Cutting Edge: Fighting The Fat. Why Is America So Fat?

Why Is America Fat?Cutting Edge: Fighting Fat is one of three prime-time health specials produced and aired by the Gannett Broadcast division for their stations across the country.   Hosted by Julie Nelson, this medical special does an in-depth  investigative report on the obesity epidemic in America.  The program reveals that our obesity rate is the second-highest of all the countries in the world, with Mexico being number one, the United States number two, and United Kingdom number three.  David Ludwig, M.D., PhD, Director of the Obesity Program at Children’s Hospital in Boston says “Obesity has already taking an enormous toll economically on society estimated at over $100 billion a year. It also adversely affects worker productivity making us less competitive on an international level.”  So why are we so fat?

Julie said the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the main causes for our overweight society is our sedentary, couch potato lifestyle and our addiction to unhealthy, processed and fast food. Today, we eat 700 more calories in a day then we did in 1970.  Simply put people are gaining far too much weight because they’re eating too much. Highly processed foods contain refined sugar and starches, salt and saturated fats. This is unfortunately due in large part to the astonishing growth of the American fast food culture.  Fast food is readily accessible and you can be triggered to eat a hundred times day just by watching TV!

For many who are over weight or obese there is a true personal cost.   Louis Aronne, M.D., Clinical Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in NY says  “there are more than 50 illnesses that are caused by excess body fat.  Heart disease, cancer, strokes, heart blood pressure, diabetes, infertility, liver disease, asthma… there are just so many that it takes an encyclopedia to go over them all.”

How can you tell if you may be overweight or obese?  Julie Nelson explains the measurement for being overweight or obese is scored by your Body Mass Index or BMI. Body mass index is a measure of body fat based on your height and weight that applies to adult men and women. A measurement under 18.5 is considered underweight.
Normal weight is considered between 18.5 and 25. Overweight is between 25 and 30. Obesity is a BMI over 30.
For instance if you are female of average height of 5’4″ and you weigh 135 pounds you have a BMI of 23.2 considered normal weight. But if you weigh over 150 pounds you are considered overweight with the BMI of 25.7. If your weight is 180 pounds you are considered medically obese with a BMI of 30.9.

To calculate your BMI, you can use free online BMI Calculators such as The RightTrak.com. The RightTrak.com will calculate your BMI and also your Recommended Daily Allowances(RDA) for over 30 nutrients.

Spend some time on The RightTrak.com and do several food searches. You will quickly learn and understand what favorite foods are giving you the most “Nutrient Bang for Your Buck!  What foods you like to eat that will give you the most disease fighting nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, beta carotene…and more. The RightTrak will turn Green if those allowances are met or Red if those allowances are not met.  A diet rich in nutrients will naturally reduce your cravings and put you on the way to healthy weight loss.

If your BMI determines that you may be overweight or obese, what are your options in getting your weight back to a healthy, normal level?

Cutting Edge: Fighting Fat explores several weight loss options including various bariatric surgery types.

Is childhood obesity on the rise? Cutting Edge: Fighting Fat examines how this obesity epidemic is affecting America’s children.

Related Sites:

Weill Cornell Medical College

Children’s Hospital Boston

The RightTrak.com Nutrient Calculator and BMI

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