Are We Fighting A Winning Battle Against Obesity? Maybe... February 1st, 2012
It seems that the rates of obesity have been on a steady raise over the past few decades. Past reports have predicted that obesity will raise to thirty percent of the population by 2013 but experts are now saying that may not necessarily be the case. While the percentage of obese people rose drastically in the 1980’s and 90’s it appears that the percentage may have reached a levelling off point. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention certainly seem to point to this being the case, it appears that the rate of obese women has not risen since 1999 and the rate of obese men hasn’t risen since 2003. This trend isn’t merely appearing in the United States but in countries throughout the world, leading experts to question why this may be and how they can get rates to descend.
There are a few hypotheses as to why this plateau may have come about. The first being that food supply has expanded, meaning healthier options for more and more people. Another popular factor to be considered is a possible energy imbalance. And yet another potential cause could be environmental factors causing changes in the hormones that regulate appetite and/or satiety. Regardless a lot more research needs to be conducted before scientists can claim any conclusive factors.
While this news is certainly good news in some respects, obesity is still a huge problem. Greater than one third of the United States’ population is obese, meaning about seventy-eight million people in this country are currently obese. That is an absurdly large figure. Obesity is a leading cause of chronic illnesses and is subsequently a huge expense to the American economy. It costs a lot of money to treat illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes which lie in direct correlation to obesity. A lot of work still needs to be done in order to rescue the United States from this epidemic.
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