If you pay attention to the news you would notice a large epidemic facing our great Nation is that of obesity. The obesity rates in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are climbing.
More than one-third of US adults are obese (1), which amounts to roughly 78.6 million Americans whom have a body-weight that is 20% higher than what is considered healthy by healthcare professionals.
Let’s break that 20% down to simple terms.
If you consider a 5’5″ female between the ages of 25-59, with a medium frame, the ideal body weight should be between 120-136 pounds (2). Add the 20% to be considered obese to those weights and you now have a 5’5″ female who weighs 144-163 pounds.
That doesn’t seem too bad until you physically pick up a 24-27 pound object and hold it for a few minutes. How long can you hold onto that object? It gets difficult doesn’t it? Imagine how much harder your body has to work to carry around that weight? (these are just estimates to prove a point that making your body carry around extra weight is detrimental to your health)
Where did we go wrong as a country which now has 1 in every 3 adults categorized as Obese? One word… Diet.
The American diet was and still is wrong, all wrong.
One look at the 1992 Food Pyramid, handed out by the USDA, you will see an astonishing 6-11 servings of Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta. As we are learning, these foods do not provide the same type of nutritional value as does whole, unprocessed foods like vegetables and fruits. There has been some discussion online concerning the USDA altering the Food Pyramid with guidance from the Secretary of Agriculture, to appease the food industry. Luis Light of the USDA, who was a nutritionist in charge of implementing the Food Pyramid in 1992, had her guidelines for the pyramid altered from a recommended diet based around whole fruits and vegetables to processed foods like breads, cereals and pasta. The top portion of the Food Pyramid, which is composed of Fats, Oils and Sweets, suggests to use sparingly, yet doesn’t differentiate between unsaturated (“good fats”) and saturated fats (“bad fats”).
These recommendations have set back our country for a few decades as there have been links between a diet in line with the Food Pyramid of 1992 and the increase in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the US. It’s hard to say that the Food Pyramid was the only cause of the rise in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but it’s also hard to say that the Pyramid helped in any way. What I can be sure of is the Pyramid added fuel to the fire of misinformation.
It’s no wonder our country is battling an obesity epidemic, when the people who should be providing us with accurate information regarding healthy eating, is sold to the highest bidder.
There is hope….
What’s great about healthy eating is you’re the one in charge of what you put into your body. The hardest part is gathering the information necessary to know what a “healthy diet” consists of.
That is where this blog comes into play.
I will be writing posts in the Healthy Living category that will highlight easy to manage changes to your lifestyle and diet; which will have a positive impact on your overall health, your body, your mind and even your wallet (or pocketbook).
Be part of the solution and not the problem.
Chad R. Puschel