America’s obesity epidemic has reached a new record high and scientists are placing the blame on cheap, readily available processed food.
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, 40 percent of American grownups and 20 percent of teens are obese, which represent the highest rates in recorded history. Researchers think junk food and lack of physical activity are the two major causes for the obesity epidemic.
Dr. Frank Hu who leads the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition said he cannot be “optimistic” about the trend. He noted obesity rates have been creeping up in recent years despite efforts to improve diets and levels of exercise.
Since more and more youngsters are obese, we should expect higher obesity rates when they reach maturity. Currently, 20 percent of teens aged 12 to 19 and 20 percent of children aged 6 to 11 are considered obese.
Obesity Rates Climbing Worldwide
The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that obesity rates are skyrocketing worldwide. Childhood obesity is even worse as children tend to remain obese in adulthood. Plus, obese kids have a higher chance of metabolic and CV disease later in life, and their risk of early death is higher.
A person is obese when his or her body mass index (BMI) exceeds 30.
In the U.S., 70.7 percent of the population is struggling with excess weight. Americans having a healthy weight are less than 25 percent, which makes them a minority.
The CDC couldn’t pinpoint why obesity rates are so high. A separate study revealed that fewer American women are concerned about losing weight. Experts agree that sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets are the two major culprits.
“There’s still a huge amount of cheap, accessible, highly processed food available everywhere almost anytime,”
said Dr. Hu.
He also noted that the levels of household activity and physical activity at work have dramatically decreased in recent years.
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