Americans are Fat

If you ask a foreigner about what they think of Americans, there is a multitude of answers he or she might give you, good and bad.  No matter how they characterize the U.S., there is one truth we can’t deny:  Americans are fat.

We are getting fatter in the USA

You probably already know why Americans are fat.  Just look at what the typical American eats, and you’ll get your answers.  Cheetos!  Oreos!  Snickers!  You don’t have to look to the stars to know why our asses are huge!

When Americans Started Getting Bigger

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began collecting data on the health of Americans in the early 1960s in a survey called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  Each of the 5,000 survey participants go through an interview and a myriad of laboratory tests.  In the end, the results help determine the prevalence of disease in the U.S., including obesity.  NHANES determines the need for nationally funded programs and the need for additional research.

In 1960, when the NHANES surveys began about 24.3 percent of Americans adults were classified as overweight (having a body mass index (BMI) over 27).   Ten years later in the percentage went up to 25.4 percent.  And, by the eighties, American adults had dramatically expanded their waistlines with 33.3 percent listed as overweight.  U.S. adults had together gained a billion pounds in just ten years… Disgusting.

But, we haven’t stopped ballooning.  Now, women weigh an average of nineteen pounds more than they did in the seventies while men tip the scales with seventeen more pounds.  American children are also on the heavier side these days.  Compared to the 1970s, children between ages six and nine are double as likely to be overweight.  Overweight adolescents from ages twelve to nineteen are three times more prevalent.

Weighing In on How to Weigh Less

There is an answer as simple as a beginner math problem to the continued weight gain—we eat more calorie than we burn.   With ample marketing and reminders everywhere about how you “deserve” the next fast food item, the solution is difficult.  (Advertisements on the side of milk cartons tell us about “Milk’s Favorite Cookie.” Yes, this was really seen in NYC—check it out at:   Frankly, our culture has become one where food is entertainment and overeating is acceptable.  It doesn’t help that portion sizes have gotten larger at fast food joints either…

I have some homework for you: track the calories that you take in.  Write down everything! Apps that can help you in this endeavor include Calorie Tracker or Lose It!.  If you don’t have the capability to use these apps or prefer a website, there are a plethora of options on the web.  Track what you eat for a single day, you may be surprised at the amount of calories you take in and how you are getting them.

I was AMAZED when I tracked my own calories at the amount of calories I engulfed while sitting at my desk.  A handful of this and that really adds up.

Change is easier to make when you know the root of the problem.  Slowly cut out those daily sodas and stopping past that drive thru window.  Find a way that works for you to cut out calories.  Get that sexy body you’ve been wanting for years by cutting down your intake.  It will take discipline, but in the end, feeling good about yourself and getting the attention you’ve been wanting will all be worth it.

About Kathryn Deschenes

That’s me. I live for food. Food represents tradition, memories, convenience, advancement, entertainment, and much more. That’s why I love it! I’m an enthusiast of edible items (within reason) who occasionally binges on baked goods, takes an extra helping at dinner, loves to travel, and enjoys a glass of thick red wine. Writing is my other passion. I hold a bachelor’s degree in food science, and am currently working on my master’s in the same field. I’m excited to bring you the latest about trending foods, recipes, diets, and other edible subjects.