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The Growing Rate of American Obesity

Posted by : Admin

We’ve been talking about obesity in the US for a decade or more now. We’ve initiated programs in schools and we’ve even got a First Lady who explains portion control with a bunch of teenage celebrities on Disney Channel.  Obesity rates have more than doubled in the past 30 years, and, today, there is no state in the US with an obesity rate lower than 20 percent. But, why are we getting so fat?

Getting off the Couch

The first issue is one of exercise. And, by exercise, I’m not talking about running a mile. I’m talking about getting off the couch. Yard work, bike riding in the neighborhood or a pickup game of basketball kind of exercise. We’re just not doing enough of it.

Many people in the US exercise so little that they could not possibly make up the difference by cutting calories. Our society has become one of “go to work (or school), come home, eat dinner, watch tv or use the computer, and go to bed”.

Even our kids don’t move enough. Many schools have cut recess and physical education classes to the bone to focus on meeting testing requirements, so our children are sitting around all day at school, too. And, many of them would prefer to simulate exercise on a video game than actually get out in the fresh air after school.

We Stopped Cooking

Though we’re sitting around more, we seem to be busier than ever. The result of our overscheduling is that we don’t cook very many meals from scratch. This leads to eating more processed foods and fewer foods that retain flavor and nutrition in a minimum amount of calories. Those processed foods have to have something added to make them taste good. That something is extra fat, extra calories and extra carbohydrates.

Living the Simple Life

Fixing our obesity problem has to happen one family at a time. The solution is, quite simply, a change in habits. Ditch the video games and the television for some bike riding with your kids. Cook a meal from scratch, including vegetables, almost every night. Slow down……….and get moving.

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8 Responses to “The Growing Rate of American Obesity”

  1. Anna says:

    Good article, I am glad you are bring attention to such an important issue. I think we need to start making changes in the schools – reintroduce fitness and excersice, (remember when you got graded on how fast you ran and how many sit-ups you could do?), provide them with a cooking class, a gardening class and a general nutrition class. It has to start there. Most parents are lost already…

  2. Andrea Reese says:

    The problem is also that bad food is cheap. And in today’s society (where people put their money into computers, phones, wii…) they simply “cannot afford” to buy healthy food. Oh the irony…

  3. Justin Wall says:

    Obesity is so closely tied to culture now, that we have to analyze that more than just count calories. The U.S. has the largest number of obese people in the world… why?

  4. Pam Khan says:

    I would add to this the fact that people are overwoked and not home enough. Families would be far better off if more moms (and dads too) stayed at home. Back to the simple life, back to having time to do things as a family, back to cooking real food and eating as a family.

  5. J. Fo says:

    As a teacher I am very upset at the cuts they have made to phys. Ed. programs. A lot of the time this is the only opportunity the children have for physical activity, since they DO go home and play video games, watch TV and sit on the computer.

  6. Jordan Puckett says:

    you are right, people do not move around enough to burn all the calories they consume…but on the other hand, exercise is not as important as what you feed your body in the first place!

  7. Teresa Anderson says:

    The sad thing is that this is now impacting our children. Parents who do not know how to be healthy (eat well, excersice, cook…) do not know how to teach it to their children. It is a vicious cycle with devastating consequences.

  8. Mary Cobb says:

    Let’s look at the way people lived a century ago: none went to the gym, and ‘low-fat’ ‘low-calorie’ and the like did not exist. Yet very few were overweight. What is going on??