Monday, June 21, 2010

Great New Word to Throw at Junk Food and Sloth

Today on  NPR I  heard a Harvard University research scientist refer to sugar-sweetened soft drinks as obesogenic substances. I was so thrilled to hear this word and so sure that it was a neologism,  that I checked up on it at wordman  Michael Quinion's word-site World Wide Words and (word!) discovered that while it was not coined yesterday (and so not a neologism) it's only a  little over a decade old and still not used much. 

The meaning of obesogenic is pretty much what you think it is. According to Michael Quinion it is

from obese plus the ending -genic, something tending to generate or create. It refers to conditions that lead people to become excessively fat — a worrying trend in developed countries, especially among young people, who are eating too much of the wrong things and not taking enough exercise. 
With a US national obesity rate currently cresting at 30% (JAMA ) I should think that we are going to be hearing and seeing this word a lot as researchers, health care providers and the fat-afflicted struggle to identify  obesogenic foods and life style choices.


nhallfreelance said...

I say we start a guerilla campaign, replacing store signage for the soda and chips aisles with signs reading "Obesogenics." The sad part is that the term sounds very much like the kind of bs science word that "food" manufacturers would use to sell products to unthinking consumers. I could see certain folks I know buying obesogenic chips as part of a healthy diet.

Tags said...

For overweight foodies, replace "foodies" with "beezers."

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