While more Americans claim to exercise, the reality is the level of obesity in this country still has not changed for the better. Perhaps it is our sedentary lifestyle that requires us to sit in traffic, sit at our desks, sit in the drive-through line, etc. And if you’re in the drive through line often, I hope it is for a skinny latte or salad, because the excessive portions of “meal deals” are helping to heap on the pounds. My re-emphasis on this topic once again is due to the “sedentary” statistics released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By “sedentary” I mean that the obesity rates from 2008 to 2009 are still the same. Twenty-eight percent of us are still obese. However, the statistics do show that approximately 35 percent of Americans claimed to participate in some type of physical activity, which was an increase from the nearly 32 percent in 2008.
The CDC recommends that in order to keep weight off, adults should get an equivalent of about an hour a day of daily physical activity. This is especially important to “erase” the negative results of remaining still for so many hours. Some additional statistics from the CDC also indicate that the obesity rate for adults age 20 and over has grown since 1997 from 19.4 percent to 28 percent today. This also seems to explain the growing rate of diabetic adults, with nine percent of adults over the age of 18 being diagnosed with the disease as opposed to only five percent in 1997.
The CDC is working to combat this sedentary movement (or lack thereof ). They refer to the American society as ‘obesogenic’ which means “an environment that promotes increased food intake, nonhealthful foods and physical inactivity.” They have put into effect several positive initiatives. The Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) is currently working with communities and states to provide education, intervention and healthier food choices as well as access to physical activity.
The epidemic of obesity is also prevalent in our nation’s children.