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Obesity's Spread Across America Looks Like a Virus

The country's most pressing non-contagious health crisis seems to act like it is one. What does that mean for public health policy?
relates to Obesity's Spread Across America Looks Like a Virus
City College of New York

For help in understanding the rapid spread of obesity in the United States, one group of researchers has turned to the principles of physics. And what they have found is that it is spreading fast.

The team of scientists has recently published its findings in a paper called “Collective Behavior in the Spatial Spreading of Obesity.” Their analysis of the data using statistical physics methods found “correlations between the epidemic’s geography and food marketing and distribution patterns” and suggests that “individual habits may have negligible influence in shaping the patterns of spreading.”