American’s waistlines are increasingly expanding. Aside from the expected gluttonous nature of the holidays, waistlines are expanding regularly. Diet program companies convincingly make millions in promising weight loss for Americans who appear gullible in believing they can eat and eat and diet later. This fallacy leads to broken resolutions, bad eating habits, and high morbidity rates. A September 2014 USA Today article discusses American’s expandable bellies. On average, “43% of men and 64% of women” have expanding/pot bellies. More and more “American guts are official health hazards – in an “abdominal obesity” where waistlines measure 40.2 inches for men and 34.6 inches for women and are continuously growing. Bellies that are big are linked with increased risks of diabetes, heart disease and premature death.
American’s diets may be to blame. The average diet is loaded with sugar, salt, and fat. With the regular consumption of fast food that is loaded with sugar, salt and fat it is no wonder waistlines are expanding. At least 50 million people eat out regularly. The CDC reports that “during 2007–2010, adults consumed an average 11.3% of their total daily calories from fast food. The percentage of calories consumed from fast food did not differ significantly between men (11.8%) and women (10.9%). The percentage of calories consumed from fast food decreased with age, with adults aged 60 and over (6.0%), men and women, consuming the lowest percentage of their daily calories from fast food. However, “kids between the ages of 6 and 14 eat fast food 157,000,000 times every month. Americans spend nearly $100 billion on fast food every year.” www.pamf.org
The lack of physical activity is another component in the ever expanding waistlines. At least 3 in 10 high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. And less than half, or 48%, of adults met physical activity guidelines based on their age bracket and state of health. Research has proven that physical activity can improve overall health. Physical activity has been shown to lower risks and complications from chronic diseases like stroke, heart disease, cancers, diabetes, depression and obesity, according to the CDC.
There is no clear concise conclusion as to why waistlines are expanding but as long as research successfully concludes that eliminating sugar, sodium and certain fats from your diet as well as the inclusion of an exercise regimen to your schedule, it is less likely, sans other physical or hereditary elements, that your waistline will expand. Eating healthy and physical activity is an individual mindset, no one, including the government, should have to step in to tell anyone how to live their life. Healthy living is a personal decision and a matter of life or death.