When the Soviet empire began to unravel in 1989, Cuba was hit with serious food and fuel shortages. From 1991 to 1995, people were getting only about 1800 calories a day and had to walk or cycle wherever they needed to go.I offer two possible conclusions:
The result was an average drop in body mass index of 1.5 units, and a halving of the obesity rate to just 7 per cent. In the years that followed, deaths from potentially fatal diseases fell dramatically - diabetes by 51 per cent, coronary artery disease by 35 per cent and stroke by 20 per cent...
In countries like Canada and the US, where obesity rates are around 30 per cent, the gains from population-wide weight loss would be even greater, the authors argue.
1. People would be better off if the U.S. adopted economic policies more like those of communist Cuba.
2. People have values other than maximizing their health.
I leave it to the reader to guess which conclusion I favor.