Underselling the Obesity Epidemic in America

The problem of obesity in the United States is much greater than the results of some official health surveys would imply, according to a new study. 

States used telephone surveys to estimate obesity rates, with the result that women tended to underestimate their weight and men tended to overestimate their height.

National estimates, which are calculated using a different methodology, are likely accurate, and put about a third of U.S. adults in the obese category. However, the obesity levels determined by individual states are grossly underestimated.

Phone survey responses indicated that nearly all U.S. states had an obesity rate below 24 percent. In fact, many states have an obesity rate well above 30 percent.


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

I suspect state health officials across <st1:country-region>America</st1:country-region> were stunned to learn the epidemic of obesity in their towns and counties may be far greater than they ever imagined.

Folks, the sad fact about all this, whichever sets of obesity numbers you want to believe, is that the average American lifespan is falling and could drop even more by the middle of this century. If this epidemic of obesity is not reversed we will, for the first time in history, see children living shorter lives than their parents. We are actually going backwards in health progress.

I have dedicated much of my time and energy to making sure that this does not happen, by providing you with the tools to fight obesity in your own home. Here are a few simple lifestyle changes you can make to keep yourself and your children healthy:

1.  Retool your diet based on your body's unique nutritional type. Many people come to my office eating very high-quality nutritious foods and are still quite sick. They haven't touched sugar or junk food in ages and still suffer with many health problems. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the major physical ones is related to the fact that they are not eating appropriate foods for their nutritional type.

The foods that may be healthy for others are not necessarily healthy for you, and vice-versa. Thus, eating according to your specific type is the proven way to ascertain which foods work best for you. Generally speaking, when you eat a meal that is right for your nutritional type you will feel a marked and lasting improvement in your energy, mental capacities, emotional well being, and you will have feeling of being well-satisfied for several hours.

Discovering your nutritional type is simple: you can take a free online test. Once you've found out what kinds of foods you should be eating, you might want to look at the tasty nutritional type-based recipes in my book, the Total Health Program, which will help you implement the program.

In addition to eating the right balance of foods, you should also consider rebalancing your intake of omega-3 fats by taking a high-quality omega-3 oil, and reducing, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars from your daily diet. Both of these will also help you in your fight against obesity.

2.  Use the many resources on my Web site to start an exercise program that works best for you. The key to exercising is to keep in mind three important variables: length of time, frequency and intensity. By doing so, you will ensure all your hard efforts are not wasted.

I encourage my patients to gradually increase the amount of time they are exercising to 60 to 90 minutes daily. This is merely a treatment dose, however, until you normalize your weight and insulin levels. Once normalized, you will only need to exercise three to four times a week.

In general, you should exercise hard enough so that it is difficult to talk to someone next to you; however, if you cannot carry on a conversation at all, then you have gone too far and need to decrease the intensity.

3.  Address emotional issues that contribute to your physical health by learning an effective energy psychology tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Emotional health is incredibly essential to your physical well being. Even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions.

No matter how devoted you are to a healthy lifestyle, it is nearly impossible to reach your goals if emotional barriers stand in your way. If you are overeating, or eating improperly, or failing to exercise for emotional reasons, you cannot make the necessary lifestyle changes until you have addressed these issues. EFT uses a combination of kinetic energy input and positive affirmations to release you of your emotional "blocks."

The battle against obesity is one of the most important health concerns in our lifetime. Right now, Americans are sicker than most of the rest of the first world. At the same time, U.S. obesity rates are skyrocketing. It doesn't take a lot of medical training to see the obvious connection.



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