Facts

  • Americans have seen their waist lines grow rapidly in the past thirty years.  Thirteen states now have adult obesity rates above 30 percent, 41 states have rates of at least 25 percent, and every state is above 20 percent. In 1980, no state was above 15 percent; in 1991, no state was above 20 percent; in 2000, no state was above 25 percent; in 2007, only Mississippi was above 30 percent 2.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers obesity to be an epidemic.  They state that obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death 3.
  • In 2013 over 35% of individuals with less than high school degree were considered obese while less than 22% of college graduates were considered obese 4.
  • In 2013 35% of individuals who made $25,000 or less were considered obese while less than 25% of individuals who made $75,000 or more were considered obese 4.
  • In 1960, nearly half the jobs in the private sector required at least moderate physical activity, but in 2010, less than 20 percent demanded this much physical work.  The change in occupational energy expenditure means that the average American man is now burning 142 fewer calories each day than he did in the 1960s. Between 1960 and 1962, the average American man weighed 169 pounds, but during the 2003–2006 time period, he weighed 202 pounds. A decreased energy output of 142 calories a day can account for 28 of those extra 33 pounds 1.
  • Over a  30-year period, the average number of meals and snacks Americans eat has risen  from 3.8 a day to 4.9 a day, during this time the amount of calories eaten per meal and snack has only decreased slightly 1.
  • Weight regain for people treated for obesity/overweight is one of the biggest problems facing efforts to combat the epidemic, and prior research has shown that individuals regain the majority of weight lost within three to five years 5.

Eating more and exercising less means that you will intake more calories and also burn fewer calories.  This means that you will gain weight.  Clearly this is part of the reason why America is getting bigger.  Another trend to point out is the fact that a higher percentage less educated and those who make less money are obese than those who are more educated and make more money.

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