Friday, February 24, 2012

The Obesity Crisis In America Is Still Running Unchecked.

The obesity crisis in America is still running unchecked.In my opinion due to the fact that the obese population is passing responsibility over to government and/or other outside factors
If you are not responsible for something you can not change it!If obesity is not your responsibility YOU can not change it.Although it is a complex problem ,it is common sense to just look at your lifestyle patterns and acknowledge what you are doing wrong!What you have been doing in the past has lead you to this moment.

Obesity is a complex problem that scientists are still struggling to understand. In some cases, genetics seem responsible; in others, various combinations of hormonal, metabolic, and behavioral factors appear to play a role. But in most cases, it's hard to determine the exact cause of obesity.
It's difficult enough for a doctor to figure out why an individual patient has accumulated excess body fat. But what accounts for a worldwide epidemic of obesity? It's hard to understand how human genetics, hormone levels, or metabolic activity could change rapidly and simultaneously in millions of people, yet obesity has been increasing sharply throughout the industrialized world. In less than 40 years, the prevalence of obesity in the U.S. has increased by over 50 percent, so that two of every three American adults are now overweight or obese. Even worse, the obesity epidemic is rapidly spreading to our children.
Diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease are the most obvious consequences of obesity, but other results range from cancer, arthritis, and depression to kidney stones, fatty liver disease, and erectile dysfunction. All in all, obesity and overweight account for nearly one of every 10 American deaths, and they also drain our society of $223 billion a year.
In order to control the obesity epidemic, we must first understand its causes. Research points in interesting directions.
Modern work
Understanding obesity is a work in progress — and a 2011 study shows that progress in work is an important factor.
Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, researchers evaluated the relationship between physical activity in the workplace and obesity over the past several decades. In 1960, nearly half the jobs in the private sector required at least moderate physical activity, but in 2010, less than 20 percent demanded this much physical work. Advances in manufacturing and agriculture explain the drop in human energy needed at work. That's good news for a man's back, but not for his belly. In fact, the change in occupational energy expenditure means that the average American man is now burning 142 fewer calories each day than he did in the 1960s. That may not sound like much, but over the years, it adds up. Between 1960 and 1962, the average American man weighed 169 pounds, but during the 2003–2006 time period, he weighed 202 pounds. A decreased energy output of 142 calories a day can account for 28 of those extra 33 pounds. And another 2011 study, this one of 288,498 Europeans, found that inactivity packs on extra weight where it is most harmful, in the abdomen.
Modern recreation
A decrease in physical activity at work would not lead to weight gain if it were counterbalanced by an increase in leisure-time exercise. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened; over the decades, the fraction of Americans who say they meet national guidelines for leisure-time exercise has remained stable at 25 percent — but objective measurements suggest the actual percentage of adults who get enough exercise is closer to 5 percent. And all you have to do to get the leisure-time exercise you need is to walk for 30 minutes a day.
If people don't work out in their spare time, what do they do? They sit still; the average American, in fact, spends 55 percent of his waking hours sitting down. And when Americans sit, they are often perched in front of a video display, either a workplace computer or a living room TV. Sedentary work is an inevitable byproduct of the Information Age, but TV watching is voluntary and optional — and it often involves watching seductive ads for junk foods just when snacks are close at hand.
An American Cancer Society (ACS) study of 123,216 adults with an average age of 63 found that sitting can be hazardous to your health. The scientists reported that the death rate of men who spent the most time sitting was 17 percent higher than that of their peers who spent the least time sitting. Most of the excess deaths linked to sitting were caused by cardiovascular disease, and the results held up even after the researchers took other cardiovascular risk factors into account.
The ACS study excluded sitting at work but evaluated all other time spent sitting, including reading, attending meetings and events, socializing, and watching TV. A 2011 European study that focused specifically on TV watching reported similar results. A total of 12,608 men and women with an average age of 61 volunteered for the research. At the start of the study, all the participants provided detailed information about their medical histories, medications, and health habits, including diet, smoking, drinking, sleep duration, exercise, and TV watching, and all underwent measurements of their height, weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol profile, and blood sugar status.
During seven years of observation, the men who spent the most time watching TV (an average of over 3.6 hours a day) were compared with the men who spent the least time (less than 2.5 hours a day) in front of the tube. Even though the heavy-duty TV watchers did not consume more calories than the other men, they ate fewer fruits and vegetables and had larger waistlines and higher levels of blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglycerides, as well as lower levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol. It's no wonder, then, that TV watching was linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, even after other risk factors were taken into account. In all, each additional daily hour of TV predicted a 6% increase in the risk of developing heart disease. And a separate 2011 meta-analysis of eight earlier studies reported similar results: each hour of TV viewing per day was linked to a 10% increase in diabetes, a 7.5% increase in heart disease, and a 6.5% higher death rate. Think of these numbers the next time you reach for your remote — and you should also consider the fact that the average American spends about five hours a day watching TV.
Modern eating
Sedentary work and inert recreation account for a large portion of the obesity epidemic — but modern eating also deserves a share of the blame.
To find out how changing eating habits affect weight, researchers from the University of North Carolina evaluated data from four large national surveys that included 44,754 Americans ages 19 and above. The research covered a 30-year span from 1977 through 2006, during which time the national waistline continued to expand.
The average daily caloric intake increased steadily during the study period, but the basis for the increase changed over time. During the first half, increasing portion sizes accounted for the lion's share of the caloric splurge. But in the 1990s, doctors and nutritionists sounded the alarm about the supersizing of American snacks and meals. The warnings seemed to work: starting in 1994, portion size stabilized and then dropped slightly. Food choices also appeared to improve a bit, since the consumption of calorie-rich foods dipped a bit in the 1990s. Was it a triumph for doctors and nutritionists? Sadly, it was not. Although the portion size and caloric density of the average American diet changed for the better, the improvements were very slight. Even worse, these small gains were more than offset by a new threat. Although the caloric content of individual meals and snacks stabilized, Americans began eating more often. Over the 30-year period, the average number of meals and snacks rose from 3.8 a day to 4.9 a day.
All in all, both portion size and eating frequency accounted for the rise in caloric intake; sugar-sweetened sodas made the single largest contribution to the caloric glut. Because the increases accrued slowly but steadily over 30 years, the annualized average calorie intake increased by 28 calories a day. That may not sound like much, but over three decades, it adds up to several notches on the typical guy's belt."

The obesity crisis in America looks like it is in no way abating.I can only say :"The ball is in the court of the obese person and no one else. "Take responsibility and make the changes that will affect your whole life!

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