The nine states with obesity rates of 30 percent or more are Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia. The highest rate, 34.4 percent, was in Mississippi.
Researchers blame the usual suspects: too little exercise and too much of the wrong kind of food, which means not enough fruits and vegetables and too many high-calorie meals full of sugar and fat, like French fries, soda and other sweet drinks. Children do not get enough exercise during the school day – even in gym classes, students are active for only about a third of the time.
These stats are so scary for our generation and our future generations. Things have changed so much in recent decades – we spend much of our day on the computer, we relax by watching TV, and much of our enjoyment is surrounded by food and alcohol. While I spend tons of time on the computer and watching TV, I make exercise a priority. I think about food all the time, but try to think of healthy, tasty meals.
I am a huge advocate for programs that focus on health and fitness for kids. I am on the Board of Directors for Girls on the Run and do what I can to promote healthy foods in schools. I am not a parent, but when I am I hope to instill healthy habits in my kids. Teaching them to make healthy choices at a young age is the best way to ensure they will have a healthy future.
What do you think is the reason for our ever-growing population? Is it fast food, portion sizes, lack of exercise, or all of the above?