Why is America Overweight? New Study Pins a Lack of Exercise as the Culprit

A new study unveils worrying data about the increasing obesity rate across the nation.

In a report published by the American Journal of Medicine which collected nutritional data from the last 20 years, Americans have undergone a sharp decline in the amount of daily physical exercise performed. This information correlated with an increase in the average body-mass index (BMI) with the average caloric intake remaining relatively stable.

“At the population level, we found a significant association between the level of leisure-time physical activity, but not daily caloric intake, and the increases in both BMI and waist circumference,” said Dr. Uri Ladabaum in a recent statement. Ladabaum is the study’s lead author and an associate professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Researchers looked over National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data that showed a 32.6% increase from 1994 to 2010 in women who reported performing no physical activity and a 32.1% increase in the number of men who reported the same within that time frame. The average BMI also increased in both genders.

The study showed no significant increase in calorie intake during the 20-year time period specified, though data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other studies have shown that Americans are presently consuming an average of 500 calories more per day compared to the 1970s. Though the amount is somewhat insignificant, researchers wonder about the types of calories Americans are consuming.

The fact remains, Americans are more sedentary than before. Coupled with an increased consumption of calorie-dense foods of refined carbohydrates and sugary processed foods, it's easy to see why this multi-faceted problem needs attention.

What You Can Do to Stay Healthy

The nation's increasingly problematic obesity epidemic is perpetuated by various factors that require awareness. Various studies pin the blame on easy access to high-calorie, low nutrient-dense foods and a downward slope in daily physical activity.  The answer to a healthier you is simple: focus on better food quality and increase your daily physical activity. Physical activity and eating a balanced diet aren't just for weight management, though. Both combined are crucial for your internal and external health. 

At Innovative Therapy, we can teach you which combination of exercises and healthy living work best for you. Whether you're struggling with a physical limitation or are simply ready to get into shape, we have the necessary tools and steps to kick-start your journey into a healthy and balanced life.