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In the last 20 years, the child obesity rate in the U.S. has DOUBLED while the teenage rate has TRIPLED. There's something wrong here. The numbers are apalling:
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that around 1/3 of children in the U.S. are oveweight, 16% of children are obese and 11% Extremely obese.
In 2003 the CDCP reported that 1 out of 3 children born in the U.S. in 2000 will develope Type 2 Diabestes! The lifespan of a 10 year old child with Type II Diabetes is, on the average, 17-26 years LESS than that of a healthy child.
1/3 of the American adults are obese, defined as having a body mass index - BMI - above 30. That's 23% more than in 1992. The percentage of overweight adults (BMI > 25) has also increased from 56% to 64.5%. Upshot: 2/3 of American adults are overweight.
The percentage of severely obese people (more than 100 pounds overweight) in the U.S. is 2%. That's 4 times the amount recorded 25 years ago.
But wait, it's not just the United States as the media would have us believe. The total world's population is suffering from obesity. That WORLD number comes to 1.2 Billion people considered obese. That's the same number as the amount of people considered to be starving.
The overweight and obese catagory accounts for: 90% of the insulin dependant Type II Diabetes cases; 80% of deaths due to the various forms of heart disease; 30 - 50% of kidney failure deaths; 50% of all strokes; and the many forms of cancer plaguing the population.
Very interestingly, watching TV produces lower metabolic rates which means that you are burning less calories.
This means that sitting and watching TV burns less calories than: sewing, playing board games, reading or writing. One study showed that for each 2 hours you sit in front of a TV each day, the obesity risk increases by 23%, and the Type II Diabetes risk increases by 14%.
Going hand in hand with Obesity is, not surprisingly, Sugar. Here now a few disturbing facts about this ubiquitous product:
There's nothing sweet about how much sugar people consume every day. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the average adult in the United States takes in 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, or a whopping 150 pounds a year, while teens pile in 34 teaspoons a day. That's more than twice the amount of sugar we should be eating.
"The average American is basically overdosing on sugar," says Connie Bennett, author of Sugar Shock!, who believes that the AHA's estimates of sugar consumption are conservative, and it's closer to 50 teaspoons of added sugar a day.
The amount is shocking, and the potential health effects of excess sugar consumption are even scarier. Mounting evidence suggests that flooding your system with the sweet stuff can play a role in obesity, heart disease, and cancer. It can also impact how you look or feel, doing damage to your skin or altering your mood.
Part and parcel with everything we just talked about, we can add in the whole FAST FOOD craze that has taken over the United States over the past several decades. Consider these bizarre but fascinating facts:
1) The average distance from a fast-food restaurant in the U.S. to a school is 1/2 mile.
2) The density of fast-food restaurants within 1 mile of a school is 3-4 times the average distribution throughout a city.
3) Over the past 35 years, sales in the U.S. fast-food industry has grown by almost 1000%! In 1975, sales of fast-food equaled $16.1 Billion. In 2009, total U.S. sales of fast-food were $160 Billion.
4) The National Restaurant Association (where we are getting this data from) reports that there are about 280,000 fast-food restaurants in the U.S. of which are around 200,000 are strictly "fast-food" and 80,000 would be classified as "casual dining."
5) The U.S. fast-food industry serves more than 50 million Americans every day.
6) On average; half of an American citizen's yearly food budget is spent at fast- food chains.
7) On any given day, around 1/3 of American children eat fast- food.
8) In the past 5 decades, some fast-food portion sizes have increased by 600%. In the 1950's, a typical fast-food hamburger weighed one ounce while today it weighs six ounces. The average fast-food restaurant meal nowadays contains a staggering 1500 calories!
9) A "double gulp" soda has 64 ounces (1/2 gallon) and the sugar content is equal to 48 teaspoons.
10) The Federal Trade Commision reports that the U.S. fast-food industry spends approximately $1.6 Billion each year marketing specifically to children.
11) The fast-food industry donates money to professional nutrition associations. Coca-Cola sponsors the American Diabetic Association for example. And why do they do this? To make themselves look good and to make them look sympathetic to the diseases that they themselves are helping to create.
12) According to the University of Michigan School of Public Health, living in neighborhoods with high density of fast-food outlets could increase your risk of stroke by 13%, compared to living in neighborhoods where fast-food restaurants are not prevalent.
13) Americans spend more money on fast-food than they do on education.
14) The amount of food produced daily in the U.S. amounts to 3,800 calories per person. Twice the daily calorie requirement of the average male or female, and 3X the daily calorie requirement of children.
Not a pretty sight is it? As we all get older, we notice that keeping the extra pounds off our bodies gets tougher and tougher. Don't add to the problem by bingeing on fast-food. Please, whatever you do, remember that heart disease along with the medical profession are the two biggest killers of Americans. You can help prevent this by watching your diet carefully and keeping the excees weight off, exercising regularly and staying away from junk food.