Have you looked around and noticed that it is much more common to be overweight now than it ever was in the past? It is not your imagination. As the population grows and we expand our horizons in terms of technology and inhabitance of the world, our waistlines have also expanded along with it. In the United States alone, roughly 60-65 percent of the population is considered obese. That’s six out of every ten people. And along with our bodies, our health care costs are rapidly increasing as well as the system works to treat overweight patients with complications like diabetes and other issues connected to weight.
There are a number of different theories as to why we seem to be so much larger than previous generations but no proven fact. Initially televisions were blamed for the increase in the percentage of the population that was considered overweight. The theory was that before televisions, people were more active because they had to amuse themselves in other ways. TV allowed us to become more sedentary than previous generations.
Another theory blamed the computer and video games, particularly for the increase in the amount of overweight children and adolescents. Before these video games and computers, kids had to go outside to play rather than stay indoors and sit on the rear ends. Now, they have endless options in terms of entertainment between television, computers and video gaming systems.
We also eat much differently now than previous generations did. There is far more junk food, for one thing, because junk food is cheap to make. And those who make it know exactly how to market it and who to market it to. And our portion sizes have increased dramatically. The average portion size today is nearly twice as much as it would have been once upon a time. Simply put, we are eating all the wrong things and we are eating way too much of it.
There is some speculation that people approach life differently now than they did in previous generations and that people today lack the same amount of discipline that our ancestors once had. And those who are trying are finding out how hard it is to change people’s lifestyles. But that doesn’t mean they stop trying. There are several campaigns out there trying to encourage healthier eating habits and regular exercise routines. It took us a long time to get to this point, so it could take us a long time to get out of it.