According to a recent 2013 Gallup Well-Beings Index, “The adult obesity rate so far in 2013 is 27.2%, up from 26.2% in 2012, and is on pace to surpass all annual average obesity rates since Gallup-Healthways began tracking in 2008.” 
Related: People Who Sleep More Weigh Less
Waist lines are expanding
Americans are getting bigger. There is no doubt about it. But why are Americans getting bigger?
Some would say that it is due to the surge of sedentary lifestyle in the United States. Unlike 10 years ago, you can get everything you need delivered to you at the tip of your finger. Some would say its because the quality of mass produced food has declined over the decades. That is certainly a fact, and with the prominence of food advertising, people think about food more often than ever. Let us not forget about the side effects of modern medication. With the mindset of having a pill for every problem, the drug industry is equally guilty in contributing to this nation wide problem. However, keep in mind the influence of genetics. Some people are just biologically inclined to hold more fat reserves than other people.
The Real Culprit
Rise of obesity in the United States is not caused by a single factor but a combination of all of the factors mentioned above. Modern lifestyle trapped the modern individual in this complex maze of good and bad decisions where the majority are dead ends leading to unhealthy lifestyle. Mathematically speaking, since there are simply more bad paths, people are more likely to become unhealthy.
This brings us to the real culprit – Misinformation and Stress.
Misinformation is similar to going into that maze blind, and stress is having the tendency to make the wrong turn. Countless studies have shown that stress makes individuals more likely to eat unhealthy food and form unhealthy habits. Fortunately that points us to the solution to the problem which is education and relaxation. Health Education is like having a map to that maze and relaxation is having the tendency to stick to what the map says. Many people have the map right in their hand, but they simply can’t stick to it because they are so stressed that they feel the craving need to eat a pile of sugar and white bread.
Give Yourself an Advantage
Stress is a response of the parasympathetic nervous system to a threat. Thinking it needs resources, the body starts hogging sugary and starchy food which it then stores in your body as fat, so that it could be prepared for that “threat.” According to a study in UC San Fransisco, which educated 47 women about stress induced eating and performed relaxation exercises for 30 minutes a day, participants who underwent the treatment showed significant reduction in abdominal fat while the control group showed no difference. Individuals who are relaxed and calm, do not have the craving for “short term” food. The body is not in a state of panic, so sticking to a healthy diet becomes much easier.
It’s harder than ever to stay healthy due to the current health ecosystem surrounding the modern individual’s life. That is the reason why obesity is currently on the rise. Making sure you do not make the same mistake millions of Americans do, educate yourself with the correct fitness regime. Stay healthy. With the help of of relaxation exercises that reduce your desire for unhealthy food, you’ll be able to achieve your goal with ease and efficiency.
1. Sharpe, Lindsey. “U.S. Obesity Rate Climbing in 2013.” U.S. Obesity Rate Climbing in 2013. 1 Nov. 2013. Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. 11 Jan. 2014
2. Daubenmier, Jennifer. “Mindfulness Intervention for Stress Eating to Reduce Cortisol and Abdominal Fat among Overweight and Obese Women: An Exploratory Randomized Controlled Study.” Mindfulness Intervention for Stress Eating to Reduce Cortisol and Abdominal Fat among Overweight and Obese Women: An Exploratory Randomized Controlled Study. Journal of Obesity Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 651936, 13 Pages, 1 June 2011. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
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