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Hands Up! Argentina's Overweight Cops Need To Drop That Donut

Policemen in the Buenos Aires province in July 2010
Policemen in the Buenos Aires province in July 2010
Valeria Román

BUENOS AIRES — The problem of overweight cops in Argentina is apparently, well, rather big.

While almost 58% of the Argentine population is considered overweight — blame their love of barbecue, steak sandwiches and expand=1]choripán sausage sandwiches — a staggering 80% of police officers are of "abnormal weight," thanks to junk food, stress and sedentary habits.

So, no Starsky & Hutch — or even Cagney & Lacey — chasing felons down alleys and leaping over cars, or you could soon be watching ER.

"It is important to note that the situation was worse 18 years ago," when 40% of policemen were not just overweight but obese," cardiologist Jorge Tartaglione says.

For the past two years, the Argentine government has operated a program of visits to police stations where police officers are given health checks and advice on losing weight, lowering cholesterol and stopping smoking (about 30% are smokers). For the obese, surgical options are available.

Another physician, Julio Montero, says there are causes that require more research, but certainly off-peak work hours contribute to eating junk food. Argentine police are nevertheless doing better than their peers in Mexico's Federal Police, where 100% of personnel were found earlier this year to be overweight.

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Gaza Fighting Resumes, Quick COP28 Deal Signed, Longest Hit Song

Palestinians inspect damages after an Israeli airstrike destroyed a house in Rafah, southern Gaza, as hostilities resume after a week-long truce between Hamas and Israel.

Emma Albright & Valeria Berghinz

👋 Alò!*

Welcome to Friday, where fighting resumes in Gaza after the temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas expired, a COP28 deal is signed for a fund to pay for climate damage in poor countries and a rapper breaks a billboard record with a flute. Meanwhile, Mastercard is arriving in China following Xi Jinping’s “dinner diplomacy” last month in San Francisco, reports Chinese-language media The Initium.

[*Haitian Creole]

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