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11/13/15

Growing pains: How is American population still overweight?

Are growing concerns about obesity and Americans in general being overweight going to be quelled by the latest numbers released regarding ever expanding waistlines?
Fat chance.
Obesity numbers are up a whopping six percent, which is plenty buzz worthy in and of itself, but really begs the question as to why the trend isn't heading in the opposite direction or, at the very least, remaining flat with the numbers.
The truth is everything from reality television shows that show how to have an extreme makeover or lose the most weight possible, from public action campaigns against obesity and promoting weight loss, to companies offering wellness programs to help lower health insurance premiums, are being stressed and marketed toward the masses to drop a few pounds, live longer and have a better quality of life.
The problem is, no one seems to be listening.

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The reality is we're getting heavier, larger and even more unhealthy and that is staggering given just how much healthy eating, exercise and diet is promoted in a variety of the aforementioned ways.
Even fast food restaurants have started putting calorie and fat counts on their products, and yet still the propensity to pile on the pounds by eating unhealthy and cutting out exercise still permeates nationally. Even more startling is the trend of health club and gym memberships hitting all time lows with national chains hovering in the $10 per month range.
So what exactly has to happen to reverse the trend?
That's truly the million dollar question since you'd assume all the information that is available and totally visible would have addressed this issue initially. Instead, we're still struggling to find that balance.
You could assume that most of the effort is being put on obesity and kids, with First Lady Michelle Obama taking on that challenge, one that has shown some improvement in recent years since she became the figurehead for the initiative.
Does obesity need that type of notoriety and figure head to help make it even more apparent how badly we're trending in the wrong direction?
Perhaps. Some would argue that the obesity scale is skewed given that body mass index often doesn't take into account muscle mass as it relates to height and weight. A person who weights 240 pounds and has 15% body fat technically could be considered obese based on those charts.
That said, are we to believe that there are those types of people running around versus ones that have expanding waist lines and are carrying around fat in the midsection to accompany poor diets?
Whatever the case might be, obesity isn't going away. It is growing. And getting it to go away isn't going to happen overnight, but the awareness and results are tied to one another and baby steps and calorie counts need supplanted by something with a little more to grab on to.

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