As gas prices, the stock market, and employment rates continue to yoyo, one figure has been steadily growing over the past few years, and it’s not a good one: It’s obesity. According to a joint study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Duke University in Atlanta, at current rates 42% of Americans will be overweight by the year 2030, and half of that figure will be due to childhood weight gain. A large part of it is simply due to the fact that people are consuming more calories, but exercising less.
Small Numbers Add Up Over Time
On paper, weight management seems like a simple task: If kids cut between 41 to 64 calories per day, it can lead to a national obesity rate of only 16.1% among youths aged 12 to 19. That equates to about cutting 4 ounces of apple juice or a quarter of an oatmeal raisin bar every day. These figures vary between racial demographics, but they are manageable, nonetheless, if parents and schools work together to curb kids’ appetites, and if adults themselves exercise a little more willpower. If obesity figures are left to their own devices, national healthcare costs due to weight-related health issues may exceed $500 billion over the next 20 years.
Cutting Back Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
As stated earlier, one doesn’t need to make drastic changes just to be healthier; small cutbacks to your diet every can be equally effective in producing lasting health results. So the next time you’re thinking about adding dessert to your meal, have one scoop of ice cream instead of two, or choose low-calorie frozen yogurt—then get up and add a little exercise into the mix. The long-term results may be a pleasant surprise!
- Blumenfeld, J. “Obesity may reach 42% in 2030, study says.” May 9, 2012; https://newhope360.com/blog/obesity-may-reach-42-2030-study-says?cid=nl_360_daily.
- Rochman, B. “64 Calories a Day: What Kids Need to Cut to Reverse the Obesity Trend.” Apr. 10, 2012; https://healthland.time.com/2012/04/10/64-calories-a-day-what-kids-need-to-cut-to-reversing-the-obesity-trend/.