When the Soviet empire began to unravel in 1989, Cubans were hit with serious food shortages. From 1991 to 1995, people were getting only about 1800 calories a day and had to walk or cycle wherever they needed to go. The result was halving of the obesity rate to just 7%. In the following years, death from potentially fatal diseases fell dramatically- diabetes by 51%, coronary artery disease by 35% and stroke by 20%. In the US where the obesity rate is even higher at 30%, the gains from such an across the board weight loss in the population would be even greater. Maybe the increase in fuel and food prices might be a blessing in disguise if it causes people to eat less and walk more.