Obesity in America: A Real and Serious Problem


In the 1950’s, a massive cultural shift was occurring. A physically fit nation with an obesity rate of only 10% warmly welcomed their new televisions into their living room. Meanwhile, Elvis’s “risky” dance moves and Eisenhower’s modern-republicanism challenged the nation culturally as the economy sprung back from the Great Depression. It seemed we as a nation were on the rise, and it would later be referred to as “the happy days.” Somewhere during this time, however, a mysterious epidemic of obesity and weight gain was beginning, which (only 60 years later) has impacted just over 2/3 of the population. The nation on the rise has, over time, fallen victim to obesity, depression, heart disease, and diabetes. Are these the causes of weight gain?

After all, what is obesity, really?

The medical field states that anyone with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 is considered obese, and anyone with a BMI of 25-29 is considered overweight. Unfortunately, that’s not generally taught during general education, so use this body mass index calculator to find out where you stand on the scale.

An Obese Nation

We’ve all heard that America has a problem with obesity, but few people are aware of just how real this problem is.

Today, 74% of the American population is considered overweight, of which 35% is considered obese.   

Those are the actual obesity statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Since 1950, we have had over a 50% increase in individuals struggling with weight gain; many to the point of compromising their own health.

With statistics like these, it’s only natural to ask the question everybody’s wondering:

How did this happen?

First, it’s important to understand that no one is at fault for becoming overweight or obese. Inadequate health education, lack of access to healthy foods, MSG, and other outside factors are almost always the causes of obesity and weight imbalances.

With that said, here’s a snapshot of some relevant and influential trends between the 50’s and now:

By 1950, the television finally completed its infiltration of American homes, creating an increase in sedentary lifestyles. Then, between 1983 and 2000, the available food supply in the U.S. increased 19%, as Americans began to consume more fatty foods.  But there’s another underlying factor that we should take note of here:

Just between 1950’s and 2000, the average consumption of unnatural fat increased by 65% and the sugar intake by almost 40%.

With those obesity statistics out in the open, it’s safe to argue that a prolonged combination of sedentary lifestyles and a diet high in fat and sugar are culprits of America’s problem with obesity.

What are the Effects of Obesity?

Ok, so obesity is a problem- but what kind of effect does being obese or overweight have on our health?

Just a few side-effects of obesity include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Trouble engaging in physical activities
  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular diseases

In addition to all of these complications, being overweight or obese can have a large impact on your quality of life. It’s not uncommon for individuals who are overweight or obese to develop overlapping complications over the course of their lives, as various symptoms begin to impact one another, creating a plethora of health issues.

Without sounding too cheesy, we believe there is always hope for change. If your BMI calculation showed that your overweight or obese, use these helpful tips to start making a positive lifestyle change:

  • Start eating more wholesome foods: As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” In our opinion, nothing could be more true. Fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and consider substituting one meal a day with an easy-to-make weight loss shake to give your new weight loss regimen an extra boost.
  • Get Regular Exercise: Any true weight loss routine or lifestyle change simply isn’t complete without regular (preferably daily) excursive. Whether your limit is a ten-minute walk or a three mile run, make a resolution to start being more active.
  • Don’t Panic: Changing any part of yourself- physically or mentally- is often a challenging and uncomfortable experience. Don’t worry if you start to crave junk food or feel sore, your body will get used to the change over time and thank you in the long run.

Obesity in America has become a definite problem. We believe that the change to a healthier lifestyle starts with you. How well do you eat? How often do you exercise? Do you use health resources like weight loss shakes and fitness classes to help you stay on track and motivated? If not, it’s ok- there’s always time for change. Hundreds of people who have lost hundreds of pounds have bravely battled their insecurities to act as inspirations to people facing weight loss for the first time. If you’re struggling with obesity or being overweight, what types of tips and information would you like to see to stay motivated?