It seems that today people have nothing but dieting and weight loss on their minds. If you don’t believe it just check in with the latest advertising sources. You will be bombarded with all the latest diet schemes and food fads.
Here in the United States about $114 billion is spent every year in the weight loss industry. That includes everything from diet pills to fad diets to weight loss surgery!
Despite everything, we seem to still be packing on the pounds as never before.
– In the U.S. 64% of adults are either overweight or obese. That is an increase of 8% from earlier estimates.
– Within the ages of 6-19, 15% or approximately 9 million are overweight. That is triple the rate as compared to 1980!
– Approximately 1/3 of all adults are now considered to be obese.
For many Americans with lives filled full of conveniences, life may just be getting TOO easy. We expend less energy and therefore we don’t need as many calories for our normal body weight.
Let’s give this some thought….
We no longer have to expend any energy in other to get entertainment. We now sit back and become couch potatoes while watching TV and chomping down on our favorite snack. No matter if it’s TV, remote controls, computers or cars, we tend to move less and burn fewer calories. Common activities that were one considered normal routines have now all but disappeared…like climbing stairs, walking to get somewhere or pushing a lawn mower.
I, too, enjoy comfortable living but here is the problem….
With all of today’s modern conveniences and our “comfy” lifestyle, we have not adjusted our caloric intake to take into consideration our decreased caloric expenditure. We are consuming more calorie laden and nutrient deficient foods than ever before. Consider some examples of what we eat now vs. the 1970’s (U.S. Department of Agriculture survey):
– We now eat more grain products and just about all of them are refined such as white bread, white rice, white flour, etc. Grain consumption has risen 45% since the 1970’s. That means that a person who was eating 138 pounds in the ‘70’s now eats 200 pounds a year! Just 2% of wheat flour is consumed as whole wheat.
– The consumption of vegetables and fruits has risen, but that is because French fries and potato chips are considered vegetables. Potato products are now about 1/3 of our “produce” choices.
– We drink less milk, but the cheese intake has more than doubled. Cheese is now the #1 source of saturated fats in our diet.
– Red meat is on the decline, but the intake of chicken has increased. That would be a good thing but most of it is battered and fried. Overall, we are consuming 13 more pounds of meat than that of the 1970’s.
– Our intake of carbonated drinks has risen 3 times over milk as compared with the 1970’s.
– We use 25% less butter but make up for it by pouring vegetable oil on our salads and foods. The fat intake has increased by 32%.
– Sugar intake is off the charts and is visible by our expanding waistlines. People consume about twice the amount of sugar that is needed each day or about 20 teaspoons for a 2,000 calorie/day diet. We consume more junk food in the form of cookies, cake and pop. In 1978, it was found that sugar on made up 11% of the average person’s diet. Now that has jumped to 16% for adults and as much as 20% for teenagers.
It seems that the days of nutritious and whole family dinners are long gone and now the family meal has been replace by fast foods and eating on the go! We have come to accept the fact that it’s “OK” to sacrifice healthy foods for more convenient ones and that bigger portions are the better value.
We must realize that we are just eating too many calories and it is time to take the bull by the horns and turn things around! We can each decide that we must begin to start eating healthy and to form good exercise habits TODAY!
We can do this by exploring our thoughts, values and habits and weed out the unhealthy ones and begin to live a more productive, rewarding and healthy life!