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U.S most obese in the world, fattest kids by a mile, tops fo
Report: U.S most obese in the world, fattest kids by a mile, tops for poor teen health

The United States is home to the most obese population in the Americas, Asia and Europe, has the fattest kids by a wide margin and is tops in poor health for teenagers, according to the latest measure of well-being from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In its "How's Life 2015?" report released Tuesday, the United States is also among the nations with underperforming students and second in murders and assaults.

But the U.S. shines when it comes to personal wealth and even the number of rooms in our homes, said the organization that charts the personal and economic health of countries.

The report from the world organization is released every two years and this year it features a focus on child health and welfare in Europe, the Americas and much of Asia, including Japan and South Korea.

The report notes that all nations have room to improve quality of life for its citizens, though it doesn't openly criticize the United States. However, in several graphics and charts, it is clear that the United States doesn't match the world average in several areas besides child health.

For example, the U.S. is a nation of workaholics that doesn't take as much time off as the rest of the world. It also is subpar on life expectancy, adult skills and suffers a higher rate of deaths due to assault than other nations in the report.

But it was the findings on obesity and child health that jumped out in the important report. The key page is shown below.

In the obesity chapter, the United States is put at No. 1, ahead of 33 other nations, despite years of work by the Obama administration, the first lady and the Agriculture Department, which has been pulling sugar and salt out of school lunches.

The report shows that obesity in America has jumped since 2000 and that 35 percent of the nation is overweight. For comparison, 4 percent of Japanese and 25 percent of Canadians are obese.

The U.S. also tops the list of teens report in poor health, at 22 percent.

Worse, the U.S. soars over every other country in the number of obese and overweight children, at a whopping 38 percent. The next worse country is Canada, with a combined obese and overweight child population at below 25 percent.

Obesity Still on the Rise Among Americans, With Women Overtaking Men

Obesity is still rising among American adults, despite more than a decade of public-awareness campaigns and other efforts to get people to watch their weight, and women have now overtaken men in the obese category, new government research shows.

For the past several years, experts thought the nation’s alarming, decades-long rise in obesity had leveled off. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report Thursday that the obesity rate has climbed to nearly 38 percent of adults, up from 32 percent about a decade earlier.

“This is a striking finding” and suggests that a situation that was thought to be stable is getting worse, said Dr. William Dietz, an obesity expert at George Washington University.

But another authority, the University of North Carolina’s Barry Popkin, urged caution, saying the participants selected for the study may not have been representative of the nation as a whole.

Experts said they had no explanation for why the obesity rate appears to be rising.

The report, based primarily on a survey conducted in 2013-14, also found a tipping of the scales toward women. Obesity rates for men and women had been roughly the same for about a decade. But in the new report, the rate was significantly higher for women, at 38 percent, compared with 34 percent for men.

Obesity — which means not merely overweight, but seriously overweight — is considered one of the nation’s leading public health problems. Until the early 1980s, only about 1 in 6 adults were obese, but the rate climbed dramatically until it hit about 1 in 3 around a decade ago.

The new figures come from a regular government survey that involves not only interviewing people about their girth but also actually weighing them. Because of that, it is considered the gold standard for measuring the nation’s waistline.

However, it has about 5,000 participants each year — far fewer than some other federal surveys that ask about weight. Generally, it can be harder to draw reliable national conclusions from a smaller survey.

The news comes after years of government anti-obesity campaigns to encourage people to eat better and exercise. Also, soda consumption has dropped in recent years, and fast-food chains have adopted healthier menus.

New federal rules have also been adopted to remove artificial trans fats from grocery store foods and to require chain restaurants to post calorie counts, though those have not gone into effect yet.

The widening gap between men and women seems to be driven by what’s happening among blacks and Hispanics, said the study’s lead author, the CDC’s Cynthia Ogden.

Obesity rates for white men and white women remain very close. But for blacks, the female obesity rate has soared to 57 percent, far above the male rate of 38 percent. The gender gap is widening among Hispanics, too — 46 percent for women, 39 percent for men.

The report also looked at obesity in children but did not see much change. For young people ages 2 to 19, the rate has been holding at about 17 percent over the past decade or so.

Health officials have been especially focused on obesity in kids, who are the target of the Let’s Move campaign launched by first lady Michelle Obama in 2010.


20 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Eat Fast Food

Fast food. It’s cheap, convenient and marketed to us when we’re young, in the hope that we’ll be consumers for life. For many companies, that strategy has paid off. But there’s a wrinkle in that math. If we eat too much of this stuff, that frequent consumer’s lifespan could be a lot shorter than if he’d eaten more food unassociated with clowns, colonels, kings and freckle-faced girls with red pigtails.

See, in many cases, fast food is highly processed and contains large amounts of carbohydrates, added sugar, unhealthy fats and sodium. These foods are almost always high in calories while offering little in the way of nutrition. And when fast food frequently replaces nutritious whole foods in your diet, it can lead to all sorts of bad health outcomes. Derailing your weight loss goals is just one. Here are 20 things you can expect a fast-food diet to do to your body in a relatively short amount of time.

1. You’ll increase your obesity risk

If you switch from a balanced diet of whole foods to one of fast food, the most obvious difference you’d register would be the enormous uptick in (largely empty) calories you’d consume per meal. Hello, belly fat — and worse: “The high calorie intake can lead to obesity, which puts you at risk for developing chronic diseases,” warns Jim White, RD, ACSM, owner of Jim White Fitness&Nutrition Studios.

2. But you’ll also starve

…nutritionally speaking. The high calories in fast food are accompanied by low nutritional content. Too much of that, and your body will begin to lack the necessary nutrients it needs to function properly. “Your body is temporarily full with empty foods that don’t provide nourishment, so even though you may have eaten a lot of calories, you won’t be satisfied for long,” says Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Real Nutrition NYC. For 150+ ideas for delicious foods that will slim your waist without sacrificing flavor, check out the best-selling Zero Belly Cookbook — test panelists lost 16 pounds in 14 days!

3. You'll increase your cancer risk

PhIP is short for 2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo(4,5-b)pyridine. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, this catchy-sounding chemical appears in the grilled chicken marketed by a major fast-food chain. “The organization says the substance, which forms when meat is heated to a certain temperature, is associated with human breast, prostate and colon cancers,” says Seth Santoro of LA Life Chef.

4. You’ll heighten your risk of heart disease

Fats commonly found in fast food are made up of saturated fatty acids. Those are fats that are solid at room temperature, often derived from animals and some plant oils. You’ll find it abundant in, say, a cheeseburger. Jim White warns that these fats can raise the blood cholesterol levels, which leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. So kick your fast-food habit and stock up on these 10 Foods That Make Your Heart Younger!

5. Memory and cognitive function will decline

Fast foods like bacon burgers, some fried foods and milkshakes can be high in saturated fats. “It’s been long established that saturated fats can negatively impact the heart, but there’s also research that suggests high saturated fat intake may negatively impact brain function and memory,” says Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD. She adds that higher intakes of saturated fatty acids may impair memory speed and flexibility and prospective memory (your ability to remember to do what you intended). You intended not to pull into the drive-thru, remember?

6. You’ll be constipated

Dietary fiber (commonly found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds) plays a dominant role in the digestive system. Fiber helps keep your digestive tract working properly as it ushers wastes out of the body. It can help lower cholesterol and keep blood-sugar levels normal. “Unfortunately, most fast foods don’t contain high dietary fiber contents,” says White. What does? These 11 Best High-Fiber Foods for Weight Loss!

7. Your skin will deteriorate

Eating fast food may cause skin issues such as acne. “No, it isn’t the chocolate or fried components,” says Shapiro. “It’s the simple sugars, white flour and empty carbs like French fries that can be blamed.” Fast food is a definite Not That! when it comes to What to Eat for Better Skin!

8. You’ll bloat

Some foods naturally contain higher amounts of sodium, but sodium is also added to many food products. Some of these additives are monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium nitrite, sodium saccharin, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and sodium benzoate, which are used as flavoring or preservatives. Regarding dietary sodium limits, it’s suggested that adults stay under 1,500 mg per day, and should never consume more than 2,300 mg/day. Santoro says a single fast food meal can actually exceed 2,300 mg. “Too much sodium causes your body to retain water, making you feel bloated and puffy,” he adds. “But that’s the least of the damage overly salted foods can do.”

9. Your kidneys and stomach will suffer

Sodium also can contribute to existing high blood pressure or an enlarged heart muscle. If you have congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, or kidney disease, too much salt can contribute to a dangerous buildup of fluid. “Excess sodium may also increase your risk for kidney stones, kidney disease, and stomach cancer,” says Santoro.

10. Your teeth will decay

Frequent soda intake can lead to poor oral health, says Leah Kaufman, MS, RD, CDN. Drinking large amounts of soda increases the amount of acid in your mouth, which eventually causes tooth decay and cavities. “Some of your fast food desserts, such as McFlurries or Frosty, may also add to this,” she says. And that’s not all. Check out our report on What Happens To Your Body When You Give Up Soda!

11. Your mental health could decline

Recent research shows that eating fast food may cause a higher rate of depression, Shapiro says. One study indicated that people who ate fast food were 51 percent more likely to develop depression that those who didn’t.

12. Your blood sugar will spike

Eating high-carb fast food increases your blood sugar. As you consume white-flour-based foods — such as the bun from a burger, or French fries with your sandwich — your body takes in a large amount of white sugar. “Frequent consumption of these foods may lead to diseases such as obesity — which the American Medical Association has indicated is a clinical diagnosis — and diabetes,” says Kaufman.

13. You'll worry more

There's a lack of omega-3 fatty acids in fast foods. Shocker! A dearth of those good fats can create a more anxious mental state. But it’s not just what fast food lacks that can cause anxiety. This stuff is also high in refined carbohydrates, which can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar. If your blood sugar dips into hypoglycemic levels, you can experience anxiety, trembling, confusion and fatigue.

14. You could end up with liver disease

PAPs stands for “polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters,” chemicals that line fast-food packaging to make it grease- and waterproof. “The substances leach to the food inside the packaging and end up in your bloodstream. They’re linked to liver disease as well as cancer,” says Santoro.

15. Your cholesterol could skyrocket

Many fast foods served are derived from animal products, deep fried and served with cheese and high-fat dipping sauces. “The high fat content in fast food can contribute to high cholesterol, which can also lead to atherosclerosis. That occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries and prevents the flow of blood to the heart and organs,” says White. What’s more, fast food can lower your good (LDL) cholesterol, further putting your heart and your health on the line. Make sure you practice these 9 Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol in 5 Seconds!

16. Your risk of cancer continues to grow

Sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are additives used to maintain meat color and to inhibit bacterial growth. “Both chemicals can break down into nitrosamines, substances with the potential to cause cancer,’” says Santoro.

17. Your bones could weaken

As we mentioned, fast food is typically loaded with sodium. One Big Mac has 970 mg of sodium, well over one-third of the daily recommended allowance. A high sodium intake can cause your bones to weaken, leading to possible osteoporosis, Shapiro warns.

18. Food dyes could color you sick

A study by the National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says 2-methylimidazole causes cancer in lab rats. That’s bad because 2-methylimidazole is an ingredient in caramel coloring which is used in most dark-colored sauces and sodas. It gets worse. Another of this coloring agent’s ingredients is 4-methylimidazole. Researchers tested the effects of 4-methylimidazole on lab rats and mice and concluded that there was “clear evidence of carcinogenic activity of 4-methylimidazole in male and female B6C3F mice.”

19. You’ll be lethargic...

With large portions that are often high in fat, fast foods like burgers, fries and milkshakes, fast food often delivers a hefty dose of calories. “Those large portions often leave you feeling full and lethargic,” says Marisa Moore.

20. ...or hyper

Anxiety and depression aren't the only mental effects that fast food can induce. Eating a diet high in artificial colors and preservatives may play a role, as well. A review of related research published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics indicates that many artificial colorings, along with the preservative sodium benzoate, increase hyperactivity. The bottom line: Skip the Golden Arches, stay at home and make The Best-Ever Burger For Weight Loss!

Child Obesity an 'Exploding Nightmare' in Developing World: WHO

Childhood obesity has reached alarming rates globally and become an “exploding nightmare” in the developing world, including Africa where the number of obese and overweight children under five has nearly doubled since 1990, a WHO commission said Monday.

The authors of the report from the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity stressed that the epidemic has historically not been treated as a grave public health issue and was regarded by some as a product of lifestyle choices by individuals and families.

But following two years of research in more than 100 countries, the authors underscored that governments and global public health bodies were central to reversing the scourge.

“What’s the big message? It’s not the kid’s fault,” commission co-chair Peter Gluckman told reporters.

Biological factors, inadequate access to healthy foods, a decline in physical activity in schools and the unregulated marketing of fattening foods are among the drivers of a worsening epidemic that requires a coordinated global response, the report said.

If not reversed, “the obesity epidemic has the potential to negate many of the health benefits that have contributed to the increased longevity observed in the world,” added the report, commissioned by the UN’s World Health Organization.

Related: ‘Healthy Obesity’ Turns Unhealthy Over Time

Gluckman conceded that the commission’s policy recommendations – which range from promoting healthy lifestyles to higher taxes on sugary drinks – may seem like common sense.

But, the commission noted, common sense strategies have not been adequately implemented anywhere in the world, with the number of obese and overweight children under five growing from 31 million to 41 million between 1990 and 2014.

“To date, progress in tackling childhood obesity has been slow and inconsistent,” the report said.

Lower-Income Communities

Child obesity “is an exploding nightmare in the developing world,” Gluckman said.

The figures have surged in Africa, with the number of overweight or obese children under five nearly doubling from 1990 to 2014, from 5.4 million to 10.3 million.

The rate of increase in Asia was difficult to quantify, Gluckman said, but Asia currently accounts for nearly half (48 percent) of young children categorised as overweight or obese.

The report notes that in wealthier countries, poorer children are more likely to be obese, partly due to the relative affordability and abundance of fatty fast foods and high-sugar snacks.

Conversely, in poorer countries the children of wealthier families are more likely to be obese, including in cultures where “an overweight child is often considered to be healthy.”

Biology, Solutions

The report outlines biological pathways that can expose children to an elevated risk of obesity once they are born.

The first, called the “mismatch” pathway, results from even subtle malnutrition during pregnancy and early childhood, which can impact gene function and make a child far more likely to excessively gain weight.

The second, the developmental pathway, can occur when a mother entering pregnancy is obese or has pre-existing diabetes.

This “predisposes the child to increased fat deposits associated with metabolic disease and obesity,” the report said.

The report’s recommendation call for an integrated response among governments, global health institutions and individuals, with Gluckman stressing that urging individuals to eat well and keep fit was not enough.

“Dieting and exercise alone is not the solution,” he said. “We have responsibilities on behalf of the world’s children to stop them from being overly obese.” Forum Index -> HEALTH and Medical NEWS
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