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Gregory Petruzzi, DC, Owner
Why Is Obesity So Prevalent In the United States?
The Active Chiropractic Clinic

Why Is Obesity So Prevalent In the United States?

“As a physician, I cannot remain silent when 325,000 deaths and approximately $93 billion in direct health care costs are attributed to obesity annually. I cant passively stand by when health care costs are 37 percent greater for overweight and obese individuals than for patients within a normal range, making obesity rival to the increased medical costs related to smoking in this country.” – Ray Strand, MD
We, as Americans, are continually hearing about obesity as a health problem reaching epidemic proportions. And the question is being asked, “Why is obesity so prevalent in the United States?”
Many people point to an excessive dependence on “fast food” as one of the problems. So, is eating fast food as responsible for the obesity problems as some people say? Is a grilled hamburger or chicken sandwich really that bad?
It is widely thought that the convenience of foods rich in calories and lacking in nutrients causes people to get these two things out of balance. There are even people who feel that the taste and convenience of fast food causes a dependence on it, and people just eat too much of it.
In fact, all foods, whether fast food or not, have calories and eating too many calories may lead to weight problems.
One factor to be aware of is that highly processed foods go through dehydration, canning and freezing, and may rob them of their nutrient value, as well as their natural taste.
Some flavors people have become fond of may not be the result of cooking or food preparation, but of what some people call “food doctoring”. If we were to taste those foods without the artificial flavoring, many of them wouldnt have much taste at all. For example, a typical artificial strawberry flavoring alone has about 41 different ingredients.
The colors, which you see, the aromas that you smell, the flavors that you taste, and even the textures that you feel when you bite into some highly processed foods are only a chemical representation of what you think you are eating.
Of course, many people will wash down that meal with some soda. Most 12-ounce sodas contain greater than 10 teaspoons of sugar, and many also contain caffeine. It is reported that every man, woman, and child in this country consumes, on average, the equivalent of 600 12-ounce sodas each year.
Busy schedules have forced people to choose foods based on convenience and not necessarily on nutritional value. Unfortunately, this practice may influence children who are in need of sound nutrition during development. When this is taken into account, coupled with the possible lack of physical activity due to hours spent in front of a television or video games, it shouldnt be a mystery why childhood obesity is at a record high.
There are a multitude of trendy diets out there and its increasingly difficult to know which ones, are the right ones. I refer people to the following books Releasing Fat by Ray Strand, MD, and Eat Drink and Be Healthy by Walter Willet.
Make your decisions based on facts, not fads. Eating well must be a lifestyle choice, not a short-term diet.
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