One reason for the increased rates of obesity is an increasing lack of exercise.Food Calories and Land Introduction If you check any popular newspaper, magazine, or television news show in the last year or two, you have heard this same story countless times:

Food Calories and Land Introduction If you check any popular newspaper, magazine, or television news show in the last year or two, you have heard this same story countless times: Americans are fat, and getting fatter. Every year, new studies reported that show that the situation is getting worse. By 2002, the National Center for Health Statistics found that 65% of all adult Americans were overweight. This figure is significantly higher than the 47% of adults who fell into this category just 20 years before in 1980.

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Food Calories and Land Introduction If you check any popular newspaper, magazine, or television news show in the last year or two, you have heard this same story countless times: Americans are fat, and getting fatter. Every year, new studies reported that show that the situation is getting worse. By 2002, the National Center for Health Statistics found that 65% of all adult Americans were overweight. This figure is significantly higher than the 47% of adults who fell into this category just 20 years before in 1980. To make matters worse, 31% of adults were more than 30 pounds overweight, moving them into the obese category. This is more than double what it was in 1980, when only 15% of adults were considered obese.1 It is doubtful that this situation is going to change anytime soon. In the same study, the NCHS found that 16% of children aged 6-11 were overweight. This is a fourfold increase over the percentage in 1960, when only 4% were overweight. 2 The interesting thing is that the majority of this increase has occurred over the last 20 years, just as it has for adults. In 1980, only 7% of children were considered overweight. What does this data mean? It means that we should expect to see coronary disease increase, as more people experience clogged arteries. It also means that we should continue to see a rise in many other types of diseases that are linked to obesity, such as Type II diabetes. This, of course, means that there will be a serious impact on the economy, as there will be higher insurance rates to cover medical bills and more loss-time on company payrolls as people fall ill. But, not so obviously, it also means that there might be a serious impact on the environment. To understand why, let us look at the average diet of Americans. Fig. 1: U.S. adult obesity rats (Dept. of HHS) Diet One reason for the increased rates of obesity is an increasing lack of exercise. We lead a more sedentary life today than we did 30 or 50 years ago. This is due to many…


 

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