Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The average American is now 11kg overweight

Greetings from California!Image by Vlastula via Flickr

Obesity is linked to financial status, but it is said that those who are poor are those who tend to be obese. Interesting? Read on…

WASHINGTON - Childhood obesity is now the United States' worst health crisis, experts said, urging parents to ban television in kids' rooms and lawmakers to slap a tax on sugar-laden sodas.

Two-thirds of United States adults and around 20 per cent of American children are now overweight or obese, and the rising rate of obesity in the US has had a debilitating effect on citizens' health and US healthcare spending.

The average American is now 11kg overweight. In addition to costing the country billions every year, the obesity epidemic means a generation of Americans could have shorter lives than their parents.

Childhood obesity is "putting the younger generation at risk of being the first in the history of our country to have a shorter lifespan than their parents", former President Bill Clinton told the Weight of the Nation conference.

Eleven years ago, the medical costs associated with obesity were around US$78 billion ($112.1 billion) a year. In 2006, it was US$147 billion annually. By 2030, obesity could account for US$1 in US$6 spent on healthcare.

Healthcare expenditure for people with normal weight is around 41 per cent lower than those of obese individuals.

The people most likely to be obese are America's poor, "the non-rich who can just barely pay their bills", said Mr Clinton.

Many live in unsafe urban areas where children can't play outside. They have limited access to fresh, healthy food and even less time to prepare it because they work so hard to make ends meet.

So they instead buy "high-bulk, low nutrition food" and keep their children indoors, unwittingly perpetuating America's cycle of obesity. AFP

From TODAY, World – Thursday, 30-Jul-2009