Personal Liberty Poll
A new medical study provides a dire warning about a coming national health crisis brought on by abysmal American dietary habits.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, more than 57 percent of the nation’s children are going to be obese by age 35 if parents keep stuffing their faces with heavily processed foods and sugary drinks.
Even children currently at a healthy weight are at risk as their metabolisms become less capable during early adulthood of staving off excess pounds resulting from poor eating habits, the Harvard researchers behind the study said.
“Only those children with a current healthy weight have less than a 50 percent chance of becoming obese by the age of 35 years,” said the study.
In other words, children currently at a healthy weight who are currently eating a balanced diet comprised of real unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables and lean meats are in the minority in America today.
“Of the children predicted to have obesity as adults, half will develop it as children,” the study said.
There are already some 4.5 million children in the U.S. considered severely obese. Unfortunately, only one in five of them are statistically likely to achieve a healthy weight in adulthood. The researchers say this is because excess weight gained from poor eating habits during the formative years is especially hard to reverse.
And that is going to compound national complications surrounding an already out of control obesity epidemic. Currently, around 36.5 percent of Americans are considered obese, meaning they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher– doctors usually advise patients that a healthy BMI lies somewhere between 18.5 and 24.9.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that treating conditions associated with American obesity currently accounts for around $147 billion in annual healthcare costs.
“Adult obesity is linked with increased risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer,” lead author Zachary Ward, an analyst at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said.
“Our findings highlight the importance of prevention efforts for all children as they grow up, and of providing early interventions for children with obesity to minimize their risk of serious illness in the future.”
That’s the kind of stuff that usually gets the government’s attention. And if recent history is any indicator, policymakers’ wrongheaded response to the growing childhood obesity epidemic is likely to include a doubling down on efforts to limit soft drink sizes and intensify restrictions on the kinds of foods that can be served in school cafeterias.
A better approach, however, would be congressional action to strip massive government subsidies handed to Big Agriculture each year to encourage the production of the foods most likely to make Americans fat and sick. Thanks to billions of taxpayer dollars the government hands over each year, it’s more profitable for factory farms to focus on the production of foods like corn, wheat, rice, sorghum and soybeans– all of which are key components of sugary, starchy and nutritionally useless convenience foods which line the shelves of your local supermarket. The excess reserves of these crops are also cut into other more expensive, and seemingly healthier, foods like meat in frozen meals to increase manufacturer profitability.
Last year, researchers at the Centers for Disease control took a look at what the farm subsidies mean for the American diet. They found that more than half of the average American’s daily calories come from foods made with subsidized crops. They also found that, compared to Americans who reported making a daily effort to avoid processed foods, those who ate the most were 37 percent more likely to be obese and 41 percent more prone to belly fat. Heavy processed food consumers also had a 34 percent higher risk of elevated inflammation throughout the body.