While we have become more aware of the problem of obesity, still, obesity levels continue to rise in the United States. The Journal of the American Medical Association just released new data showing that 40 percent of adults in the US fell within the obesity criteria in 2015 and 2016, which is much higher than a decade ago. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was used to compare obesity in 2007 and 2008 to that of 2015 and 2016. In 2007/2008 the obesity level was 33.7
7.7 percent of people in the US were severely obese. Still, younger people are still better off than adults, with 18.5% of kids from 2 to 19 falling into the obese category and 5.6 percent being severely obese. (1)
While we continue to see a rise in obesity, we also continue to eat food we know are not good for us. We continue to consume more and more fast foods. Meanwhile junk food warning labels continue to be resisted, including by officials from the US in NAFTA. Big Food continues to push back on attempts to create awareness about obesity and the dangers of eating processed foods. This confuses people and creates a cloud surrounding what is good for you. Food trends come and go and it is hard for the average person to keep up with what people are saying to do. It’s often difficult to make healthy decisions when there is just so much out there normalizing bad ones.
Still, there are many out there working to continue to spread awareness and it is important that process continues. One thing people need to become more aware of is that you cannot trust big companies with big influences and big profits to lose to make decisions for you. There is so much misinformation being spread and it creates too much confusion when it comes to health. Investigating so-called scientific findings and considering the sources, in particular when it comes to sugar is important.
A meta-analyses published Diabetes Care and available on the American Diabetes Association website looked at the influence of the rise of sugar sweetened beverages. It said, “About 75% of all foods and beverages contain added sugar in a large array of forms. Consumption of soft drinks has increased fivefold since 1950. Meta-analyses suggest that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is related to the risk of diabetes, the metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. Drinking two 16-ounce SSBs per day for 6 months induced features of the metabolic syndrome and fatty liver. Randomized controlled trials in children and adults lasting 6 months to 2 years have shown that lowering the intake of soft drinks reduced weight gain.” (2)
While attempts to normalize sugar, even from companies who say they promote responsible farming and organic products, are prolific, we must be wary of excess sugar intake. The sugars we get from whole organic and grass fed foods are usually more than enough. Even consuming too many fruits can be bad for you. Excess sugar intake is associated with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. The body doesn’t know what to do with excess sugar. It can cause the body to become insulin resistance, overwork the pancreas, and cause excess storage of fat. There is a huge correlation between sugar intake and health risks, yet we continue to ignore it. It’s time to spread awareness and make decisions to buy unprocessed, whole, organic and grass fed foods.