The Obesity Epidemic in the U.S.

obesity-epidemicdIn a 2015 report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies 38 percent of U.S. adults as obese and 17 percent of teenagers. These individuals are now at greater risk for heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, arthritis and many other chronic conditions. That translates to slightly more than 1 in 3. Why is one person out of every three obese? What caused this obesity epidemic that plagues the US and is quickly spreading to other areas of the World? 

There are many possible reasons for the obesity epidemic.  

  • Junk Food – We are surrounded by cheap, fast, unhealthy, calorie-dense foods served in oversized portions. Consider this the Dollar Menu approach to obesity. Why only one burger when you can have two? Oh, look, you can get “value” fries to go with those burgers and top it off with a large soda all for under $5 and containing more total calories and a greater percentage of unhealthy calories than most people outside of the US eat in an entire day.
  • Corporations – Many of the fast food “restaurants” are controlled by giant corporations who own 5 or even 10 brands. Do a little research online and you’ll be surprised who owns what. Here’s a hint, you can tell by the brand of soda available in their drink dispenser. Corporation XYZ is in business to manufacture and sell you as much food as possible…want fries with that? How about a drink? A liter of cola to go with that 3600 calories stuffed crust meat lovers pizza? To make a profit, they need to make the food as cheaply as possible, regardless of the quality of the ingredients and sell as much of it to you as possible. One way to do that is to create foods that you crave, sweet, salty, and dripping with delicious fat. How else can you explain a bacon wrapped pizza?
  • Sugar Addiction – We LOVE sweet things, sugar, donuts, pastry, birthday cake and ice cream to make it even more special, shakes, cookies, candy, sugar-coated cereal, sodas and colas and syrup filled frappuccinos. Even condiments like ketchup are sugar bombs. All adding up to 22-35 teaspoons of sugar EVERY day. At 18 calories per teaspoon, that’s at least 396 EXTRA calories every day, adding one POUND every nine days and over 40 POUNDS around your waist every year.
  • Too Much Down Time – We have become sedentary, too much sitting at work, in the office or classroom, sitting in the car, sitting in front of the computer keyboard, television or game console. Too much down time and no active time. The only cure being – get off your butt time.

These indulgences are the leading cause of the obesity epidemic.  Avoiding these foods or cutting back on their consumption can be a start to controlling the obesity epidemic. 

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