Bill Ackman marvels at 1930s video showing ‘no obese people’

Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman lamented the obesity epidemic in the United States after watching a 1930 video of mostly thin people in New York City.

Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, was reacting to a clip posted by the X account showing New Yorkers at a Manhattan newsstand nearly a century ago.

“Look at New Yorkers in 1930 after 10 years of economic prosperity,” Ackman wrote on his social media account X on Sunday.

“There were no gyms, no SoulCycle, no yoga classes, no running shoes.”

Ackman pointed out that people back then did not have access to Ozempic.

“Still, look at how thin you all are,” he wrote. “There is no obesity.”

Ackman blamed the “food and soft drink industrial complex” and “government oversight of the public’s health.”

The hedge fund billionaire took to social media over the weekend to lament the obesity epidemic in the United States. Reuters
Ackman responded to a video clip showing New Yorkers on a newsstand in 1930. X/Historical Video

He said it was “likely” caused by “ingestion of sugar and high fructose corn syrup.”

Ackman’s post on X drew thousands of comments, including from people who pointed out that although people today are generally obese, they are also likely to live longer.

According to federal statistics, life expectancy at birth in 1930 was 58 years for men and 62 years for women.

Ackman couldn’t help but notice that there were no obese people in the video. X/Historical Video

Last year, the average life expectancy in the United States was 79 years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of U.S. adults were obese in 2021.

This is up from about a quarter of U.S. adults in 2011. Some experts predict that by 2030, half of U.S. adults will be obese.

By comparison, in the early 1960s, only 13% of the U.S. population was considered obese.

Rapidly rising obesity rates have increased demand for anti-diabetic drugs that have been used to lose weight, such as Ozempic, Wigoby and Munjaro.

The global market for anti-obesity drugs reached $6 billion last year and could grow to $100 billion by 2030, according to a Goldman Sachs forecast.

Approximately one in three American adults are considered obese, according to the latest government statistics.

Others told Ackman that there are other differences in our lifestyle compared to 100 years ago.

“There was also no (or far less) sedentary lifestyle,” said pollster Frank Luntz.

Entrepreneur Sahil Bloom pointed out that junk food costs less than healthy food.

“Being overweight was costly,” Bloom writes. “Being overweight is now cheap.”



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