Betsy Hart

But if the "foodie" doesn't get you, the food culture might. Snacks and goodies at every church, school, or kids' event, it's always somebody's birthday in the office (don't we have to have cake?) and the grotesquely huge portion sizes at most restaurants, especially when it comes to desert, never cease to amaze me.

I continue to think that resisting this stuff is ultimately up to each one of us. (We had junk food when I was a kid, too.) But more and more, I'm beginning to see that the increasingly ubiquitous food culture is becoming something like our increasingly ubiquitous pornographic culture.

It's just everywhere. And so a good thing, sex, food, in the right context, becomes a perverted, controlling monster in the wrong one.

If that perversion is not of interest to you in the first place, of course, it might not matter how much is around you, you typically won't succumb to it. But if you have a weakness for the stuff at all, watch out. It can destroy you.

In other words, this latest study shows — again — that Americans have to wake up and stop taking our obesity epidemic ... so lightly.

Betsy Hart

Betsy Hart is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service. Her column on cultural and family issues, “From the Hart,” is distributed each week to hundreds of newspapers cross the country. Betsy’s first book, "It Takes a Parent: How the Culture of Pushover Parenting is Hurting out Kids – and What to do About It," was released in September, 2005, and was a top seller for its publisher, Putnam Books.