Americans are More Obese than Ever — And Exercise Isn’t Helping
More Americans than ever have obesity, according to a new study from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Based on the statistics, gathered from January through September 2017, 31.4 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 and over have obesity – up from 19.4 percent in 1997. In the same time period, the number of Americans over 18 who met the 2008 federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic activity reached 53.8 percent, up from less than 45 percent in 1997. The article notes “although common sense would indicate that the more you exercise, the more weight you’ll lose, a number of studies have shown that that’s not necessarily the case.” It points to previous studies that found diet has a bigger impact on weight than exercise.
If you consider the number of Gyms around compared to 10 years ago or 20 years ago, and the number of people who run around daily wearing exercise gear, you would think that the problem must be decreasing rather than increasing. Wrong.
Exercise is beneficial. Do not misinterpret this article as stating that exercise does not have value. It’s very beneficial in many respects and does prolong length and quality of life. However, like so many other things, it is not an effective prevention or cure for obesity. As in many other interventions, it might be PART of the equation, but by itself is not enough. Obesity is a complex disease with a complex number of items coming together to lead illness and to premature death. There is not a single cause, nor is there a single cure.
In 2018, the best known option for fighting obesity is Bariatric surgery- PERIOD. Exercise will always be recommended as an adjunct because it IS good for you, but with all due respect to “The Biggest Loser” and similar programs, they are not the answer. Your choices are out there. You simply need to educate yourself and find the choice which makes you the most comfortable.
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Dr Bertha and the NJBI Team