going to give up exercise if they go on obesity drugs. There might be a small proportion of people who will keep exercising once they start with these drugs, but not so many and the chances are that they will represent a declining minority of all obesity drug patients.
Exercise takes time. More if you go the gym, less if you do it at home. If you exercise, you have to set aside time to do it. People are usually pretty busy. So, there’s going to be huge pressure to give up exercise not only because it won’t make you lighter anyway, but because it eats into other activities which you can’t do because you are using valuable time to keep fit, if not hopefully well.
What will most people actually use the extra time they have available if they don’t use it for exercise? How about looking at their mobile phones and social media? Of course, that will lead them to do even less exercise in the form of walking, moving, less of other types of physical activity.
Chances are that this new human condition of even less exercise will lead to new forms of medical conditions as our bodies and organs are used less and new types of medical conditions emerge. New forms of diabetes, say diabetes type 4 (as compared to diabetes type 3, the emerging name for Alzheimer’s). More cancer and neurodegeneration maybe? More dementia at earlier ages perhaps?
The obesity drugs will thus lead to even more social transformations. Less exercise, more screen time. Our use of time will shift even more to the online. Chances are that will lead to an expansion of AI as we collectively shift to new things to do to soak up the new time, we have available.
The Devil makes work for idle hands…
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