In the last 40 years, obesity, and in particular child obesity has increased at an alarming rate in the United States.
The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), which tracked the percent of total daily calories of the range of food groups from 1970-2008, has given us the clues. You can download their Excel spreadsheet here.
If you just look at the differences in Caloric Consumption and the percentages in the daily diet, you will come up with these numbers. I compared the first and last year (1970 and 2008) but you can use the first 5 average and last 5 average and get very close to the same conclusions.
Caloric Consumption change
- Meat, eggs, and nuts +19
- Dairy -10
- Fruit +16
- Vegetables -3
- Flour and cereal products +193
- Added fats and oils and dairy fats +231
- Caloric sweeteners +58
Total increase: 505 Calories (kCal)
- Meat, eggs, and nuts -3.3%
- Dairy -2.7%
- Fruit no change
- Vegetables -1.2%
- Flour and cereal products +3.4%
- Added fats and oils and dairy fats +5.1%
- Caloric sweeteners -1.3%
So, Why am I fat?
This leads me to a single conclusion:
- Increase in portion sizes
- Increase in calories from carbs and fats
- Sedentary lifestyle.
I am sure the physical activity has not increased 25% due to the increase in caloric intake!
And you have to wonder if the fruit and vegetables are as good as they were 40 years ago due to mineral depletion in the soil. Really, how good are greenhouse produce? They sure look nice, in their colour and bug-free bruises. Plus wax. But how do they taste?
So that means you are eating more (bad) carbs and (bad) fat and getting less vitamins and minerals!
How many of you are supplementing with Omega 3 fatty acids? We all eat too much of Omega 6. I get my fair share of olive oil here in Italy (see my previous article on fats)
You can thank the fast food industry and the packaged food industry and all their portable food!
Take a lesson from Alicia Weber… just get off the couch and move! Dance, run , walk, sing, swim, push-ups, pull ups, dips, yoga, Pilates, Frisbee, disc golf, whatever it takes.
Or, preferably, join your local Track and Field Team.
(If you are interested, click on the graphs below to see the dataset from the Excel spreadsheet quoted above)