The problem at a glance.
35%. Nearly 35% of Americans are obese, it has now become a chronic illness. Not only is it a weight problem, but it is causing effects on physical, metabolic, and psychological health.
As of 2013, according to the CDC, not one state had an obesity prevalence of less than 20%. Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016, the worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016.
An estimated $147 billion and $210 billion in direct and indirect health care costs towards obesity, as of 2010. Obesity continues to climb, combined health care costs associated with treating obesity-related diseases could rise by $48 billion to $66 billion per year by 2030. Obesity is caused by an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Caused by energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.
Why are Americans obese?
- Lack of exercise. Many American’s no longer work in fields or in factories and more jobs require sitting which means less and less exercise.
- Americans also choose to walk less than in any other industrialized countries and rely on cars to get around. According to the CDC, around 80% of Americans don’t get enough exercise.
- Poor sleep, stress, lower breastfeeding rates are all said to contribute to obesity.
- Excessive weight gain in pregnant mothers, in utero effects of smoking are indicators for children to obesity later on.
- Today, each American puts away an average of 195lbs of meat every year, compared to just 138lbs in the 1950s
. Largerportions, processed foods, drive-thru fast food joints are branded as classical Americans because they are fast, cheap, filling, and delicious.
Obesity is …
- Obesity is a major cause of type 2 diabetes.
- Obesity is a major risk for high blood pressure. About 3 out of 4 hypertension cases are related to obesity.
- Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease. Increases your risk of heart failure. The risk of heart diseases increases with obesity.
- People with obesity have reduced lung capacity. These people are at higher risk for respiratory infections.
- Obesity is believed to cause up to 90,000 cancer deaths per year.
- Obesity is also a contributor to a number of bone and joint issues.
- Obesity is also to be seen with a number of mental disorders.
What can America do better?
- A 2018 study published in Public Health Reports found that in states that implemented CDC-funded nutrition and physical activity programs from 2000 to 2010, the odds of obesity in adults decreased between 2.4 percent and 3.8 percent.
- Insurance companies can incentivize enrollees to stay in shape, through covering weight-loss and wellness programs surrounded by junk food, which is usually extremely high in added sugars. And even worse, this food is often easier to prepare and more accessible than healthy options, like fruits and vegetables. To meet this challenge, Harvard University School of Public Health recommends restricting easy access to junk food, making healthy options more available through subsidies, increasing labeling standards, and taxing sugary drinks.
- Living environments that encourage walking and biking rather than car dependence.
- Evidence from the Healthy Communities Study showed that children living in areas that promoted physical activity and good eating habits had lower body mass index scores and waist circumferences than children in other areas.
America compared to the rest of the World.
The United States is home to the highest number of overweight and obese people in the world. 66% of adults in the US are obese compared to 37% worldwide while 29% of children in the US are obese while 14% of children worldwide are obese.
Children in America
For children in the United States, the prevalence of obesity decreased with an increased level of education. It was also lower in the highest income groups.
People are blaming society for pushing junk food despite the caviots associtated with it. People are also blaming the lack of access to exercise.
Obese children tend to grow up as obese adults. Obesity threatens to shorten life expectancy in the United States and bankrupt the health care system.
The fast foods that are consumed along with saturated fats are containing more and more endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Watch the video on this link for more information (I could not figure out how to link the video): https://www.publichealth.org/public-awareness/obesity/