Last semester I took a class in Childhood Obesity. I spent fifteen weeks studying the policies and practices around childhood obesity. In the end I concluded that the problem isn’t childhood obesity; it’s adult obesity. For every overweight/obese child there are three overweight/obese adults.
This idea was validated last week (Jun3 22, 2015). The Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) released a new analysis on weight in America. The conclusion? We’re fat and getting fatter. The study found that in the population of those 25 and older 75% of men and 67% of women are overweight or obese.
Worse yet, for the first time Americans who are obese outnumber those who are overweight. 30% of women and 40% of men are overweight while 37% of women and 35% of men are obese.
Despite all the diets, the information campaigns, the warnings and social pressure to be thin we are getting fatter. Researchers blame our lifestyle, processed foods, inactivity and technology. And Lin Yang, the chief researcher for the study says “This is a wake-up call to implement policies and practices designed to combat overweight and obesity.” Unfortunately, she is resoundingly silent about what those policies and practices might be.
After weeks of studying food policy, years of studying nutrition and watching a few documentaries: Forks Over Knives, Food Inc, Fed up and Supersize Me, I have some ideas about where we need to start.
Over the next couple of months I will be writing and talking food policy and how to create change. Feel free to contribute to the discussion — your ideas and comments are wanted and appreciated!