Despite a $1 trillion dollar (and growing) global fitness and nutrition industry and government public-awareness campaigns, signs of obesity in the U.S. show no signs of slowing.
New figures from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that now 38 percent of American adults are obese as of 2014—a 3 percent increase from just two years prior. Among adults, the prevalence for obesity was higher for women than men, and the age demographic of 40s and 50s had the highest rate, clocking in at just over 40 percent. In other words, almost one in two adults between the ages of 40 and 60 are seriously overweight.
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Obesity is defined as having too much body fat, and the CDC used a body mass index of over 30 in order to qualify an adult as obese. According to the National Health Institute, a body mass of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal. Doctors have long warned that obesity is associated with significantly increased risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, certain cancers and arthritis.
In recent years, the government is attempting to curb the decades-long rising obesity levels with a series of health regulations. In June 2015, the FDA instituted a trans fat ban in processed foods, citing the increase of heart attacks and strokes. Late in 2014, the FDA instituted a mandatory calorie count label in movie theaters, convenience stores and fast food restaurants to help consumers better understand what they’re consuming. However, both of these rules have not fully gone into effect yet.