It’s not just America anymore – the world is getting fatter. A recent article in the popular New York Times blog, Economix, pointed out that America’s obesity rates were actually second to Mexico with respective obesity rates of 28% and 30%. The United States does hold the dubious honor of “fattest children” however, with 35% of kids between the ages of 6 and 17 tipping the scale beyond the healthy range. This worldwide data is not necessarily airtight due to discrepancies in age cut-offs and survey timing, but, for the time being, it seems America still has an extra large spot reserved at the heaviest end of the international obesity spectrum.
The projected obesity rates are terrifying across the board. By the year 2020, over 70% of the American population is expected to be overweight. England and Australia are close behind at 69% and 65% respectively. While droughts, food shortages, and wars still deprive individuals in poverty-stricken regions of daily meals, each industrialized country seems to be eating for two. The paradox lies in the fact that hundreds of thousands of people living in industrialized countries also suffer from hunger and homelessness and yet, the increase in food processing and manufacturing has plumped up the average citizen to epic proportions.
The question is: How can we get this under control? Can we disrupt the projected obesity trends and bring worldwide BMI’s back to normal? Or are we simply fat and getting fatter?