High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses are rampant in America with more and more people suffering and even dying from them.
Experts claim that these conditions as well as others, are closely connected to weight gain and obesity, leading to the question at the basis of this article: Is America Getting too fat?
The unscientific reference
Without delving into science and research, just by talking with people from America, it is clear that for many older people the answer to this question is a firm YES. America is getting fatter and fatter. Certainly, for those who remember the 80′s and 70′s, there is no doubt. They remember a much slimmer population, where obese people were far less numerous than they are today.
Speaking with tourists who visit America once every few years or even once every decade, the impression is even stronger. I have personally heard people describing how fat Americans have become after visiting the US and it is an image that is hurting America around the world.
The Scientific Reference
The statistics don’t lie and they clearly support the impression people get by just walking through any major American city: the rate of overweight and obese people is rising across the USA and at alarming pace.
In a recent study, it was discovered that in 32 states, over 25% of the population is now obese. Consider these numbers, these aren’t just people who are overweight. These are obese people whose excessive weight is becoming a major health risk, many of whom already exhibit symptoms of the various conditions associated with weight gain.
In some states such as Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Arkansas, the rate of obesity has passed 30% with so sign of stopping. Childhood obesity is also showing signs of spreading, which is why many children suffer from various health issues which were once reserved for mature people.
The evidence is overwhelming: Americans are getting fatter and fatter and many of them pay a heavy price for it. Society in general is also paying a price.
While this trend is not happening just in America, other developed countries are experiencing something similar, in the US, it seems to be a truly national problem.
The Price Americans Are Paying
There isn’t just one price which Americans are paying. There are a number of “prices”.
The first price is the health issue. Being unhealthy simply demolishes your quality of life. Your health is the most important thing you have and without it you simply cannot live as you want to.
Real health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, fatigue, and even things like back pains, can all be attributed, at least in part to weight gain and bad nutrition.
The family members of a person who is unhealthy also pay a price as their lives are also affected by this. Children seeing their parents become ill can be traumatized. Parents with sick children whose weight got out of hand can never be totally happy.
There is also an economic price to pay.
Health costs are on the rise and for obese people they can be substantial. Diabetics may pay thousands of dollars each year for medication and treatment. Other illnesses have a different price but it can still be quite substantial.
In the future, we are likely to see increased premiums for health insurance coverage for obese people as insurance companies begin to calculate the added health risks overweight people incure.
The lack of doctors and hospital beds in many countries is also exacerbated by this and it is affecting the entire population.
Even national security may be damaged. A while ago a group of former officers issued a warning that obesity is damaging national security as more and more children will be unable to serve their country in case of war or other emergency due to their bad health, lack of fitness and excessive weight.
Why is this happening?
There are many reasons why Americans are getting fat. I believe that lifestyle and the food Americans eat are to blame.
In terms of food, the tragedy is that often, the cheapest food is also the least nutritious and the more fattening food. This is why the African-American and Hispanic population tend to suffer from greater rates of diabetes, directly linked to bad nutrition.
Fast food, pre-made food, sugar and salt rich foods are usually cheaper than healthy food. This is a tragedy and one which seems hard to defeat.
In terms of information and education, it seems that people are more aware of the dangers of unhealthy food and weight gain, yet the price, especially for lower income families, tends to be the main deciding factor.
Our lifestyle is also to blame. With hundreds of TV channels, the Internet with all its wonders, and our sedentary jobs, Americans are just less active than they used to be. This is making it much harder to maintain your current weight or to lose some pounds if you need to.
What can you do?
Without investing in the right kind of food and making sure you’re active throughout the day, you’re fighting a losing battle against weight gain. It is time to make fitness and healthy eating a regular part of your life. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the keys to maintain your weight and to make sure you don’t become part of the statistics that is making America fat.