In two of the five classes I am taking right now, the last few weeks we have been focusing on health & weight management…and the serious problems that are increasing in America with weight and chronic disease.
There is so much to say on this issue, but I thought I’d just share some startling facts with you. Hold on to your seats, it might get a little bumpy.
- globally, there are more than 1.6 billion overweight adults with at least 400 million of them obese
- The U.S. has the glorious distinction of being among the fattest nations on Earth
- 66% of U.S. adults are considered to be overweight or obese = 72 million people
- researchers predict that if nothing changes, by 2015 41% of all Americans will be obese and 34% will be overweight
- 19% of children under the age of 4 are obese
- experts predict that the number of American’s diagnosed with diabetes, a major obesity associated problem, will increase by 165% from 15 million in 2005 to well over 30 million in 2030.
- potential negative health effects of overweight and obesity consist of: increased rates of anxiety and depression, high blood pressure leading to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, increased risk of almost all types of cancer, risk of arthritis, heart disease, tendency toward more infectious diseases and heart disease.
Why share these facts? Because obesity is one of the top underlying PREVENTABLE causes of death in the United States.
How can we reverse this trend? It will definitely take some time and some serious effort. But being aware of how environment, lifestyle, and economic factors effect our life would be a good place to start.
Over the past 20 years, portion sizes have almost doubled. Think that could have anything to do with our epidemic? Check out this Portion Distortion website where you can test your knowledge on how portions have changed over the years. Pretty crazy!
The best way to change something is start small and start today. We can all do our part to change the future of America and the kids growing up, so instead of having a SHORTER life expectancy than their parents, they can out live us all. Deal? Deal.
The good news is, some food manufacturers are listening! My sister sent me a link to this Cereal Stunt showing what we are really eating when we eat those sugary cereals. I loved the pictures and the names of these cereals…but what I loved more is that General Mills is listening and trying to reduce sugar in these cereals. They aren’t sure how yet, but at least the effort is there!
~What can you do today to start making the changes necessary for a better future?