Weight Loss News and Current Events - A visual representation of rising obesity stats

09-18-2011, 12:59 PM

What will the map look like in 20 years?

09-18-2011, 01:14 PM
I was looking at those statistics not too long ago. I can't imagine what things will be like in 20 years, its not looking good though!

09-19-2011, 01:21 AM
That's not a good trend at all. Hopefully more people will join 3fc and reverse this trend.

09-29-2011, 03:12 AM
Wow! Looks like that food pyramid was a big FAIL! As was our crazy excitement over all of those crazy no fat high sugar snacks. I'm blaming the McGovern Committee, though I do still have a soft spot for poor misguided George.

09-29-2011, 06:16 AM
That was positively horrifying! :eek:

Thank you for posting... it's a good reminder.

09-29-2011, 08:55 AM
Very scary. Such a difficult trend to reverse, and think about the health implications and the associated costs.

09-29-2011, 10:04 AM
Wow, very scary!

I know most of my family is contributing to those stats (as I also did for years). Eventually something has got to give but I really am not sure what.

09-30-2011, 06:11 PM
That's really scary. And depressing. :(

10-06-2011, 09:07 PM
Was watching either The Chew/Doctors/Dr. Oz (one of them I don't remember lol) but they had mentioned it was concentrated in the south. Guess CDC supports that. Yay Sweet Tea and fried stuff :(

10-21-2011, 04:30 AM
I think we need to rethink what the biggest threat is to our national security.
There are so many overweight young people now that recruiters are having a difficult time meeting their numbers. It's strange how this snowball has affected so many areas of our lives that we don't even think about.

01-19-2012, 02:49 AM
This topic is interesting in that many still feel like an alarm should be sounded as data shows the trend is plateauing.

01-19-2012, 03:05 AM
This is truly disturbing. I don't think the pyramid should have all the blame. Hw about fast food joints, ice cream and donut stores and the terrible food choices ppl make daily (including me)

01-20-2012, 03:20 PM
Wow. What state was it that rated highest not too long ago and the governor (or someone) was doing a major health campaign to become a fitter state? Or was it a city?? I'm obviously very good with history. LOL

I'm just curious about researching some followup on that to see how they did.

01-21-2012, 03:49 PM
This is truly disturbing. I don't think the pyramid should have all the blame. Hw about fast food joints, ice cream and donut stores and the terrible food choices ppl make daily (including me)

I give the people who made the food pyramid some credit. They were trying to help people w/o costing them a lot of money.

I personally don't fault fast food places, ice cream, or donut shops. No restaurant has ever force fed me fattening foods. They are only catering to what their customers want: extra servings, huge portions, extra cheese, extra bacon, etc...

It is all about the decisions people make. They are choosing to make terrible food choices! Many people are out there living at a healthy weight, enjoying fast food or a donut once in a while. Having a decent diet doesn't have to take center stage in your life but nourishing yourself and caring for your health should be on the priority list. It's an individual's responsibility to make sure they are eating healthy foods, not a restaurant, not the government.

01-21-2012, 04:01 PM
It's interesting to me that the leading edge is in the poorest states - places like Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee are the first to change color.

That tells me more is going on than just people making unhealthy choices, because people make unhealthy choices everywhere. Poorer communities are at a distinct and increasing disadvantage when it comes to access to good nutrition and nutrition education.

01-21-2012, 09:51 PM
It's interesting to me that the leading edge is in the poorest states - places like Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee are the first to change color.

That tells me more is going on than just people making unhealthy choices, because people make unhealthy choices everywhere. Poorer communities are at a distinct and increasing disadvantage when it comes to access to good nutrition and nutrition education.

Some communities do not have access to fresh vegetables, like the urban food deserts that the First Lady is working to help, that's true but there's no way that can hold true across all of those states.

I come from the south and I think it's mainly eating habits, be it huge portions, frying foods, serving up every meal with biscuits and gravy, or drinking sugar laden drinks with those carb laden meals. Those foods were fine when people worked doing lots of manual labor and walked everywhere they went. Lifestyles changed but the cuisine didn't. I still love those foods and eat them in moderation but they are heavy, stick-to-your-ribs meals. I really don't like to categorize southern food in such a negative light either b/c it really was suitable at one point in time and helped people survive hard times, i.e the Great Depression. That was a time when people grew their own food and cooked their own food and that's pretty rare now with quick meals just a quick car ride down the road.

I don't think you need a lot of money to control your weight. Actually, I know you don't need a lot of money or education to change the way you eat. I have personally known someone living at poverty level who's doctor gave them a copy of the free diet and said "Follow this and lose weight or you will die." The person then proceeded to lose half of their body weight in a year and a half and maintain that until they died 16 years later.

If 78.1% of the U.S. use the internet, then surely they can access the resources they need to learn about weight control. I am always for more education in schools and communities b/c we need it! People are killing themselves living in denial about what extra weight does to the body. It doesn't make sense and I think that's why other people around the world view the U.S. in a negative way.

It's not just the U.S. with this problem either. Looks like other places are having obesity problems as well. People in general have changed their lifestyles through industrialization and technology but their eating habits haven't progressed to be any healthier, apparently less healthy.


I'll get off my soap box now but I don't ever want anyone to think they are too impoverished or uneducated to control their weight.

I hope you don't think I am picking at you Carter. I get a lot from your posts and what you said does hold true for some people.

01-21-2012, 10:16 PM
I hope you don't think I am picking at you Carter. I get a lot from your posts and what you said does hold true for some people.

I didn't think you were picking at me. I think you made some good points. I also think the problem is too big and too complex to be whittled down to one cause - when I said "more is going on than just people making unhealthy choices," I meant just that - additional factors.

Your anecdote of the poor person who got his or her nutrition under control is illuminating and inspiring. But most people do not get handed a good diet and ultimatum from a doctor. And lots of people simply don't have access to healthy food, to transportation to bring it home, to child care while they prepare it, to child care while they exercise.

You mention the internet as a resource - but there is a lot of conflicting information out there as well and it takes time and education to sort through it all. Even many doctors are ignorant of good nutrition, or are working off old templates that they learned years ago in medical school. There is a great deal of work to be done before everyone who wants access to good information and good food can get it.

I have succeeded in my weight loss partly because I've just done the hard work and exercised the discipline it takes to do that. At the same time, though, I recognize that I have done that from a position of remarkable privilege.

01-23-2012, 09:20 AM
Education is key when it comes to obesity rates and as is access to healthy foods. Unfortunately for a lot of people they don't have access to both.

I'm a teacher, so I'm a bit biased when it comes to an opinion on education...

When it comes to education, health is put on the wayside. We're so focused on math, science, social studies, etc. that we've put some of what's really important on the back burner and I think we're suffering for it. Some of the first things to go during budget cuts are the health teachers and health classes, because schools don't see them as important. When your measure of success is indicated by a science or math test, can you blame them? I've already seen subjects like social studies and science get pushed off because children aren't tested on it! It truly bothered me that one school I was in had science as a "special" that was once a week!

In these circumstances you can only imagine what happens to health class. It simply doesn't happen. Classroom teachers are tasked with teaching it in elementary school if a health teacher isn't present, but in college we're only given ONE class on general health. One, 3 credit class. Is that really enough to learn about nutrition when health class includes things like fire safety? No, not at all. The class I took barely scratched the surface of things like nutrients, portion sizes and exercise....

I too had to do all of that on my own and find the information. I'm just one of those people who can teach myself things, but most people aren't like that. Sometimes those of us who can just pick up something and learn forget that. We get frustrated with others who can't do what we can do (it's easy for us, so why can't they do it?) but we fail to realize that some people just CAN'T learn that way. Being a teacher (special education teacher specifically) has helped me realize that just because I can head online and teach myself about nutrition doesn't mean that someone else can do the same.

Of course education isn't the only thing to rising obesity rates, I think a lot more of it has to do with the fact that more and more of us are working in sedentary jobs. Most jobs used to be HARD PHYSICAL JOBS and those are now outsourced overseas. Most of our workforce sits in offices...is it any wonder that when given increased portion sizes and less activity that we're all gaining weight?

01-27-2012, 02:58 PM
Education is key, and lacking, definitely even amount my (all HS graduated) very intelligent coworkers only recently have they learned how to read nutrition labels and plan diets etc.
(past few years)

01-27-2012, 03:15 PM
Carter, I noticed that too. I know there are debates about this, but it isn't cheap to eat healthy. I was thinking about this at Aldi the other day. I needed a quick fix for a couple boys for dinner, and I mean quick, so I picked up a frozen pizza for $2.00. I feed my family pretty well at Aldi but I have done a lot of research and I make nearly everything from scratch. The average American doesn't put that much time into pre-thinking their meals and it's unrealistic to think that's going to change.

I blame the government, for several reasons. They could require less HFCS, for instance, but that would hurt the corn industry, wouldn't it? If we really targeted some of these unhealthy practices, someone is going to come out with the short end of the stick and we tend to stick up for industries well before the general population.

02-09-2012, 03:39 PM
I knew the U.S. was getting larger but that map really hits home. Scary stuff! I agree that there are economic links to food access (both that there may not be fresh foods available in some areas, and that it's a problem that potato chips are often cheaper than apples, etc.), but I've noticed big cultural-regional differences moving from the Northeast to the South. I grew up in the north in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, in a suburban town that I thought was small, but later realized it wasn't too small at all. I moved to a truly small town in the panhandle of Florida, which is close to Alabama and Georgia, and really part of "the deep South" (as opposed to the FL peninsula which is totally different). I was doing Weight Watchers when I moved here and gave up trying to go out to eat and stay remotely on plan because I couldn't find "naked" vegetable side dishes or lowfat dressings. Everything is deep fried! I ordered corn once, thinking oh well, it's starchy but not too bad, and it came as deep fried corn fritter-type bites. I had a waitress not understand me when I asked for a side salad. I will say I do live in a small town that has a fairly large poor community, and I learned to navigate my limited restaurant menus a bit better, but there still aren't a lot of options. When I go to the city there are more restaurants that offer more options, but the "southern" food is horrible for you! (Ok, some of it's tasty, but still horrible for you.)

Just last night my boyfriend told me "Mrs. Obama has made it so you can't buy junk food with food stamps." I haven't had time to research this and am not certain it's true. Does anyone know more? My initial reaction to this idea was positive though. I have admired the First Lady for her commitment to physical fitness and her gardening and discussion of feeding families healthfully, but we need more public figures jumping on the bandwagon!

02-09-2012, 03:54 PM
My grandma once said to me "I don't understand this new fangled 'Whole Foods' craze. Back when I was young it was just 'Food'!"

Exactly the problem, right there, grandma!!!

I know a lot of people who eat a lot more filler and chemicals than they do honest to goodness FOOD. It needs to change, quick!

02-13-2012, 09:53 AM
My grandma once said to me "I don't understand this new fangled 'Whole Foods' craze. Back when I was young it was just 'Food'!"

Exactly the problem, right there, grandma!!!

I know a lot of people who eat a lot more filler and chemicals than they do honest to goodness FOOD. It needs to change, quick!

This^ My 6 year old was so proud when he came home with his food pyramid and told me we needed to start buying bread again because you have to have 10 servings a day. :dizzy: So we had a conversation about how all you really need is meat and veggies, fruit sometimes, and no junk. That is how it works in our house, and he just smiled and said, "ok, sounds good" and went on about his business. I am 95% paleo, and have to stay that way or get very ill. Grains and dairy are horrible for me, but it took 24 years for me to figure that out. Never tried going with out because ya gotta get those healthy whole grains and low fat dairy. Now I eat at least 70% calories from fat and I'm well on my way to being in the best shape of my life.

02-15-2012, 04:10 PM
Wow that's scary. Thanks for the info! I posted it on my FB :)

02-15-2012, 07:24 PM
It's a mind boggling mess of variables. And YES, we are the ones controlling what we put on our plates, but sometimes the pool to pick from is less than ideal.

I agree -- food pyramid may not be the best suggestions for public health. Marion Nestle wrote some interesting things about all that.

Then the food we have -- how much of it is clean, wholesome food? No HFCS, GMO's, artificial this and that? What about hormones in milk and meats? Pesticides?

Then our exercise level in general as a populace? Exposure to chemicals in cleaners and air and more? Do we get enough sun?

What about food access? Some places are food deserts -- not anywhere near a nice supermarket.

There's education -- cooking, shopping, etc for healthy balanced meals and serving them in the right portions takes skills and knowledge.

It's hard work to stay ahead of it.


06-16-2012, 05:28 PM
It does appear to be slowing down, though. Not that it's not still a huge problem. Here's a snip from a recent CDC article:

Cynthia L. Ogden, Ph.D.; Margaret D. Carroll, M.S.P.H.; Brian K. Kit, M.D., M.P.H.; and Katherine M. Flegal, Ph.D.

Key findings
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 20092010

More than one-third of adults and almost 17% of youth were obese in 20092010.
There was no change in the prevalence of obesity among adults or children from 20072008 to 20092010.
Obesity prevalence did not differ between men and women.
Adults aged 60 and over were more likely to be obese than younger adults.
Obesity increases the risk of a number of health conditions including hypertension, adverse lipid concentrations, and type 2 diabetes (1). The prevalence of obesity in the United States increased during the last decades of the 20th century (2,3). More recently there appears to have been a slowing of the rate of increase or even a leveling off (4,5). Given the health risks of obesity and its high prevalence, it is important to continue to track the prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults and children. This report presents the most recent national estimates of obesity in the United States based on measured weight and height.

So maybe there is a bit of hope. We need to change this trend, otherwise healthcare costs will go through the roof.

06-16-2012, 08:01 PM
I think the biggest contributing factor to the obesity epidemic, is the fact that most of what we're taught about diet, nutrition, and weight maintenance is misleading and just plain wrong.

We say that poverty is no excuse, because the poor, even if they don't have access to good food can "just eat less." It's all a matter of "willpower."

We not only overplay the necessity for willpower, we largely dismiss the role of hunger in weight loss, telling people to "suck it up" and endure the discomfort.

Hunger is a difficult instinct to fight, and the SAD (standard American Diet) and modern foods, fuel hunger. There are people (I was one of them) who are shoveling thousands of calories into their bodies and still feeling hungry most of the time to the point of food obsession.

Most of my life, I've struggled with my weight. I was put on my first diet in kindergarten, and was reading adult diet books by 8 (and joined WW for the first time with my mother).

For more than 30 years I fought my weight and my body, when I should have been fighting hunger... but I didn't know that fighting hunger was even an option. I assumed that to lose weight, I had to accept hunger as a constant companion. I tried to fill up on greens and veggies (I love veggies and can eat tons of them) but I didn't know that there aren't enough greens and veggies in the world to satisfy my hunger when my carb intake is too high. I can eat 1800 calories of low-carb and be satisfied, or I can eat 10,000 calories of high-carb and still feel half-starved.

I thought I was a "food addict," but it turns out I'm a "carb-addict," and it's possible that ALL mammals are (because in the "natural" world, high glycemic carbs are very scarce and they're nutritional gold-mines. Mammals may have an instinct to binge on these foods because they're so rare. And in a natural world, calories are scarcer. Overpopulation occurs before widespread obesity).

This too is an oversimplification, but I think oversimplification is the problem itself. We want simple answers, or at least simple solutions, and there just aren't any.

I'm succeeding now, in ways I never have before - and I'd love to be able to fit the stereotype and say that what changed is that "I finally got serious," or "I just buckled down...." but that's not true at all. For a while I thought it was, but I was fooling myself. I didn't put more effort into weight loss, I just started "unlearning" the myths I grew up with.

I learned to stop blaming myself, and started really paying attention to what worked for me, and what didn't - and a lot of it I learned accidentally. Like getting a birth control that drastically reduced TOM/PMS hunger/cravings (which didn't help me lose weight, but did help me stop gaining weight - in my mid to late 20's. Ironically, I had avoided birth control for mor than a decade because of the risk of weight gain).

Being prescribed a CPAP and losing 20 lbs "accidentally" (I had given up on dieting, because in my experience dieting put more pounds on me than it took off).

Deciding that if I couldn't diet, I'd have to find a different way to get healthy (I started making changes that I was willing to stick with whether or not weight loss occurred - and for the first two years all I managed to do was keep off the 20 lbs accidentally lost).

I focused on "not gaining" rather than losing, and decided that while I was at it I'd try to "lose just one more lb."

We're taught a lot of crap when it comes to weight loss, most of it we don't even realize we've learned, like

"fat people don't deserve to have anything good in their lives anyway, so dieting should be horrible, and miserable in punishment for the social crime of obesity."

"if it tastes good, you can't eat it"

"only goal weight matters, if you decide you can't get to goal, you might as well give up"

"only perfection counts - if you eat a single bite off plan, you've "blown it" and the appropriate response is to binge all night and start fresh tomorrow - unless it happens to later in the week than Thursday (or possibly Wednesday night) - then start fresh on Monday.

Weight loss is something you should (or can only do) alone - and it should be done in secret. Needing help is shameful. Weight Watchers, TOPS, OA... anything with a meeting and admitting of eating secrets... is shameful.

Anything but solitary action and intense willpower is "taking the easy way out."

Only the "hardest way" counts for anything. You should be able to have crap in the house and resist it. You should be able to watch others eat what you shouldn't, because it exercises willpower. You should be able to do it on your own without help......

You should hide (ideally alone in a dark closet) until you earn the right to be seen in public.

We've internalized these beliefs, not even realizing we believe them, because they're the "unspoken" rules of society - but we learn them anyway (and then blame ourselves for being weak and stupid - because we're taught to do that too).

I thought I was smarter than the average bear (learning to read before kindergarten, and in 5th grade, tested at college reading level), and I've been "studying" weight loss for as long as I can remember.

I wish I had encountered Paleo-theory much earlier (I did read Neanderthin when it came out, but there was so much press against it, from the "experts" that I too thought it must be wrong).

Weight loss is still such a "taboo" that many people find it hard to join a weight loss club, because they're so ashamed. And yet it's the biggest not0s-secret secret (we pretend not to notice our own and other's fat, but we do).

Wouldn't it be cool if TOPS or other weight loss clubs were as common an extra-curricular activity as sports, chess club, language clubs in gradeschools, middleschools, and high schools ....?

There are so many possible ways to reverse the trend, but we have to do all the unlearning first. And the unwritten rules are going to be the hardest to combat (because we pretend we don't really believe them).