According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 80 percent of adults and about one-third of children now meet the clinical definition of overweight or obese.
More Americans live with “extreme obesity“ than with breast cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and HIV put together.
Philipson, professor of public policy at the University of Chicago, cited economic and technological changes. been going down,” Americans have ceased burning calories by spending their days engaged in strenuous farming activities and now sit sedentary at office desks.
Increased obesity is not new, and, in fact, “height-adjusted weight gain has been picking up for at least one-hundred years.” According to Philipson, at the same time as the “real price of calories has . “Essentially the technologies that have made us more productive have at the same time made us more sedentary,” Philipson said.
Forty-five percent of adults say they’re preoccupied with their weight some or all of the time—an 11-point rise since 1990. One remembered kids singing “Baby Beluga” as she boarded the school bus, another said she has tried diets so extreme she has passed out and yet another described the elaborate measures he takes to keep his spouse from seeing him naked in the light.
A medical technician I’ll call Sam (he asked me to change his name so his wife wouldn’t find out he spoke to me) said that one glimpse of himself in a mirror can destroy his mood for days.And the medical community’s primary response to this shift has been to blame fat people for being fat.Obesity, we are told, is a personal failing that strains our health care system, shrinks our GDP and saps our military strength.It is also an excuse to bully fat people in one sentence and then inform them in the next that you are doing it for their own good.That’s why the fear of becoming fat, or staying that way, drives Americans to spend more on dieting every year than we spend on video games or movies. I have never written a story where so many of my sources cried during interviews, where they double- and triple-checked that I would not reveal their names, where they shook with anger describing their interactions with doctors and strangers and their own families.This is a serious problem for individuals, but like other serious problems, from bankruptcy on the one hand to heartache on the other, there are other ways to do it.” Individual responsibility, rather than government regulation, is more likely to lead to a solution, Epstein said. Carmona reminded the audience that obesity “is almost entirely preventable through proper diet and exercise.” He offered ways in which the government, healthcare workers, and community leaders could work to prevent the further spread of obesity, including ensuring that all Americans are educated about the importance of physical activity, healthy eating habits, preventive screenings, and making smart choices.Also noting the importance of individual responsibility, U. Carmona urged particular vigilance in protecting the health of the increasing number of overweight children and adolescents, “who grew up off the playground and on the Play Station.” He concluded with a statement intended to make all Americans consider the choices they make: “We are at a crossroads in our nation.Frank Hu, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, outlined the specific health problems that often stem from being overweight.“Weight gain during adulthood from age eighteen or from age twenty-one is associated with dramatically increased risk of type-two diabetes, gallstone disease, hypertension, and coronary heart disease.” Yet, University of Virginia professor Glenn Gaesser, author of pointed out that some studies show obesity to be a smaller problem than Hu and others suggest.Just as horrifying as the disease itself, though, is that for most of those 300 years, medical experts knew how to prevent it and simply failed to.In the 1600s, some sea captains distributed lemons, limes and oranges to sailors, driven by the belief that a daily dose of citrus fruit would stave off scurvy’s progress.