There’s no end in sight to the increasing obesity epidemic, even among children where it previously seemed to have come to a halt. A new depressing cross-sectional survey finds that 39.6% of the adult American population now falls into the obese category.
This increases the population risk of all kinds of metabolic diseases, like high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes type 2 and cancer.
- JAMA Network: Trends in obesity and severe obesity prevalence in US youth and adults by sex and age, 2007-2008 to 2015-2016
- The New York Times: American adults just keep getting fatter
The culprit? A poor diet may be the largest factor.
While the latest survey data doesn’t explain why Americans continue to get heavier, nutritionists and other experts cite lifestyle, genetics, and, most importantly, a poor diet as factors. Fast food sales in the United States rose 22.7 percent from 2012 to 2017, according to Euromonitor, while packaged food sales rose 8.8 percent.
While fast food deserve some of the blame, it certainly does not help that official dietary guidelines are ineffective or worse, when it comes to controlling weight. Counting calories and exercising are not very effective methods, while the fear of natural fats in real food could be directly harmful.
Bad advice that makes people hungry, and sugary processed foods are everywhere. It’s a perfect storm. How high will obesity rates go, before we manage to change one or both?