The American Dilemma ─ Fat and Getting Fatter

The American Dilemma ─ Fat and Getting Fatter

Although this post may be unusual for an insurance site, weight loss has been an issue for myself and for many people that I know. Because of my interest, I decided to look for the most current studies and information about this topic and find out why so many people want to lose weight but can’t. Although I would encourage everyone to do their own investigation, I’ve decided to share some of what I’ve found, through my own research and through personal trial and error in a series of blog posts.

If you happen to do an Internet search the using the term “obesity crises”, the consensus is overwhelming: America has an obesity crisis!

The Commonwealthfund.org 4/24/2018 blog post title is: Rising Obesity in the United States Is a Public Health Crisis. The post states that nearly 40% of American adults were obese in 2015 – 2016.

The  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that in 2015 – 2016, obesity affected about 93.3 million US adults.

WebMD states “The Obesity Epidemic is ‘Astronomical’” and goes on to say, “the prognosis for the nation is bad and getting worse as obesity takes its toll on the health of adults and children alike.”

Although we’ve all heard about the opioid crises, The Commonwealth Fund states that as a grave health threat, obesity is more serious because obesity is linked to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. They go on to state that a 2013 study found that obesity accounts for 18% of deaths among Americans ages 40 to 85!

Their article also indicates that according to one study, “there is no evidence that diet-related programs will curb obesity. Numerous studies indicate that diets are not effective in controlling or reversing weight gain. In fact, 50 percent of dieters weighed more than 11 pounds over their starting weight five years after their diet”.

When discussing “healthy weight”, the CDC says: “The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isn’t about short-term dietary changes. It’s about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating, regular physical activity, and balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses.”

And in the same vein, the WebMD site states that everyone agrees that the obesity epidemic stems from two things: eating too much and exercising too little.

As I researched this issue, there was one thread that seemed to be accepted by most sources – in order to maintain a health weight, calories in had to equal calories out.

So, the logical question is, “If you are a person who had attempted to lose weight through diet and exercise, in other words, by eating less and exercising more, how has that worked out for you?”

From my research of existing medical studies, from comments of the majority (95% or higher) of my family and friends, and from my own personal struggles and observation, the answer is clear: Although eating less and exercising more is the conventional wisdom and although it sounds right on its face, there is one BIG problem. It doesn’t work for the majority of people over time.

If you are an individual who has cut calories, increased exercise, and lost weight, you have really made the effort. But after that effort, if you are in the majority, you probably gained back all of the weight that you lost (and more).

The common reaction would be to feel ashamed, that it was your fault, and that you just didn’t have enough self-control. And at that point, most people just give up and say my weight will be what it will be.

That is not the case. Much of what we have been taught and have learned about weight and weight loss is simply NOT TRUE.

In my next blog post, I’ll look at the weight loss myth of “Calories in, Calories Out”.

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