Obesity and the Decline of Healthy Eating

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In terms of nutrition for under served populations were terrible. So in school systems, in poor communities, in terms of availability of healthy foods, the cost of healthy, low calorie fruits and vegetables, and we're really doing quite poorly. The data really show that around 1980s is when we really had this marked increase in the prevalence obesity.

From the 60s, it was much lower, then the 80's much higher. Even though the average weight gain in this country has been suddenly increasing for more than 100 years. The prevalence obesity has really taken off since around 1980. There is an infectious quality to obesity, and we know that now from recent studies, showing this connectivity between social structures

that obesity maybe catching from one person to another. So obese people tend to be associate with other obese people, and those habits can be transmitted and transformed to others. Overweight and obesity accounts for about two thirds of the population. Obesity itself is about 35% of the US adult population, and about 30% of children are overweight or obese, which's really the saddest part of the whole equation.

I think this really requires a multi-level approach to food which really starts at the government legislating policies to really help support the production of healthy fruits and vegetables, and limit the production of food products that are not so healthy. Our government subsidizes the growth of corn and high fructose corn syrup which really adds lots of calories to foods.

And so, if you consider obesity as the major problem which is the balance between how much you eat and how much you burn up, we have a very obesogenic environment in our country where we have tremendous amounts of inexpensive high calorie, good tasting foods that really drive to people to consume excessive amounts of calories.

Even though they know what they should do, they're not capable of actually translating that into action in a big picture. So our obesity clinic is full of people who are extremely knowledgable of exactly what they need to do to loose weight and maintain a healthy weight, but they are unable to implement those lifestyle changes, because the one hour week we spent with them in behavior therapy, which is much more than any physicians will spend with the patient.

It's useless compared to the bombardment, 24/7 that they have once they leave the clinic.