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Americans Weigh More Than Ever, Shows New Report

By: Julie Hand

Americans Weigh More Than Ever, Shows New Report

New data published Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)[1] reveals that 40 percent of American adults met the criteria for obesity in 2015 and 2016, a sharp uptick from just a decade earlier. In the same timeframe, 7.7 percent of Americans qualified as severely obese – a number also on the rise — thereby increasing these individuals’ risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The New York Times recently reported on these findings in “American Adults Just Keep Getting Fatter.”

Obesity is on the rise in the U.S.

Federal health officials conducted a large-scale review using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey — considered the gold standard for health data — to measure obesity trends from 2007/2008 to 2015/2016. In 2007/2008, 33.7 percent of Americans met obesity standards with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more; while 5.7 percent of Americans were severely obese with a BMI of 40 or more. The survey data found that American youth are averaging better than adults. In 2015/2016, 18.5 percent of Americans youth (ages 2 to 19) were obese, while 5.6 percent were severely obese. (In youth, obesity is defined as being 120 percent above the 95th percentile of body-mass-index for age and gender.)

Diet is a major factor in obesity

While the recent survey findings don’t explain why Americans continue to pack on the pounds, other statistics reveal dietary choices to be a major factor. In fact, U.S. fast-food sales are on the rise and show no signs of decreasing. Americans spent $187 billion on fast food in 2004 and $290.2 billion in 2017, and the 2020 projection for fast food spending exceeds $223 billion.[2]

Missing label information is suspect

This survey comes at a time when the U.S. attempts to limit junk food label warnings in NAFTA talks.  Indeed, the food industry pushback, which argues for less labeling that warns about health risks on packaged foods, directly opposes public health measures geared at combating obesity. Many Americans find this information paradox both perplexing and confounding.

Get clear on the root cause of disease — sugar vs. fat

Particularly in light of this information conundrum, you need to take your health into your own hands. You want to be able to spot the misinformation out there, so read these ten health myths and the real science behind those claims. Here you’ll get a snapshot of the battle between fat versus sugar, and which one actually causes most disease. Hint: Fat, yay. Sugar, boo. Note: Other research reveals sugar causes diabetes and cancer and sugar spawns obesity.

Replace sugar with good fats

The Bulletproof Diet eliminates sugar and replaces it with the right fats. Instead of consuming those hidden sugars in the form of fruit juice and even salad dressings, you eat healthy fats like grass-fed butter, ghee, MCT, and coconut oils.

Now, this might sound contrary to what you’ve heard in the past. After all, Americans have been fed low-fat propaganda for 60 years, even though studies show fat’s harmlessness.[3] Hungry for more information about good fat? Read Don’t Fear the Fat and Learn Your Lipids next.

Related Podcasts: Understanding Fat To Help You Lose Weight with Dr. Sylvia Tara and The Sugar Impact Diet & Artificial Sweeteners with JJ Virgin

Next steps for childhood obesity

Are you concerned about America’s losing battle against childhood obesity? Listen to this Bulletproof Radio podcast (iTunes) with Dr. David Ludwig, a doc who dedicates his life to saving children from this avoidable epidemic.

“Part of the tragedy is that we’re telling people to follow the low-fat diet and it doesn’t work,” says Ludwig. He continues to elaborate on the persisting harms of the low-fat diet era: “Even though the USDA came forth with new recommendations in 2015 — quietly lifting the limit on dietary fat — almost nobody knows about it.” Ludwig asserts that the low-fat diet, launched by all sides — government, nutrition societies, doctors, and dietitians — told people for decades not to eat fat. So when the harmful truth about low-fat came to light, people didn’t trust it.

This message trickled down to the schools, which Ludwig argues, are still infused with the low-fat message. Listen to the podcast for more of Ludwig’s thoughts on the science behind why our children are most vulnerable to childhood obesity, and how a change of diet can save their lives.

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