There is a national obesity epidemic. Add to that, obesity is a major contributor to some of the leading causes of death in the U.S., including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Fixing Our Obesity Epidemic
We need some serious help. Obviously just knowing that we need to eat right (and exercise) isn’t doing the trick. The video below, which I found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s CDC-TV, showcases several self-empowered communities that are taking action with initiatives to reduce and prevent obesity.
The video explains the many factors that have contributed to the obesity epidemic, and showcases several community initiatives taking place to reduce and prevent obesity.
Despite the vast amount and variety of foods available, many of us are not getting the best nutrition. There are many obstacles to eating right: our busy lifestyles, readily available convenience foods (ready-made meals, fast food, processed foods), restaurant portions that are too-large, and conflicting information about nutrition and weight loss. In fact, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a mere 25% of adults consume the minimum recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
…if we continue on this path, 83% of men will be overweight or obese by 2020. Women are right behind them, with 72% projected to be overweight or obese…
What’s more, a recent study showed that 72% of men and 64% of women are overweight or obese. Eighteen percent of children are obese right now. Mark Huffman, Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, projects that if we continue on this path, 83% of men will be overweight or obese by 2020. Women are right behind them, with 72% projected to be overweight or obese by that time.
Most of us know that eating right will help maintain a healthy weight. Eating right may even protect our bodies against a variety of chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and various cancers, according to experts at Johns Hopkins. But according to the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, there is no single or simple solution to the obesity epidemic. Rather, they say, it’s a complex problem and there has to be a multifaceted approach.
We need to change our communities into places that strongly support eating healthy and active living. Policy makers, state and local organizations, business and community leaders, school, childcare and healthcare professionals, and individuals must work together to create an environment that supports a healthy lifestyle. Visit the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity website to learn ways that state and local organizations can create a supportive environment to promote healthy living behaviors that prevent obesity.
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