Monday, December 1, 2014

A Weighty Issue

As a nation, we lead the world in many categories, however one area we lead in that is not positive is increasing obesity and weight gain.  People are fatter and sicker than ever before!

Obesity rates have tripled since 1980 and have increased particularly fast in children and the poorer populations. While the reasons this has happens is still debated among scientists, many indicators point to changes in the environment as genes take thousands of years to change.

According to Kris Gunnars, author of Authority Nutrition, here are 12 reasons why America’s are gaining weight at an astronomical rate.

People are eating more “junk” than any time in history
People are eating more calories than before, and pretty much all of the increase has come from processed foods.
Sugar consumption has skyrocketed
Numerous studies show that eating excess amounts of added sugar can have harmful effects on metabolism; leading to insulin resistance, belly fat gain, high triglycerides and small and dense LDL cholesterol.
People gain a lot of weight during the holidays, which they never get rid of
A large percentage of people’s lifetime weight gain can be explained just by the 6 week holiday period.
The Obesity Epidemic Started When the Low-Fat Guidelines Were Published
It seems likely that putting the emphasis on saturated fat, while giving processed low-fat foods high in sugar a free pass, may have contributed to negative changes in the population’s diet.
There are also massive long-term studies showing that the low-fat diet does NOT cause weight loss, and does not prevent heart disease or cancer.
Food is Cheaper than Ever Before
It’s important to keep in mind that real food isn’t cheap, it’s processed food.  Real foods are expensive, with a lot of people unable to afford them. In many poor neighborhoods, the majority of the food is junk food, which is cheap and often subsidized by the government.
People Are Drinking More Sugary Soda and Fruit Juices
The brain doesn’t “register” liquid sugar calories in the same way as it does solid calories and as a result liquid calories are often added on top of calories from other food sources.
Increased Food Variety Contributes to Overeating and Weight Gain
When we have more types of foods available, we eat more, many times more than our bodies need.
People Don’t Burn as Many Calories When Working
For the most part we are an idle society. We even try and find the closest parking spot at work and at the gym!
People Are Eating More Vegetable Oils, Mostly From Processed Foods
Most oils are highly processed and use for frying which adds volumes of calories to our diet.
The Social Environment Can Strongly Affect Calorie Intake
Eating in a group can dramatically increase the number of calories consumed.
People Are Sleeping Less
It is known that poor sleep has negative effects on various hormones that are related to weight gain, and can contribute to increased hunger and cravings
Increased Calorie Intake
While food sources have deteriorated in quality, the influx of sugar, salt and highly processed fats do not trigger the brain to stop eating.  This has resulted in increased calorie consumption that leads to weight gain.  Hormone imbalances and reduced liver function can exaggerate the weight gain conundrum. 

HERE’S TO BEING FIT FOR LIFE! Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer, USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, Group Exercise Instructor, exercise and endurance enthusiast.  He competes yearly in numerous running races, marathons, ultra marathons, triathlons and other endurance events.  

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