Only 15 lbs Heavier than 30 Years Ago?
Headlines today proclaim that the average American's weight has increased at least 15 lbs in the past 30 years. Are you at all surprised? I personally was surprised that the number was only 15 lbs and not any higher. Unfortunately I have not yet been able to find the actual study, just a lot of press releases reporting the story. If you find the actual study please post a comment below with the web site so we can add a link to the study and read it for ourselves.
Going back 20 years from today would take us to the year 1996. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Obesity Trends maps, obesity rates in 1996 across the United States were settling at between 10% to 19% of the population. That meant that the BMI was greater than or equal to 30 lbs overweight for a 5' 4" person. By the year 2010 (just four years later) the rates were averaging from 15% to greater than or equal to 30%. At this point the CDC made some changes in their methodolgy for collecting data and came up with a new set of maps. The latest map I was able to find showed the 2013 obesity rates starting to creep into the greater than 35% of the population rate for some states. This is obviously a fast growing trend, growing in the wrong direction.
We do need to go back more than 20 years to really get a picture about how much weight we have gained as a nation. Fortunately the CDC maps allow us to go back another 11 years, starting in 1985. At that point it appears that 10% to 15% obesity rates were more the norm. I realize that we are not comparing apples to oranges when speaking about pounds of weight gained, as in todays reported CDC study, as opposed to percentage of population obese, as in the CDC Obesity Trends maps. But, regardless we can see that we are dealing with an ever expanding problem.
The recent study being touted is about Americans. However, it appears that the whole world is joining in this trend much to their detriment. Where America leads the rest of the world tends to follow. Obesity rates are not just climbing in America. They appear to be climbing just about everywhere. In fact the United States has been knocked off of the pedestal as the most obese nation on earth. Our neighbors to the south have beaten us to that designation. This is sad news for everybody.
What is the answer to this problem? How can we become a part of the solution? The first step is to return to our Starch-Smart® roots and once again eat from the land instead of from food factories. We need to again eat From Sun to Plant to Plate and abandon the fast convenience foods that are addicting us and causing this worldwide death spiral. Then of course we also need to add in some exercise, drink plenty of water and get adequate rest. But again, where to start: It's the food sweetheart!
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