Module 3

Module 3 - 9 out of 10 adults will become overweight and...

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9 out of 10 adults will become overweight, and half of those will be obese at some point… 1 in 4 kids will be overweight compared to less than one in five to date. Several health risks tied to obesity: number one cause of death, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, social and psychological issues. Center for Disease Control and Prevention track the stats in the US through ongoing surveys called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Their data tracks the increase in obesity over the last 20 years and is presented here. In 1985, 10 – 14 % of the population was obese in only a few states. Obesity is defined as having a body max index greater than 30 or being 30 pounds overweight for your individual height. By 1997, in a few states, at least 20% of the population was obese. Now, Mississippi was the first state where more than 25% of the population was obese. 2006 – never been so many overweight and obese people in the history of mankind. Approximately 60 million adults, or 1/3 of the adult population are now obese, which means the number of obese adults in this country has doubled since 1980. At present, 66% of Americans older than 20 are either overweight or obese. Multiple reasons for obesity epidemic: Calorie consumption, lack of physical activity According to one study, Americans are eating 500 more calories today compared to 30 years ago. Large portion sizes, bigger restaurant meals, and the constant availability of food make it very easy to overeat without even realizing. Most people (65%) spend the majority of the day sedentary. The top six activities in the US include driving, office work, activities done while sitting quietly, caring for kids, watching tv or movies, and eating. Technology, labor saving devices, and the environment encourage eating and discourage movement. Life in the 21 st century consists of a daily routine of “hurrying to sit somewhere else.” Lack of awareness of the amount of food and calories we actually consume is another contributing factor to the obesity epidemic. In a recent national survey, 10,000 adults were asked whether hey knew how many calories they were supposed to eat to maintain their weight. 9 out of 10 had no idea and 80% of those who estimated were incorrect. Research has also shown that people do not have an accurate amount of the calorie content of various food, making weight control even more difficult to achieve. To make matters worse, we tend to eat with our eyes, not our stomach. In the Bottomless Soup Bowl experiment by psychologist Brian Wansink, people ate soup from either regular bowls or from bowls that were continuously people refilled without the person knowing. In this study, people who are from the bottomless bowl ate 73% more. Several studies have shown that people tend to underestimate how much they eat and the bigger the meal, the great the underreporting. Overall, healthy weight individuals underestimate their intake by 16 percent and overweight persons underestimate by 33 percent, which may be because overweight people select larger meals. The bottom line is people think they eat much less than they actually consume.
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Viable solutions are desperately needed to slow and ultimately stop the obesity epidemic. At present,
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Module 3 - 9 out of 10 adults will become overweight and...

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