The maps tracking obesity trends from 1985 to 2010 are disturbing. Yet the statistics shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone since the signs of an overweight population are all around us. Look at any crowd of people and notice how many are overweight compared to the numbers who are not.
It's generally accepted that as we age our metabolism slows down and we tend to add a few extra pounds each year. However, the age at which we start to put on those pounds is getting younger and younger.
Compared to 25 years ago, obesity rates among children and youth, age 2 to 17, have nearly tripled in North America. More than half the population in the United States is overweight and the health risks associated with excess fat are also growing.
For the first time, the life expectancy of children is predicted to be less than that of their parents due to obesity associated health risks.
Even our perception of what is considered normal weight has changed. A normal body weight of today is 20-30 pounds heavier than the norm of 20 years ago. Watch commercials and notice that advertisers regularly use heavier actors to appeal to a larger population. Looked at from a society-wide or country-wide scale, if the obesity trends continue, it could be disastrous.
The health costs related to obesity are huge and have the potential to financially cripple national health services. Add in the socio-economic costs due to lost productivity from sickness, and the numbers become astronomical.
Governments worldwide have identified the obesity epidemic as one of the most serious public health problems of this century. This mounting concern prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to co-host the first ever conference focusing on obesity in 2009.
Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, cancer and osteoarthritis, to name just a few. It is therefore reasonable to correlate obesity with reduced life expectancy. Obesity is quickly becoming the number one public health issue, outpacing malnutrition and infectious diseases as the greatest cause of poor health. The health risks associated with obesity are serious and preventable, yet they are often ignored until they become life threatening.
A variety of factors play a role in obesity, however when boiled down to a root cause, the simple fact is that we eat too much. Not only do we eat too much, we eat food with little or no nutritious value.
If everyone could and would eat healthy nutritious foods and these foods were readily available to everyone, then one of the causes of our obesity epidemic would be solved. The solution, however, is not so simple when even our healthy foods lack essential nutrients due to soil nutrient depletion. We all need to take responsibility for our own health and the health of the next generation seriously.
Learn more about the affects of soil nutrient depletion on your health. Click here to watch my short video (scroll to bottom of page for video).
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