Just How FAT Are Americans?

Just How FAT Are Americans?
by Brooke Douglas, R.D.

Just How Fat are Americans?

We hear a lot of reports about the growing obesity epidemic, but what does it mean?

America’s Obesity Epidemic

Obesity is defined as a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.  Although, this number is not

equally distributed around the U.S.  Check to see how your state lines up in the prevalence of

obesity:

 

15 – 19% Fat   Colorado is ‘thinnest’ state and the only state to average less than 20% body fat.

20 – 24% Fat   Hawaii, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Illinois, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida and Virginia.

25 – 29% Fat Washington, Oregon, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland.

> 30% Fat      Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi.

 

 

The World Obesity Epidemic

 

I know it may be hard to believe, but the U.S. isn’t the most ‘obese’ country on earth.  In fact, we’re also not the most ‘overweight’.  After a quarter-century rise, obesity prevalence has not increased since 2004.  Still, 72 million adults (34%) are obese. Many health professionals would like this number to be less than 15%, a level not seen since 1980.

 

Below are the top eight ‘obese’ countries and the top eight ‘overweight’ countries:

% Overweight                                                % Obese


 

62% Israel                                           29% Kuwait

63% Bosnia                                         29% Bahrain

64% Kuwait                                       34% United States

66% United States                            34% United Arab Emirates

67% United Kingdom                      36% Saudi Arabia

67% Germany                                   41% French Polynesia

73% Saudi Arabia                             56% Tonga

75% French Polynesia                      79% Nauru

What’s Your BMI

Underweight = <18.5

Normal weight = 18.5-24.9

Overweight = 25-29.9

Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

 

 

BMI
(kg/m2)
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 35 40
Height
(in.)
Weight (lbs.)
58 91 96 100 105 110 115 119 124 129 134 138 143 167 191
59 94 99 104 109 114 119 124 128 133 138 143 148 173 198
60 97 102 107 112 118 123 128 133 138 143 148 153 179 204
61 100 106 111 116 122 127 132 137 143 148 153 158 185 211
62 104 109 115 120 126 131 136 142 147 153 158 164 191 218
63 107 113 118 124 130 135 141 146 152 158 163 169 197 225
64 110 116 122 128 134 140 145 151 157 163 169 174 204 232
65 114 120 126 132 138 144 150 156 162 168 174 180 210 240
66 118 124 130 136 142 148 155 161 167 173 179 186 216 247
67 121 127 134 140 146 153 159 166 172 178 185 191 223 255
68 125 131 138 144 151 158 164 171 177 184 190 197 230 262
69 128 135 142 149 155 162 169 176 182 189 196 203 236 270
70 132 139 146 153 160 167 174 181 188 195 202 207 243 278
71 136 143 150 157 165 172 179 186 193 200 208 215 250 286
72 140 147 154 162 169 177 184 191 199 206 213 221 258 294
73 144 151 159 166 174 182 189 197 204 212 219 227 265 302
74 148 155 163 171 179 186 194 202 210 218 225 233 272 311
75 152 160 168 176 184 192 200 208 216 224 232 240 279 319
76 156 164 172 180 189 197 205 213 221 230 238 246 287 328

 

 

Counting Calories –

Not only are we consuming too much fast food, processed white foods and drinking too many liquid calories but we are also way too sedentary.  It only takes an extra 100 calories daily to manifest to a ten-pound weight gain in one year.  That’s not that much food (maybe a couple of Oreos with some nonfat milk).  Instead of, “Where’s the Beef?”  How about, ‘Where’s the Fruit and Vegetables?’ It is our own responsibility to ‘provide’ and ‘enforce’ healthy eating principles.  Adults need to eat right and expect the same of their children.  Keeping a food record for a few days can be a real eye-opener to how many extra calories you (or your child) are consuming each day.

 

Children should consume around 1,300 calories a day, or about 430 calories per meal (on average).  One typical kids meal provides 570 to 740 calories per meal.  These extra calories are very cumulative and can really add up and contribute to the obesity epidemic in children and adults.

 

The USDA recommends the average adult consume only 2,000 calories daily. The average American adult consumes from 1,883 up to 5,649 calories daily, as estimated by the World Health Organization.  It is also estimated that over 40% of our calorie intake comes from both fat and excessive sugar intake of any form (corn syrup, molasses, honey, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, etc.).  What this means is that we are eating more calories, 24% more to be exact.  Although, there is no finger pointing, one single food group is not to blame.  It’s the big picture of too many calories (regardless from sugar or fat) and not enough exercise.

What Can We Do About It?

The likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes and hypertension rises steeply with increasing body fatness. Confined to older adults for most of the 20th century, this disease now affects both moderately overweight and obese children. Approximately 85% of people with diabetes are type 2, and of these, 90% are obese or overweight.

Effective weight management for adults and children at risk of becoming overweight and developing obesity involves a range of long-term strategies. These strategies may include:  Nutrition and Lifestyle Changes, Food-Nutrient Timing and Portions Sizes, Diagnosis Specific Nutrition Education, Physical Activity Education/Monitoring, Laboratory Assessment/Target Ranges, Nutrient Supplementation, Stimulus Control/Behavior Barriers, Personal Goal Setting, and Self Monitoring via Food Analysis.

Ask your physician if he thinks you are an appropriate patient to benefit from Medical Nutrition Therapy?

Brooke Douglas, R.D.

www. NutritionAuthority.com.

You may also enjoy:

Leading Preventable Cause of Death in America 

Healthy Snacks for the 9-5’er

 

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