Over 72 million American adults are now obese – that makes 26.7% of the US population. This number is even on the low end of the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, as other sources estimate a staggering 34% of obesity amongst Americans. And the trend goes further up – despite a federal initiative in 2001 to lower the US obesity rate to 15% of the adult population. No state has met that target, and the top rank for obesity is held by Mississippi with a whopping 34.4%. At the other end of the scale is Colorado with an 18.6% obesity rate. And we are not even counting obese children, which the CDC estimates around 20% for the 6-19 year olds. The global average obesity rate (not counting the US) lies by around 16%.
The very bad American standard diet habits are to blame for this. What happened to the calls for a tax on high fat cheeseburgers and other cardiac arrest-inducing foods that are part of everyday US standard nutrition? Oh I forgot – it didn’t go anywhere as US fast foods chains would lose 0.01% of their gazillion $ revenue per year….
You can no longer advertise tobacco in public media – and the same should apply for fast food too. The risks of dying early from obesity is almost as high as the current #1 preventable death reason: smoking cigarettes. The US medical costs linked to obesity topped $ 147 billion in 2008, and are expected to rise to $344 billion by 2018, if the current growth rates continue. This trend also estimates that the US will count 43% of its population as obese by that time.
That is, if people continue to turn a blind eye to the great alternative diets and foods that would make permanent weight loss and health seem like a walk in the park, in short: veganism!
I would vote for upping the medical insurance rates of people that refuse to let go of the American SAD diet in favor of better food choices. Fatal illnesses like heart disease and diabetes are almost always preventable! Even today, an obese person pays about $1,429 more in medical costs than a person of healthy weight – and by 2018 this discrepancy will rise to $2,460.
Sadly, the highest obesity rates are often found in the poorer parts of the population, where saving today on the dollar-meal at Mc Donald’s pays a fateful tribute to increased Medicare spending by the end of the year. That is what all kids should be taught in school!
For a land that considers itself free we are under serious dictatorship of the food industry – and for all the wrong reasons. Nothing to be proud of.