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The Mystery of American Obesity

Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Highlights

HIGHLIGHTS

Some of the culprits behind American obesity include the introduction of high fructose corn syrup in a majority of processed foods, the shift to bigger portions than what we actually need, and changes to dietary guidelines. 

Maintaining a healthy body weight can be best achieved through a balanced diet, regular exercise, and often by choosing supplements that support metabolic health. 

Our health care is in crisis, and it’s not just U.S. adults suffering. The increased prevalence of obesity among adolescents means our rates of obesity are climbing with more speed than ever before. 

What’s causing our wellness to tank and our waistlines to expand? We’ll uncover the mystery and define the guidelines that make people “obese.” 

Defining Obesity 

Obesity is generally defined by your body mass index (BMI) — a measure of your height compared to your weight. 

According to the BMI

  • Measurements between 18.5 and 24.5 are in the healthy weight range.
  • Measurements between 25 and 29.9 are overweight.
  • Measurements of 30 or higher are obese. 

As American adults experience weight gain, they climb the BMI ladder, finding themselves in the overweight or obese categories. 

How Did America Become Obese?

We weren’t always this large. The obesity epidemic developed over decades because of changes in the food industry. These trends included larger portion sizes that encouraged overeating and dietary guidelines that inadvertently pointed us towards unhealthy foods. 

Shifts in Agriculture

The introduction of high fructose corn syrup in the 1970s made it easier and less expensive to make high-calorie foods that were shelf-stable. 

Simultaneously, American corn and soybean production increased as well as manufacturing techniques that allowed prepackaged snack foods, soft drinks, and sodium-laden microwave dinners to skyrocket into popularity.

Portion Control

“Super Sized” everything became a trend in the 1980s, with portions becoming much larger on our plates. Even our dinner plates increased by several inches to accommodate the larger loads. 

Dietary Guidelines

In the 1970s, the federal government issued guidelines to help encourage weight loss and protect our heart health. The message was to cut out fat. As such, manufacturers replaced fat with carbs and sugar and our waistlines increased. 

The guidelines didn’t work, and the obesity rate has consistently increased since then. 

What Are the Risks of Being Obese? 

The obesity epidemic in America is a major contributing factor to many of the leading causes of death in the U.S., per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The leading causes of death and heart disease are almost always accompanied by other metabolic health issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, unhealthy blood sugar, and excess weight, especially around the midsection. 

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How To Fight Back Against Obesity

It’s up to us to take back our health and reclaim our waistlines, and it’s not as challenging as you might think. 

  • Maintain healthy body weight. If you aren’t overweight, that’s a great start. Maintaining a healthy weight is easier than losing weight. If you need to shed a few pounds, make it a goal to improve your overall health. 
  • Choose your calories wisely. It’s not just choosing lower-calorie foods, but foods that contain nourishing calories. The average American’s eating habits include fast food, too much sugar, and excess sodium. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats instead. 
  • Increase physical activity. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to keep your heart healthy and help you maintain a healthy weight. 
  • Choose the right supplement. Fatty15 is a once-a-day, all-natural supplement that science supports can help promote glucose homeostasis and normal metabolic function. Adding fatty15 to your health stack may provide some extra support for your healthy weight goals.

For more helpful articles on how to improve your health, explore the fatty15 blog here

 

Sources:

Why are Americans Obese? | PublicHealth.org

Fat land: how Americans became the fattest people in the world | PMC

The Obesity Epidemic (7:13) | CDC

Profile photo for Eric Venn-Watson

Eric Venn-Watson M.D.

Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.

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