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What lifestyle trends contribute to obesity?

The following lifestyle trends contribute to the increase in obesity:

We eat more, and more easily:
  • Processed foods are often the cheapest and most readily available. Manufacturers load them with extra sugar, fat, and salt to fit our tastes.
  • Vending machines, snack bars, and fast-food chains are everywhere -- even in our public schools.
  • Portion sizes have grown. Packages are bigger, plates are bigger -- and who can resist the "value" sizes?
We move less:
  • For recreation, we watch TV, use computers, and play video games -- even on our phones!
  • More of us have sedentary jobs and work longer hours.
  • Fewer schools have physical education classes.
  • Suburban sprawl means we drive nearly everywhere.
More of us work, and we work more:
  • We eat out at restaurants more often, where it's harder to control portions and ingredients.
  • We have less time to buy and prepare food, so we rely on microwave ovens and TV dinners.
  • We often feel too tired and stressed to exercise, eat better, or make other healthy changes.
Media can mislead us:
  • We're bombarded with new diet and exercise ideas. Should we eat low-fat or low-carb? Exercise our abs exclusively? Eat only grapefruit?
  • Super-skinny supermodels are poor examples for most people. Unrealistic ideals can be defeating.
  • Food is presented as the best entertainment, the most fitting reward, and the readiest source of comfort.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.