The United States is the fattest nation among 33 countries with advanced economies, according to a report out today from an
international think tank.
Two-thirds of people in this country are overweight or obese; about a third of adults — more than 72 million — are obese, which is roughly 30 pounds over a healthy weight.
Obesity rates have skyrocketed since the 1980s in almost all the countries where long-term data is available, says the report from
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which works on policies to promote better economies and
quality of life. Countries with the fastest obesity growth rates: the United States, Australia and England.
Obesity puts a drag on the wallet as well as your health, especially for women.
Doctors have long known medical bills are higher for the obese in the USA, but that's only part of the real-life cost.
George Washington University researchers added in things such as sick days, lost productivity, even the need for extra gasoline
— and found the annual cost of being obese is $4,879 for a woman and $2,646 for a man.
That is far more than the cost of being merely overweight — $524 for women and $432 for men, finds the report, released Tuesday, which analyzed previously published studies to come up with a total.
The essentiality of certain fatty acids for good health had been demonstrated as early as 1929, but it was only about 30 years ago that the scientific consensus finally settled firmly on the need for omega-6 and omega-3 EFAs, and the consensus at a layperson level is still ambiguous and confused. Why EFAs have been neglected is difficult to understand, but may have something to do with the popular conception that since you store fat when you put on weight, you should not eat any fat if you want to lose weight. There are many who still believe fat-free is the healthy way to go. Fortunately, avoiding fat entirely is extremely difficult, since fat-free diets kill! “Death by fat deficiency” is well known to the clinical nutritionist, as this quotation, lifted from a popular textbook of Clinical Nutrition, can testify: When lipids are omitted from the diet for periods exceeding 1 - 2 weeks, unsaturated fatty acid deficits occur and cause a characteristic syndrome. This essential fatty acid deficiency presents with dermatitis, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, impaired wound healing, loss of hair, AND EARLY DEATH. (Emphasis added!)
The second of a series of Newsletters intended to explain the basic science underlying the nutrition of weight loss in simple user-friendly language.
Our first newsletter was about thermogenesis, and pinpointed protein as a major contributor to thermogenesis under physiological conditions. Increasing thermogenesis is, however, only one of the reasons why we need protein in weight loss diets. Before dealing with this and the other reasons why we need protein, we should define what a good diet actually is.
The good diet gives an energy deficit; less calories must be consumed than are required to meet both the basal metabolic requirements (the energy cost of running the body) and the energy cost of daily activity. In other words, it provides less calories than you are burning each day, so you draw on your fat reserves to make up the difference.