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Stephen Hawking: We eat too much and it's got to stop

Technically Incorrect: In an ad for a Swedish health organization, the physicist insists that obesity is killing millions.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Stephen Hawking. Worrying about obesity.

Gen-Pep/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The solution isn't rocket science.

At least that's what Stephen Hawking believes.

In a new ad for Swedish health organization Gen-Pep, the acclaimed physicist offers yet another of his stark warnings about the dangers to humanity.

He's already worried that aliens will hate us, that they'll crush us, and that humanity needs to find another planet to occupy as it's rapidly destroying this one.

Now, his concern is even more basic. He says millions of lives are in danger.

"Today too many people die from complications related to being overweight and obesity. We eat too much and move too little," he says.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculates that more than a third of adults are obese.

"Fortunately, the solution is simple," says Hawking in the ad. "More physical activity and change in diet. It's not rocket science." The ad suggests 30 minutes of exercise a day for adults and 60 minutes for children.

Hawking seems bemused that this issue has been so hard to deal with. "For what it's worth, how being sedentary has become a major health problem is beyond my understanding," he says.

Oddly, I find it easy to understand.

We create more and more things that encourage us to sit and stare at screens. We make it harder and harder for kids in school to exercise. We force people to work longer and longer hours until all they want to do is come home, eat, drink, weep and sleep.

We've even created mailboxes that can be used without getting out of your car.

The ad says that physical inactivity is the world's fourth leading cause of death. If aliens do come by to say hello, I wonder if they'll even think we're worth destroying, as we're doing a fine job of it ourselves.