The 2011 obesity report from the Trust for America’s Health just came out and the news is as bad as ever. Every state has a minimum obesity rate of 20% and not one saw a decrease, while 16 saw an increase.
“Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 15 percent. Today, more than two out of three states, 38 total, have obesity rates over 25 percent, and just one has a rate lower than 20 percent (Colorado at 19.8%).”
“Since 1995, when data was available for every state, obesity rates have doubled in seven states and increased by at least 90 percent in 10 others.”
Now, those numbers are bad and so are the corresponding increases in diabetes (rate has doubled) and hypertension (20%+ in every state). But, the number that I consider telling is found on page 11 of the full report (pdf):
“More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans are either overweight or obese”
Or, spin it the other way and it tells you only 32% of America is fit.
Which makes this issue so tough. No one seems to understand the problem, solution, or even the struggles every individual faces.
The report itself provides little in the way of recommendations only asking for the government to fund research and education.
Here is the problem, as I see it.
Food is the foundation. If we are eating good food then all should be well, after all our species survived for 10,000 years as fit world dominators.
Which means that we are eating bad food, and so what is bad food?
Before we get to that it’s important to point out all the discussion around nutrition, physical activity, cooking and what have you. That is where all the focus is and I think it’s absolutely useless.
I compare it to flying a plane without gas. You can check the wings, throw a pilot in there, and even get clearance from the tower, but if you don’t put in gas (the right gas) none of that matters.
Bad Food = everything in the grocery store.
I know this sounds crazy, but the facts are there. Everyone in America relies on grocery stores for food and it’s causing 2/3 of them health problems.
How many more need to become overweight before we start to question the very fundamentals of our grocery store lifestyle?