I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t know already, but some of the wealthy countries in the world are getting fat. And it’s getting worse. Here are some horrible statistics (I’m going to pick on the United States of America, not because they are the worse country, but because statistics are more easily available).
Here’s a graph of the obesity rates from the last 25 years.
As you can see it is just getting worse and worse. Obesity has doubled from 1990 to 2009. The projection is for this number to hit 50% by 2030 unless something radical is done.
Now why is this? Why has the world become this way? There isn’t one sole reason, but many. Here are some of the main ones.
Ease of getting food
Over the centuries we have become lazy on many fronts. We use to hunt for food. We use to go gather our food. Now we can get as much of it as we want delivered straight to out door. Food is cheap (particularly the bad stuff). Food use to cost 25% of our income back in 1930. Now it is only 10%. So before you would have to ration your food to survive. Now you can afford to eat what you want.
Types of food we are eating
What we eat now is complete garbage. I have already told you about the evils of sugars. We use to eat natural foods. Now everything we eat has had all the good stuff taken out of it and a lot of terrible things added through the manufacturing process (processed food). We have also gradually changed from eating a good hearty home meal to eating out more (see graph above). Restaurants only aim is to make good tasting food. Calorie content isn’t important. Hence you often get great tasting food with a lot of calories and salt.
Remember when as a child you use to go outside and ride your bike for hours, or go shoot hoops with your mates until the sun set. Doesn’t happen anymore. People are inside playing their PlayStation, or texting each other on the phone. Sports participation is down across the country as people now love different things other than running around and getting sweaty.
Surprisingly there are somethings that you would think are the problem, but aren’t. Here’s a couple of those:
Never has information been more readily available to the regular person. The internet is the source of so much good information it’s surprising that the world is going the way it is. Everyone knows that we are getting fatter, eating poorly and exercising less. The problem is, NO ONE CARES! If you walked up to someone eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger and told him it was terrible for him, he would say “I know”.
There are so many diets to choose from these days. Now some of them aren’t great for you, but it’s not hard to find a diet that has research to back it up showing you why it is good. There are also countless healthy diet supplements to help you lose that weight. With so much out there to help you, why are we going the way we are?
So what do we do? There are no easy answers. I will examine in a later post some of my ideas, but for now I want you to start thinking about what you can do.