21st Century Disease

Back in the olden times, humans died of scarcity.

Scarcity of:

  • Food (starvation)
  • Medical Knowledge (infant mortality, germs, viruses, infections, etc)
  • Cleanliness (germs & cooties)
  • Technology (hunting dinner could quickly turn into being hunted for dinner)

Luckily for us, our ancestors were hard workers and developed strategies for solving most of these problems.

  • Food (agriculture)
  • Medical Knowledge (Gregory House M.D.)
  • Cleanliness (washing your hands with soap)
  • Technology (food production, medicine, transportation, etc)

Unfortunately for us, our hard working ancestors may have been just a little too smart for our own good.

In our desire to live longer & better, some of our “lifestyle improvements” have turned around and bit us squarely on the butt.

homer fat belly 193x300 21st Century DiseaseWe have gotten so good at:

  • Food (calories) production
  • Labor saving devices (automobiles, microwaves, roombas)
  • Entertainment
  • Information delivery (computers, internet)
  • and so on…

That we are now dying due to excess:

sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Scientists call this condition by a host of different names – Metabolic Syndrome, syndrome X, insulin resistance syndrome, Reaven’s syndrome, and CHAOS (Australia).

I prefer the name 21st Century Disease.

Despite the different names, the scientists all agree that this “syndrome”  is caused directly by the very lifestyle that our ancestors worked so hard to create.

Ironic, ain’t it?.

Note - It’s obvious that there is a still lot of scarcity in the world. It just doesn’t happen to most of us. Without getting all preachy, there are lots of ways we can share some of our abundance with others who weren’t born into abundance. One of my favorites is Kiva.

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, a social media nerd and a student of nutrition and exercise science. Since 2008, Doug has brought his real-world experience online via his health & fitness blog, Health Habits.


  1. Anthurium

    February 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the excellent post. You are so right! We are dying of abundance rather than scarcity.

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  3. Sandy Halliday

    May 20, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Excellent post. We also have added thousands of untested chemicals into our environment which get into out bodies and cause damage to our cells contributing to overweight and other diseases. A good detox program can help reduce the levels.

  4. Rahz

    May 19, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Great Article! I’ve been reading your post via Twitter! Thanks for being a true health professional with good content and not just crap!

    Continued Success

    Rahz NYC

    • healthhabits

      May 19, 2010 at 5:17 am

      Thanks Rahz