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Obesity Epidemic Continues

Posted by bmagnus On July - 3 - 2009

The annual F as in Fat is out, and the news is not good. Only one state had an obesity rate of less than 20% — that’s the percentage of people who are obese, not merely overweight. Even worse, the rate of obesity increased in 23 states. Childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years. People are getting fatter, with 2 out of every 3 people being either overweight or obese. Obesity is a direct threat to living a long and healthy life.

The fact that these figures continue to get worse year after year is evidence against “set point theory,” the idea that we all have an optimal weight which, left to our own devices, we will tend to be. For set point theory to be true, we must all be very rapidly evolving to be fatter, with weaker hearts and bones and joints, prone to more debilitating chronic diseases including diabetes and cancer. It is far more likely that we are collectively eating too much, of the wrong things, and not engaging in nearly enough physical activity.

There are a lot of things we can do both on a personal level and a community level to help combat the obesity epidemic in ourselves and others. A change as simple as insisting that communities have sidewalks can have a positive impact — both on people and our environment.

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