Bringing the Text to Life
Micronesians dropping dead in their 50s are not dying for reasons commonly associated with the developing world. There is no famine here and little evidenThe people of Micronesia, in the western Pacific Ocean, are getting fat from eating Spam and potato chips and turkey tails. They are turning into what might be called "MACRO-nesians," and the change is killing them.
ce of the diseases that cut life short in places such as Africa. The big killer is what some epidemiologists are now calling "New World Syndrome" -- a constellation of maladies brought on not by viruses or microbes or parasites, but by the assault of rapid Westernization on traditional cultures.
It's not the problems of poverty that are killing them, but instead the scourge of affluence. They are just now beginning to face the diseases that knock us off here in the United States: malaria, dysentery and diarrhea have been replaced by diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. They're facing these problems because they ...