View Full Version : US people getting fatter, fast

Thursday, August 25th, 2005, 11:23 AM
US people getting fatter, fast

Americans are getting fatter at a rate never seen before, a report shows.

In the past year, the adult obesity rate rose in 48 of America's states, and nationally from 23.7% to 24.5%, Trust for America's Health found.

In 10 states, over a quarter of adults are now obese, despite campaigns and films such as Super Size Me alerting people to the dangers of over-eating.

South-east state Mississippi, famous for its mud pie, ranked the highest, followed by Alabama and West Virginia.

Crisis point

The non-profit organisation said the situation had reached crisis point and that current policies were failing.

Currently, about 119 million, or 64.5%, of US adults are either overweight or obese.

According to projections, 73% of US adults could be overweight or obese by 2008, Trust for America's Health warned.

In turn, this would mean many more people with obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, which could cost the nation billions of dollars.

The biggest rises in obesity have been seen in the Southeastern sates. Oregon in the North West was the only one not to see an increase between 2003 and 2004, maintaining a steady adult obesity rate of 21%.

Growing problem

Hawaii was not included in the data analysed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The US Department of Health and Human Services set a national goal of reducing obesity in adults to 15% or less of the population in states by 2010.

Trust for America's Health believes this target will be missed.

Executive director Shelley Hearne, said: "We have reached a state of policy paralysis in regards to obesity.

"We need more and better data so we can make decisions to get out of the debate limbo in which we are stuck.

"We have a crisis of poor nutrition and physical inactivity in the US and it's time we dealt with it."

The trust says more needs to be done to tackle inactivity and poor diets, focusing particularly on schools to prevent bad lifestyle habits being learned in childhood.

It warned: "There will be no quick fixes. A sustained effort will be required to reverse the current trend."

Dr Ian Campbell, chairman of the National Obesity Forum in the UK, warned that the same was happening in other Western countries.

"We have seen this year on year rise in obesity in the US that has been mirrored in the UK. We know we are only about seven years behind them.

"When will we in this country wake up and smell the coffee?

"The Americans have woken up to it before and clearly they are still in a state of policy paralysis.

"In this country, the government is working very hard to try and develop a stratgety for obesity but at the moment very little practically is being done.

"It really is time that we got our finger out and started making real changes.

"This is no cosmetic irritation, it is a serious medical problem."

Percentage of obese adults per state in 2004
Rank 1 - Mississippi - 29.5%
Rank 2 - Alabama - 28.9%
Rank 3 - West Virginia - 27.6%
Rank 50 - Colorado - 16.4%
Source: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Source: BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4183086.stm)

Thursday, August 25th, 2005, 03:16 PM
Well, living in a world devoid of physical challenges has the tendency to make people fat as they simply eat more than they consume. A documentary once explained how humans had evolved to have a natural craving for fatty meat as they needed it in the faraway past. Now, given the very quick change in our environment, we are left with the appetite for fat and a life where one doesn't need such food in order to survive.

Although we are not completely helpless against this genetic characteristic and can choose to not consume so much fat, it requires self-discipline (greasy steak, mmm :P) but apparently many people do not have it and they end up as overweight. After all, isn't it easier to just lay down and not care?

There is a so-called "obesity-gene" though. Here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1484659.stm) it is explained how this gene increases appetite and thus the person carrying the gene is more likely to be obese. This (http://www.dukemednews.org/av/medminute.php?id=1389) article says though that when experimenting with mice, they removed the gene which apparently protected against obesity but mice still didn't gain weight.

Thursday, August 25th, 2005, 04:26 PM
It actually annoys me that people want to fix this. Who cares? Let these pigs die from their own gluttony and hopefully the pompous U.S. will follow. Why will my tax money be invested in programs destined to fail because people cannot keep their insatiable mouths shut?

I encourage all Europeans to boycott all fast food restaurants in their lands.

Thursday, August 25th, 2005, 05:41 PM
What is always left out of these studies is race. Blacks and Hispanics have much higher obesity rates. This is why Mississippi is at the top of the list, where in many areas the majority of black women are obese.

Thursday, August 25th, 2005, 08:03 PM
Well, living in a world devoid of physical challenges has the tendency to make people fat as they simply eat more than they consume.
:O ;)

Thursday, August 25th, 2005, 08:43 PM
A documentary once explained how humans had evolved to have a natural craving for fatty meat as they needed it in the faraway past.
True. Half-starved Stoneage hunters with little sunlight and a lousy climate had an evolutionary advantage if they could 'store' a few calories before they bagged their next Aurochs.:coffee: