Obesity in the United States is a chronic problem affecting almost every demographic in the country. There are overweight and obese children, adults and seniors. Countless studies show that Americans today are in worse shape than at any other time in recent history. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 34% of Americans are obese and 32.7% are overweight. This means that almost 70% of the country is living at an unhealthy weight. The number of obese Americans recently surpassed the number of those who are simply overweight and the CDC estimates that obesity is fast approaching tobacco as the top cause of preventable death in the US. This epidemic is caused by several factors: (i) the abundance and availability of food in this country; (ii) the oversized portions that have become the norm; and (iii) the sedentary lifestyle of many people. The result is significant health problems for a vast majority of people. People are at greater risk of heart attack and stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol, and physical problems such as back and joint issues.
The country cannot afford to continue to go in this direction; the cost of health insurance is already skyrocketing with healthcare costs of American adults with obesity amounting to approximately $100 billion. If people continue to live unhealthy lives, the health problems facing the country will become insurmountable. There are several things that can be done to help address this chronic problem. Certainly, people need to make the commitment to change their lives – to combine fitness training with nutrition – and make living healthy part of the framework and fabric of how they live their lives. However, most people cannot make such substantial changes on their own. The fast food industry has to change, school system needs to change, physical activity patterns have to be ingrained in junior high and high school students. That means more than just the usual mandatory gym or physical education. It requires a much greater investment in extracurricular individual and team athletics, and a return to more non-varsity sports and intramural athletics. That, in turn, necessitates a much greater financial and time commitment than most communities or schools have been willing to make. The twenty-year progressive increase in overweight and obesity has been paralleled by a simultaneous reduction in expenditures on and commitment to extracurricular activities, including sports.
In his book, Stuffed, Hank Cardello offers a solution to our obesity crisis: Change the food companies. “Over the past thirty years, nothing has worked to fix our obesity crisis — regulations have failed to arrest rising obesity rates, and consumers don’t stick with diets or exercise,” says Cardello. “The only way to fix America’s obesity problem is through the source — big food corporations.” Monosodium glutamate (MSG) should be eliminated who directly causes obesity, diabetes, liver damage, and more health problems. MSG is the cause of American obesity, for every race of people. It is difficult to illuminate it since they hide it under many different names. It is used without restriction because it is classified as a natural flavor additive and is generally regarded as safe by the FDA
There are many contributing factors to the obesity epidemic, particularly within the United States. Problems that lead to poor nutritional and fitness habits start within the school systems, are the result of peer pressure, and are taught within families. One of the main causes of poor nutrition are fast food restaurants, which are available everywhere and capitalize on tired parents and children with quick, easy and cheap meals. Attempts to identify the specific factors, which have been major contributors to this virtual epidemic of medical problems, have produced a litany of probable reasons why such a large number of individuals are so unhealthy. At the same time, a number of studies have been undertaken to identify what, if anything, can be done to diminish either the number or the severity of medical problems affecting the public.
What can you do to help reverse the effects of this growing epidemic? From skipping unhealthy fast food meals, making working out a part of your or your family’s lifestyle, or limiting food to a source of nutrition and enjoyment, but not overindulging. With New Years resolutions right around the corner see what you can to help make yourself more healthy in 2015. Ask us questions or for help on any of these items!