The Shocking Truth About Obesity
One in every three Americans is obese, equating to 72 million people in the U.S. alone. Children are right behind adults boasting astonishing numbers -- one in three kids are overweight or obese, a sixty-percent increase in the past 20 years, and that isn't the worst of it -- these numbers are expected to increase in the next 20 years. We definitely have a serious epidemic and obesity is becoming known as the plague of the 21st century.
What is going on with obesity? It has just recently, in the past few years, been labeled an epidemic.
What is shocking is that even though people are dying from this sometimes self-inflicted threat, fast food sales are up, as well as soda, milk and cheese, sugar items, meat and the portions just keep getting bigger and bigger.
In the year 2000 fast food sales hit 107 billion, in 2010 -- nearly 165 billion. These numbers occur in the U.S. alone.
And just to add injury to insult - candy bars are increasing in size, as well as sugary sweets, movie popcorn, and portions at restaurants and diners. The supersize trend is catching on, all in an effort to cash in on the American desire for more, more, and more. But at what cost?
The medical costs are rising as well -- to the tune of $147 billion dollars in 2009, and expected to hit $344 billion per year within the next 10 years. These numbers are not only outrageous; they are dangerous.
Medical-industry experts say that not only does obesity create more medical costs for the medical industry in the U.S., but individually as well. People who are obese are spending triple than the average-weight person, in medical expenses. And the risks related to this epidemic include higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancer.
Yes, the risks are high, but so are the psychological effects. People who are overweight are less likely to find love or land a job and are commonly ridiculed and shunned from groups and friendships, which is causing a whole other host of emotional problems, on top of the medical problems.
What can we do, you ask? If you are obese or most likely know someone who is, here are some solutions that can help.
Boycott fast food:
Most people are aware of the dangers of fast food on health, weight and the environment. Anyone who isn't educated in the horrors of fast food on obesity, as well as many other health risks, should pick up a copy of Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, or The Fast Food Craze, by Tina Volpe -- and learn a thing or two about this industry, it's advertising tactics, and its contribution to the obesity epidemic as well as its blatant lack of concern for human wellbeing.
Skip the soda:
Soda pop is one of the biggest culprits of the obesity crisis. It is estimated that Americans get about 9 to 13 percent of their daily calories from soda. A single can a day can add a pound a month of weight. For each drink that is consumed, the risk of obesity increases by 1.6 times.
Most American kids drink soda every day and one health study said that each soda that a child drinks adds an increase to their BMI (body-mass index) by .24 kg, and puts them at greater risk for diseases such as type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, along with tooth decay.
The average American drinks an astonishing 50 gallons of sugary drinks per year and the soda companies are raking in the cash.