The U.S. accounts for only 6 percent of the world’s population, but 33 percent of the world’s obesity! When I heard that, I thought it just couldn’t be true! Fully one third of the obesity in the world was in the U.S.?
It turns out to be true! Yikes!! Since obesity has been linked to increases in the rates of diabetes and other chronic diseases, that’s certainly not good news for the U.S. I know that we have an obesity problem in this country, but the mainstream press would have you believe that it’s really a worldwide problem. Well, it is a problem for other countries too, but the problem is far more acute in the U.S. Why is that?
Most studies find a number of interrelated factors are to blame, many of which we’ve talked about in this blog. Here are the top 3 factors according to the website Livestrong:
Poor Nutrition. Make no mistake; in the U.S. we eat a lot of food. The problem is that it’s often not the right food. Many Americans rely on fast food several times each week. Typical fast food meals are comprised of calorie dense, sugar and fat rich foods. These don’t give your body the nutrients it needs to be healthy. In fact, several recent studies show that excess sugar and fat in your diet can actually slow down your brain activity, and negatively impact other organs as well.
Lack of Exercise. No surprise here! America has more than its share of “couch potatoes.” This is especially a concern for children. Many of our lifestyle habits are developed during childhood, so growing up watching TV or playing video games tends to not only pack on the pounds, but also establish behavior patterns that are carried into adulthood.
Health Illiteracy. According to the Surgeon General, American’s general lack of health knowledge is a serious problem. Many schools have eliminated home economics and health courses from their curriculum because of budget cuts. Yet, studies show that a dollar spent teaching people about health and nutrition can return many, many dollars in savings through reduced medical expenses.
These are just the top 3 factors. There are many more including sleep debt, ethnicity, older parents, and even pollution. What’s important about these 3, though, is that we have a lot of control over each of them. We can choose to eat healthier, we can exercise more, and we can learn more about health and nutrition.
What step do you take to improve your health each day?
Remember, healthy choices you make each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?
Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? Check out our FREE eBook at www.HealthFamilyFuture.com. Many of the strategies in this book can be used by both children and adults.
You may also want to read: Childhood Obesity = Poor Math Skills, Eat Right: No More Junk Food for Disney – at Least on TV, Family Meals: Do We Really Want Screens at the Table?