Obesity Epidemic Sweeps the US: Stalled Economy Enables It

(COLUMN)

 @ibtimes
on July 09 2011 5:35 PM

Obesity rates theatrically increased in 16 US states last year and did not decrease in the others according to a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health. 

Twelve states have an obesity rate of over 30%; only one state saw this overwhelming rate in 2007.  These numbers are unprecedented and are foreshadowing an epidemic.  Rates are highest in the South; nine of the ten Southern states have the highest obesity rates in America.  The West and Northeast have the lowest rates.  Furthermore, each U.S. state has an obesity rate of more than 20% except for Colorado.  The fattest state?  Mississippi. 

The report indicated that all U.S. state obesity rates were below 15% twenty years ago, suggesting that we are doing this to ourselves.  Obesity rates have increased by greater than 90% in 10 states and have doubled in seven. 

Stressful economic times cause people to eat low-cost food and low-cost food tends to make people fat. Cheap food such as McDonald's is appealing because the consumer feels full for hours for little money. The only drawback of course is that US consumers are eating themselves to death.

The more money that an individual earns, the more likely the individual will buy high-quality, expensive foods and the greater his demand for protein, including meat, milk and eggs.  His demand goes down for low-cost foods such as wheat and rice.  When an individual makes little or no money, anything goes. 

Obesity, a highly preventable medical condition, becomes present when body fat enables health problems.  Obesity significantly stunts life expectancy and life expectancy in a state is directly related to obesity rates.

Pyschiatric illnesses, medications, medical conditions, and genetic predisposition increase odds.  However, the exponential growth of obesity rates suggests that these factors may not be the factors contributing to the obesity epidemic that is frantically sweeping the nation. 

Obesity exponentially increases your odds of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, cancer, and osteoarthritis.

The increased unemployment rate, which now stands at an embarrassing 9.2%, foreshadowing a stalled economy, will make America even fatter.

 

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