The U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that 35.7 percent of American adults are obese, with adolescents and children at about half that rate. Unfortunately, they expect that number to increase by 32 million in the year 2030. In order to try to reverse this trend, Americans must examine a number of factors that are currently contributing to increasing weight gain.
1. Food Availability
One of the main problems of modern society is the constant availably of food. We can walk down any block or drive down any street and find a fast food restaurant, convenience store or supermarket, ready to serve our every need. This availability makes it too easy to “grab a snack” or pick up a meal that may not be the most nutritious or calorie-smart for our needs.
2. Processed Foods
Many diet studies show a connection between some foods and ease of weight loss or gain. Processed foods are one of the worst offenders for weight gain, and some experts suspect that the additives and preservatives may be contributing factors. Potato chips are one of the foods that can easily lead to added weight. Sugar-sweetened drink can also add calories without adding nutrition. Even artificial sweeteners that many people consume to control weight can have a “re-bound effect” that cause weight gain. Processed meats like deli meats are also high in fat that adds weight. Instead, choose foods as close to their natural form as possible. Yogurt, nuts, whole grains and vegetables are all associated with easier weight loss.
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3. The Connected Society
The computer revolution created a more sedentary lifestyle for most Americans. We spend longer periods sitting in front of keyboards doing Google searches and attending to emails, texts and tweets. Where we once moved from office to office to communicate with co-workers, we now simply send an email. Unfortunately, the human body was designed to burn calories by moving around, doing physical work and transporting ourselves from here to there. This clash of needing to move and needing to stay put to do our work can create a problem for our health.
4. Lack of Exercise
Because we have become more sedentary in our work habits and have more food close at hand, we have a greater need to exercise to burn those calories off. Only about 20 percent of the population has a regular exercise program, which means that 80 percent of Americans have not yet incorporating a plan into their daily lives. Many people dislike the whole idea of exercising at the gym, but you can still find ways to burn calories with walks, tennis, golf, dancing, swimming, cross-country skiing and other activities.
5. Quitting Smoking
Even some of the beneficial things we do can lead to weight gain. Quitting smoking has been an effort that has gone on for some time, and the added weight that is often a result may be adding to the obesity data. However, the benefits of smoking cessation are so important that temporary weight gain is worth the struggle. After you are safely off cigarettes, you can then tackle the weight gain with smart dieting and exercise.
6. Lack of Sleep
Most Americans live busy lives with work and family demands that often get us up very early in the morning and get us into bed late at night. Researchers are finding these disturbances in sleep patterns can be associated with weight gain. They find that though their metabolic rate may not be different, the sleep-deprived group tended to consumer more calories during the day. It may be that people eat to compensate for feelings of fatigue from lack of sleep. To prevent this effect from inadequate sleep, try to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
There are many reasons why people are getting fatter these days, but one of the biggest problems is junk food. If you want to drop a few pounds, make sure you have a healthy diet and you exercise on a regular basis. Do you know any other reasons why Americans are getting fatter?