A landmark, new report confirms something I have strongly suspected for some time, and should have profound implications for our approach to combating the crushing burden the obesity epidemic continues to place on our society. Reporting at the European Congress on Obesity (Amsterdam, May 09), scientists determined that the meteoric uptick in our obesity rates that commenced in the early 80’s is virtually all due to eating too much. To compile this report, scientists first determined the number of calories adults and kids require to maintain normal weight and growth. Then they used national food supply data from the 1970’s and the early 2000’s to quantify how many calories Americans were actually consuming. Indeed, their calculations confirmed that adults and children are consuming an average of 500 and 350 calories more respectively than what is required for weight maintenance. The predicted weight gain this surfeit of calories translated into matched pretty much dead on the actual weight increase (23 pounds for adults and 8.8 pounds for kids).
Bottom line – Our food culture has become virtually toxic. We produce 3,900 calories a day in this country for every man, woman, and child! (average adult requires 2,000) Reining in the obesity epidemic will require fundamental, wholesale changes in our food environment. This will necessitate intervention and cooperation among all parties (a colossal task). Meanwhile, our only hope is to empower individuals with the knowledge they need to successfully navigate through this toxic sea of calories. For a “down and dirty” version of my best assessment of what all individuals need to know and practice to avoid falling victim, or to regain control and lose the fat for good, read and download the “cliff notes version” of my book.