America You Need To Lose Weight: At Least 1 Out Of Every 5 People Are Obese In All 50 States

Overweight Kids Become Overweight Adults - Public DomainThe United States officially has an obesity crisis.  According to a brand new report that was just released by the Trust for America’s Health, at least one out of every five people meet the clinical definition for obesity in all 50 states.  But of course in some states things are far worse than that.  More than 35 percent of all adults are obese in four states, and the obesity rate is between 30 and 35 percent in 21 other states.  And it is important to keep in mind that just needing to lose weight does not mean that you are obese.  According to the CDC, you have got to have a body mass index of at least 30.0 to meet the clinical definition for obesity.

Each year, the American people spend 60 billion dollars on weight loss programs and products.  That breaks down to about 188 dollars for every man, woman and child in the country.  We are a nation that is absolutely obsessed with losing weight, and yet obesity levels are hovering near all-time record highs.

But some parts of the U.S. are definitely doing better than others.  The following is an excerpt that comes directly from the new report

In 2015, Louisiana has the highest adult obesity rate at 36.2 percent and Colorado has the lowest at 20.2 percent. While rates remained steady for most states, they are still high across the board. The 13th annual report found that rates of obesity now exceed 35 percent in four states, are at or above 30 percent in 25 states and are above 20 percent in all states. In 1991, no state had a rate above 20 percent.

Did you catch that last part?

I put it in bold for a reason.  To me, it is absolutely incredible that no state in the entire country had an obesity rate of more than 20 percent just 25 years ago.

How is that possible?

How could obesity explode to such a dramatic level in just a couple of decades?

Well, a lot of it has to do with what we eat and drink, and I will have some comments about that below.  But first, let’s take a look at some more statistics from this new report.  It turns out that there seems to be a significant link between obesity and poverty

  • 9 of the 11 states with the highest obesity rates are in the South and 22 of the 25 states with the highest rates of obesity are in the South and Midwest.
  • 10 of the 12 states with the highest rates of diabetes are in the South.
  • American Indian/Alaska Natives have an adult obesity rate of 42.3 percent.
  • Adult obesity rates are at or above 40 percent for Blacks in 14 states.
  • Adult obesity rates are at or above 30 percent in: 40 states and Washington, D.C. for Blacks; 29 states for Latinos; and 16 states for Whites.

The report also noted that it has been estimated that our obesity epidemic costs the United States somewhere between 147 billion dollars and 210 billion dollars every single year.

That is an enormous amount of money, and if we were all a bit healthier it would benefit our society tremendously.

Sadly, as a society we have fallen into some very bad habits.  For example, the new report also found that the number of high school students that play video games for at least 3 hours per day “has increased more than 88 percent since 2003 (from 22.1 to 41.7 percent)”.

When I was in high school, almost all of the kids couldn’t wait to get outside and play after school.  But these days most playgrounds are parks are eerily silent most of the time, and even if kids wanted to go use them the truth is that many of them aren’t very safe.

In the old days, parents could let their kids go outside and play freely without having to worry about it.  But in 2016, many of our communities are infested by addicts, gangs, sex predators, etc.

But that is a topic for another article. Last year, Gallup also did a survey on obesity, and what they found lines up with this new report very well…

-The national rate of obesity has risen to an all-time high of 27.7 percent. That is up from 27.1 percent in 2013, and it is much higher than the 25.5 percent number that we were sitting at in 2008.

-At 19.0 percent, Hawaii has the lowest rate of obesity in the entire country.

-At 35.2 percent, Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity in the entire country.

-The rest of the top 10 includes West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.

And remember, being obese is different from being overweight.

According to CNN, an astounding 70 percent of all Americans are overweight at this point.

Let that number sink in for a moment.

70 percent.

So how did this happen?

Well, our addiction to sugar plays a major role in this.  If you were just to make one change to your diet, you could immediately start living a much healthier lifestyle.  What I am talking about is soda.

Many people that have cut all soda out of their diets have immediately started losing weight, and they often report feeling much better too.

Other people have actually decided to completely cut all sugar out of their diets, and needless to say the health benefits have been nothing short of astounding.

If you know me, you know that I like sugar, but I try to keep it at a very reasonable level.  But that is difficult, because sugar is in just about everything.  And if it isn’t sugar, it is some other type of sweetener such as high fructose corn syrup.

There are others that know much more about these things than I do, but I just wanted to share with you a couple common sense things I have learned over the years that can immediately help you if you are interested in a healthier lifestyle.

Another thing that is a huge menace is pork.  All meat is not created equal, and if you eat lots of pork you should know that you are on a highway to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  Pork is one of the most toxic things that humans consume, and once you learn all of the things that pork is infested with you will likely never want to eat it again.

Of course cancer loves sugar too, and so it is no wonder why we have a cancer epidemic in this country.  If you can believe it, Americans spend 100 billion dollars a year on cancer drugs alone.

We are literally digging our own graves with our forks, knives and spoons.  What we eat and what we drink are the biggest reasons why we have an obesity epidemic in this nation, and if we will just take a few common sense steps we could start turning around this crisis tomorrow.

Is The Food We Eat Killing Us?

Are we digging our own graves with our teeth?  Is the food that we eat every day slowly killing us?  When I was growing up, I just assumed that everything in the grocery store was perfectly safe and perfectly healthy.  I just assumed that the government and the big corporations were watching out for us and that they would never allow something harmful to be sold in the stores.  Boy, was I wrong!  Today, the average American diet is extremely unhealthy.  Most of the foods that we all love to eat are absolutely packed with things that will damage our health.  Many of the ingredients that make our foods “taste good” such as fat, salt and sugar can be extremely damaging in large amounts.  On top of that, most processed foods are absolutely loaded with chemicals and preservatives.  The next time you go to the grocery store, just start turning over packages and read the “ingredients” that are being put into our food.  If you have never done this before, you will be absolutely amazed.  In many of our most common foods there are “ingredients” that I cannot even pronounce.  Sadly, most Americans have no idea that eating a steady diet of these processed foods will likely leave them massively overweight, very sick and much closer to death.

Eating healthy takes more time, more effort and more money than eating poorly does.

Unfortunately, most Americans are content to chow down on foods that are quick to make and that taste good.

In particular, Americans are absolutely addicted to foods that are loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

When you start looking at food product labels, you will find that either sugar or high fructose corn syrup is in almost everything.

For example, I was absolutely amazed when I learned that most bread sold in our grocery stores contains high fructose corn syrup.

Why in the world would they need to put that into our bread?

Today, Americans are consuming far more sugar and high fructose corn syrup than ever before, and this has many health professionals very alarmed.  The following is an excerpt from an article on the website of the Mayo Clinic….

Some research studies have linked consumption of large amounts of any type of added sugar — not just high-fructose corn syrup — to such health problems as weight gain, dental cavities, poor nutrition, and increased triglyceride levels, which can boost your heart attack risk.

But it is not just sweeteners that are a concern.

There are great concerns about much of the meat that we eat as well.

Today, we grow animals much larger than we used to, but it comes at a price.

For example, we pump our cows full of growth hormones and they stand around in piles of their own manure until it is time for them to die.

If many Americans were aware of where the “cheap beef” in their grocery stores really comes from they might just change their eating habits.

Another dramatic change that has happened to our food supply in recent decades has been the rise of genetically modified crops.

In this area, there has been nothing short of a revolution.

In 1996, only about 2% of all soybeans in the United States were genetically modified.  Today, about 90% of all soybeans in the United States are genetically modified.

At this point, approximately 70% of all processed foods in our grocery stores contain at least one ingredient that has been genetically modified.

This is one reason why so many Americans have shifted to an organic diet.  Nobody really knows what the long-term health effects of eating all of this genetically-modified food will be on all of us.

But there are some things that we do know.

For example, if you drink large amounts of soda every day you are going to gain weight and you are likely to damage your health.

Sadly, even though we know this, the average American still consumes over 600 12-ounce servings of soda per year.

Is it any wonder that we have an obesity epidemic in America?

As I wrote about the other day, approximately 36 percent of all Americans are obese.

In fact, the United States has a higher percentage of obese people than any other major industrialized nation does.

All of this obesity helps to explain the dramatic rise that we have seen in diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes in recent years.

Did you know that people living in the United States are three times more likely to have diabetes than people living in the United Kingdom?

It is not a mystery why this is happening.

It is because of our unhealthy diets.

The food we eat is killing us.

We are a nation that is becoming a little less healthy every single day, and this is causing healthcare costs to completely spiral out of control.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980.  Today they account for approximately 16.3%.

That is an incredible rise.

And health care costs have been rising much faster than the overall rate of inflation.

For example, health insurance premiums have risen three times faster than wages have in the United States over the past decade.

As Americans get sicker, health care will continue to be a “growth industry”.

When we all get sick, what do the doctors do?

They put us all on prescription drugs.

According to the CDC, the percentage of Americans that report that they have taken at least one prescription drug within the last 30 days has risen to almost 50 percent.

In fact, 31 percent of Americans say that they have taken at least two prescription drugs within the last 30 days and 11 percent have taken at least five prescription drugs within the last 30 days.

But what happens when you take prescription drugs?

Well, most of them have nasty little side effects that cause even more health problems.

You know, there is something to be said for going back to a much more natural approach to health.  For example, a recent study found that Amish children have very low levels of asthma and allergies.  The following is from a recent Reuters article….

Amish children raised on rural farms in northern Indiana suffer from asthma and allergies less often even than Swiss farm kids, a group known to be relatively free from allergies, according to a new study.

“The rates are very, very low,” said Dr. Mark Holbreich, the study’s lead author. “So there’s something that we feel is even more protective in the Amish” than in European farming communities.

What it is about growing up on farms — and Amish farms in particular — that seems to prevent allergies remains unclear.

Could the Amish teach the rest of us a thing or two about staying healthy?

That is something to think about.

Another aspect of all this is the packaging that our food comes in.

Chemicals from the packaging our food comes in can often get into our food and have serious health effects as an article by Emily Barrett recently described….

Increasingly, evidence shows that the plastics and wrappers used for packaging can inadvertently leach unwanted chemicals into food. Several recent studies found high levels of bisphenol A – an environmental chemical that can disrupt hormonal processes – in canned foods and in packaged foods for people and pets.

Now, another study suggests that the problems go far beyond just one culprit or one health effect. Among the many toxic chemicals that can migrate from packaging into food are the endocrine disrupting phthalates and organotins and the carcinogen benzophenone. These compounds are heavily used in food packaging and have known health effects, yet are not routinely tested or regulated in food, according to the paper’s author Jane Muncke.*

Although some regulations exist to guarantee safe food packaging, the current system does not address concerns posed by endocrine disrupting chemicals, Muncke explains.* The associated health effects of exposure to hormone altering compounds are many and varied, including immune disfunction, metabolic disorders (diabetes, thyroid) and reproductive problems.

But our story is still not over.

After we are done with our food we throw the packaging in the garbage and most Americans never even think about where it eventually ends up.

Unfortunately, much of it ends up out in the ocean.

In the Pacific Ocean today, there is a toxic stew of plastic and garbage about twice the size of the continental United States that is known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch“.

According to a BBC report, there are now 100 times more small plastic fragments in the northeast Pacific Ocean than 40 years ago.

But most of us never even stop and think about how the food we eat is destroying our bodies and the world around us.

Most of us just go through our daily lives assuming that somehow everything is going to be okay.

But the truth is that our food is causing major problems.

Sadly, with each passing year the federal government and the big corporations get even more control over our system of food distribution.

Hopefully more Americans will wake up and will start rejecting the “food” that the system wants to cram down our throats.

We all need to start making better choices.

Growing a garden, eating organic foods and supporting local farmers are some good places to start.

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