There is a new report out from the Institute of Medicine that was shared this week at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Weight of the Nation conference in Washington, D.C.
Their findings? Forty-two percent of American adults could be obese and 11 percent severely obese by 2030.
Currently, nearly two thirds of Americans are overweight, 34 percent of those obese, and 6 percent severely obese, which means more than 100 pounds overweight. And our children are following in their parent's footsteps. Nearly one third of America's children are overweight.
Now you might say this is nothing new. But this study found that it is not entirely the personal eating habits or willpower of the obese person that is to blame here. This study suggests that our eating habits are greatly affected by our environment and in order to reverse this epidemic, all levels of society will be needed to make a substantial difference—including the government.
What I like about this study is that the institute not only pointed out the problems, but it had a great list of solutions—solutions that can save money (obesity is costing the taxpayers $550 billion a year!) and lives. Here are some of their recommendations:
Now what do all of these have in common? Two things. Government and money. I know a lot of you don't like our government being involved in our personal lives. But when you look at our obesity rate and that of our children, we're failing America, and we're failing our future generations. Why not let the government help to change the current environment we live in?
Do we really need a food court in every mall? Do we really need our Big Mac to have twice the calories as a Big Mac in Copenhagen? Why are we the only country that eats in our cars and has a drive through block after block after block with food?!
The second thing all of those recommendations have in common is money. If we can chip away at or save the $550 billion a year which obesity is costing us, don't the benefits outweigh the burden here?
The bottom line is, we have a choice, America. We can work together, with our government, as a society, to put our money where our mouth is—rather than food—or we can watch the land of the free and the home of the brave become the land of the fat and the home of the obese. It's your choice.