It might look like an evident truth, but researchers paid a lot of effort to reach the conclusion that obesity fosters obesity. After all, this is one of the most important roles of science, to confirm or refute seemingly evident truths. The importance of obesity research is more important than ever. Recently we found out that obesity increases the risk of ovarian cancers.
Obesity reached alarming figures in the U.S. for a while now. We almost got used to it. Although everybody is worried about the effects of the process, the explanations are often contradictory. A very strong blame apparatus puts places the agency on individuals. Your body is a representation of what you eat and inherently, your lifestyle choices. But statistics tend to overrule the simplistic explanation. In the last several decades, the number of obese individuals rose alarmingly. There surely is an underlying process triggering the change and explaining a bit more than the plain fact that obesity fosters obesity.
Obesity fosters obesity because of changes in leisure time activities?
An article published in The American Journal of Medicine looked deeper into the issue. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey claims that the decrease in physical activity in the last 20 years is the variable which most thoroughly explains why we are getting fatter. Because Americans do not exercise enough during their leisure time, but maintain a constant nutritional intake, pants keep getting tighter.
Young women are most affected. According to the survey, only 19.1 percent of women reported no physical activity in 1994. The percentage went up to 51.7 in 2010. For men, the numbers are 11.4 percent in 1994 and 43.5 percent in 2010. The BMI for young women rose most drastically.
“Our findings do not support the popular notion that the increase of obesity in the United States can be attributed primarily to sustained increase over time in the average daily caloric intake of Americans,”, Prof. Ladabaum, one of the authors, states. There is a difference in the caloric in-take in the case of women who did not exercised at all. Men engaged in high-level activities ingested a lower portion of calories. Researchers also looked at the waist circumference and found out that women’s waists grew by 0.37 percent per year and only 0.27 in the case of men.
How people eat is not separated from the other spheres of their lives. Obesity fosters obesity, but it is hardly an explanation by itself. Manual jobs are now rarer than ever. So the transition from a blue collar to a white collar economy might be a better foundation for an explanation of why Americans got fatter and fatter. Has leisure time changed much over the years? Probably for many who struggle with two jobs, there is no leisure time anymore.