There cannot be any doubt that there is an obesity epidemic in America and the western world but there is neither a single nor any simple answer as to why. It is obvious that in the US as elsewhere many things contribute to those ever-expanding waistlines of the population.
The underlying causes can be broken down into elements such as genetics, the environment as well as nature and nurture. The environmental aspect being simply that the majority of folks these days get far less exercise than they did after say WWII.
Average working men used to have jobs dominated by physical activity but such work has largely been replaced with much more sedentary employment. This fact means that over time lack of exercise combined with normal eating easily translates to excess weight.
People should, realistically, be eating far less but the reality is more than ever is being consumed. This was proven as early as as a Centres for Disease Control report of 2004, which found US ladies on average consuming 300 more calories daily now than back in 1971.
American obsession with weight loss is well documented yet studies revealed that less than 30% of US citizens exercise on a regular basis. The figure for those dieting came in at under 25% at any given moment and of course there are those who conveniently blame a so-called fat gene.
An element of inherited, increased risk factor for obesity does exist in some cases. Researchers have identified a gene increasing the propensity to obesity by 23% on average but even proof that you are a carrier of this genetic problem is no excuse. Rest assured that the actual effects of the gene are far less influential on body mass than lifestyle and diet are.
Experts maintain that only one hour weekly of moderate to vigorous activity cuts the fat gene effect by30%. So far from being genetically doomed to a life of obesity bulky individuals can indeed control what they eat and what exercise they get, thus taking control of their weight issues.
Most people are perfectly capable of losing lose weight by following any sensible diet. It should be remembered that snacking behaviour is often subconscious and that most people are unaware of how much they are truly eating or how often until they start to monitor it.
It is undoubtedly a lack of willpower that means most dieters do not stick at it for the long term. With enough determination and self-discipline one can avoid falling back into those bad old eating habits. There are those who actually succeed so the notion that trying to lose weight is pointless is self defeating.
Exercise or indeed any kind of physical activity will help control body weight, even in individuals with a genetic predisposition towards obesity. As long as they are prepared to keep a close eye on what they eat and when, being slim is in reality an achievable goal for anybody. If you genuinely want it enough then whatever your genetic make-up you can be the body shape and size you desire with enough application.
I have been writing for pleasure for half a century, but only started writing for money around 1994. Since then I have had a few thousand articles, stories and poems published on line and in print all round the world.
I am now 63 years old, male, from Burnley in the UK, and apart from writing, I love to read - mainly crime thrillers, conspiracy theory books and science fiction, though I also love films, gardening and chatting with my wife who is also my best friend.
I enjoy feedback from readers, and interaction with fellow writers. Anyone who gets in touch with me will get a reply. I am always happy to read and comment upon the work of others, as I think we writers are something of a definite sub-species of humanity!