Americans Continue to Get Fat

Over the past 30 years, obesity has overtaken smoking as public enemy number one. Many health campaigns have been run to raise awareness of obesity and how to prevent it. Healthcare workers have publicized the risks of obesity and how it leads to poor quality of life and premature death. However, latest figures indicate that Americans continue to increase their waist size. Supersizing meals are now entrenched in our society, starting at very young age.

So far, most preventive programs in reducing obesity do not seem to be working. New data reveal that nearly 40% of Americans are obese. That is a sharp increase from a decade earlier. The biggest problem is that obesity is associated with diabetes, heart disease, various cancers, high blood pressure and arthritis.

Public health experts are alarmed at the continued rise in weight gain in American adults despite the fact that enormous amount of money has been poured into campaigns to create awareness of the negative aspects of obesity. But obesity continues to increase. Even though healthcare providers make it a point to highlight the negative consequences, these warnings have not achieved much, and the obesity epidemic continues to be a serious health problem.

This new data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey comes at the same time as the food industry is pushing against any stronger public health measures aimed at reversing the obesity epidemic. According to these companies, it is up to the consumer to eat less and exercise more.

To make matters more complicated, the Trump Administration is also proposing rules that favor food manufacturers including provisions that would not require having prominent labels on all foods with high sugar and fat or warnings about the health risks. Food manufacturers claim that removing this extra labeling will also help lower the costs of some foods. They also add that by now the consumer should know that excess consumption of sugar and fat is not healthy, so there really is no benefit of additional labeling.

The cause of weight gain in Americans has been linked to lifestyle, genetics, and diet. Americans at highest risk for obesity are adults, but at the same time, youth obesity has also been increasing. One group with significant weight gain has been children between ages 2-5. Experts worry that we have not even reached the peak in obesity yet. The biggest concern is that high rates of obesity will mean high rates of disease and premature death.