So What Got America This Fat?????

More than one third of all Americans are considered obese.  More over, this already large population has been increasing each year (up by 23% since 1990) and is projected to continue increasing unless we do something about it.  Education and awareness of the problems are necessary in an effort to curve the current trend.  This is projected to have a devastating effect to the cost of healthcare as obesity related illnesses begin to emerge.  Some of these related illness are associated with an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and some types of cancers, to name a few.  At this time, the costs of these illness have already reached $147 Billion/year and are project to increase as the obese population ages.  Moreover, the future does not look promising if we fail to reverse the current trends.  In fact, current studies predict that 42% of Americans will be obese by 2030.  That translates to 100 million obese Americans!  A 6% increase from the current already high 36% considered obese today.  The projected increase in medical costs associated with this increase alone is approximately $550 Billion over the current expenses.  Although the numbers are staggering, the more tragic reality is that these numbers are directly related to preventable illnesses and higher mortality.

So what got America this fat?  The answer is three fold, according to Scott LaFee from the University of California, San Diego.
Not only do we eat too much.  What we consume has way more calories than our body needs to maintain its proper function.  Part of the problem goes with current portion sizes.  CDC statistics show that the average restaurant serving is 4 times larger now than it was 50 years ago.  When we eat too many calories, the body uses what it needs and “deposits” the rest (usually around our waist, thighs, etc).

We do not exercise as often as we should.  According to a Gallup poll approximately one third of Americans get no daily exercise.  The result goes to joins that become stiffer as they age.  The stiffer the less active we become and set a viscious cycle.  The less active the more we deposit the calories we eat. 

We do eat, unhealthy foods very often. We then tend to develop high cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, all of which increase our risk for heart disease and other illness.

In short, we are not taking care of our bodies the way we should and our bodies are reacting to our lack of care.  The reaction is proportional to the action.  For those of us who do not like to exercise and eat right, there is a very simple equation…”we pay now or we pay later!”  That is, we sacrifice our bad habits and do things right, or we will pay with our health and will limited by the consequences.

Our children share in our bad habits.  They are eating unhealthy foods.  They are going to the same restaurants that serve the large portion sizes.  To make matters worse, some are even “supersizing” their already large servings.  Most are not getting enough exercise because they are spending too long in front of a TV or computer screen.  The outcomes are predictable and tragic.  Many children are already overweight in America.  Time is of the essence to get them in the right tract before they develop the inevitable health issues that go with being overweight.

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