Probably due in part to the 'Super Size' offer at most fast food places. As well, activity levels are dropping in relation to the number of game consoles and other 'sit-on-your-ass-all-day' toys.
Diet, however, is the biggest culprit. Europe and Asia have a much lower obesity rate because their diet consists mostly of whole grains and fish, as do all Mediterranean cultures. Cutting back on processed food and cutting pop out of your diet will likely increase your health ten-fold.
I would agree with sarahmkirkpatrick that diet is responsible. I think also the love of red meat is to blame. Some research just published has shown that the effects of eating too much red meat on our health are worse than we thought before. Obesity is becoming a greater problem in the UK as well and it's for the same reasons - portions that are just too big, poor choices with nutrition and lack of exercise.
We have become lazy in everything we do. We dont have to cook meals can be bought prepared. We dont have to find entertainment we have technology. More jobs are now on a computer so we dont have to work as hard. Americans are lazy.
I take a slightly contrarian view. I think the issue is far and away inactivity. Certainly diet is a component, but I think it pales in comparison to the culture of the couch potato. I do think the inactively lifestyles of many, make diet a greater issue than it otherwise would be. By that I mean that when folks sit around and watch TV, they tend to snack more. So in that respect, I think lack of exercise, creates a caloric intake problem where there would not have otherwise been one.
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