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obesity



Winning! Or Losing? America is Still the Fattest Nation with UK a Close Second

Earlier in the month, the Huffington Post reported that more than sixty percent of adults in England are overweight or obese. We’ve written about this before, but the trend seems to be growing—along with people’s pant sizes. Apparently Jamie Olivers healthy food habits haven’t caught on in his homeland. (Maybe it’s time he turn his focus back to the U.K. after working on our American health habits!) 

UK obesity

But wait. The United States hasn’t exactly gotten on board with healthy eating either: the nation had the highest obesity rate of all countriesas of March 2013: a reported 2/3 of all adults (people over 20 years of age) are overweight and an approximate 1/3 of Americans are obese. Right below the United States is Mexico, who has an obesity rate of about 25%.


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The Plot to Make Big Food Pay for the Rising Cost of Obesity

In an attempted takedown like that of the tobacco industry in the 90s, lawyers are asking state attorneys general to sue the food industry to make them pay for obesity-related health care costs.

lawsuit

Lawyer Paul McDonald, partner at Valorem Law Group in Chicago, is heading up the movement asking 16 states to take on Big Food.

“I believe that this is the most promising strategy to lighten the economic burden of obesity on states and taxpayers and to negotiate broader public health policy objectives,” he told POLITICO.

Mary Hartley, R.D. shared some of her concerns about litigation of this kind with us. “Lawyers who took on the tobacco companies are fishing for new money,” she said. “They want to take on the food companies, and they see the best route as through the attorneys general. Independent lawyers would do the legal work for the attorneys general in exchange for a cut of the settlement.”


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Mississippi Retains Least Healthy State Title, Hawaii Ranks Healthiest in 2013 Rankings

According to the latest, and frankly most, state health rankings, the healthiest states are mostly found in the western and northeastern parts of the country while the least healthy are in the South. America’s Health Rankings have released their list for 2013, with Hawaii taking the top health spot.

overall rank

The top three is rounded out by Vermont and Minnesota. At the bottom of the overall list are Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. To determine the overall health of each state, America’s Health Rankings combined information about individual health choices, environment, public policy and clinical care. States were also ranked on percentage of adult population who smoke, are obese, are physically inactive, and have diabetes.


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Obesity’s Dual Causes: Behavior and Biology

We’ve figured out what causes obesity. Larger portion sizes at restaurants, lack of exercise and poorly balanced diets are the reasons our collective waistbands are growing. That’s it, end of story. However, according to a recent article in the New York Times, it may not be that simple.

scientist

New research is suggesting biological factors may be just as important as behavioral ones when determining obesity’s cause. One new study states the makeup of bacteria in an individual’s digestive system could play a role in whether or not they become obese. These bacteria are responsible for regulating how much fat is stored in your body, and vary from person to person.


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When Did We Let Digital Fat-Shaming be OK?

Imagine a person just standing there minding his or her own business, and that person happens to be fat. If you place a clever caption underneath of the photo pointing out just how fat that person is and suddenly, somehow it becomes funny, right? Wrong. I’m sure you’ve these photos floating around on the interwebs. This is what is referred to as fat-shaming.

fat shaming

Personally, I have never found any photos exploiting overweight individuals as a “joke” to be funny at all. Being overweight in itself is not funny. And I have to wonder why this type of discrimination and bullying is still so acceptable in our culture. Even in Hollywood, consider how much negative attention a celebrity gets when they gain weight. Their image is shown on the cover of a magazine with a caption stating something about how fat they’ve gotten, and we’ve allowed that to be acceptable!

I gained a great deal of weight in my early teenage years and in high school, I was somewhere over 200 pounds. My saving grace was that I was funny and well-liked, so I didn’t become the target of much bullying (and most people would never have made fun of me to my face). I thank my lucky stars that things like Facebook and Twitter (heck, even cell phones or texting!) didn’t exist back then, because it’s so much easier to bully someone when you’re sitting behind a computer.
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