Cheap food key to rising obesity rate
A new scientific review concludes that a main reason for the obesity epidemic in the United States is the access of Americans to cheap food.
The review, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians notes two in three Americans are now overweight or obese, with rates climbing steadily over the past several decades. Many factors, including automobiles, television, fast food, computer use, vending machines, suburban subdivisions and portion size – have all been said to contribute to obesity in this country. But after analysis of numerous factors, the researchers concluded that widespread availability of inexpensive food appears to have the strongest link to the rise in obesity. s condition.
"Americans are spending a smaller share of their income on food than any other society in history or anywhere else in the world, yet get more for it," the study's authors wrote.
In the 1930s Americans spent about 25 percent of their disposable income on food; now the figure is closer to 10 percent.
"In examining time trends for which there are data," the report noted, "what jumps out are changes in food availabillity, in particular the increase in caloric sweeteners and carbohydrates."
Based on their research, the scientists suggested that encouraging people to eat more fruit and vegetables or exercising more would not be as effective as discouraging them from consuming sugar-sweetened drinks and salted snacks.