70 Million Obese Americans: What’s the Solution?

Its a national issue that will have lasting repercussions if not seriously looked at and serious action taken. We are a nation of smart people from all over the globe – surely we can put our heads together and come up with a plan to address it. Yes – sugar tastes great, yes – McDonald’s is fast and cheap, yes – it’s easier to sit on the couch and watch TV but it’s killing us – heart disease, cancer, alzheimers, you name it – it all can be in one way or another linked with diet and exercise. There is no magic bullet and we all have to do our part for our family’s sake.

Between 2007 and 2009, the obesity rate actually increased by 1.1 percent. That might not seem like much, but in a nation as big as ours, that’s 2.4 million people who crossed the line from overweight to obese, about the size of the city of Houston. In all, 72 million Americans are obese, and the issue is most prevalent among certain groups of people, including African Americans, Hispanics and those without a college education. African American women are most affected by obesity — at an alarming 41 percent rate.

What’s also startling is the rate at which obesity has risen in the past decade. “In 2000, not a single state had an obesity prevalence of 30 percent or higher,” Thomas Frieden, the director of the CDC, said in a statement. These days, nine states have at least that amount. “Obesity continues to be a major public health problem,” Frieden added. “We need intensive, comprehensive and ongoing efforts to address obesity. If we don’t, more people will get sick and die from obesity-related conditions.”