It's not difficult to see that obesity has been on the rise in our country over the last couple decades. Sadly, all it takes is a trip to the grocery store or a ball game and you can see that there are many people who are suffering from the common metabolic disorder of obesity. Obesity is no laughing matter. It's the leading contributor to the leading causes of death in this country: heart disease, many types of cancer, diabetes, stroke, and more. The fat acceptance movement may be becoming more and more popular, but that doesn't change the fact that obesity poses a real threat to American society.
Shocking Rates of Obesity in America Show Something Happened in 1980 That Resulted in a Rapid Increase of Obese Women
Rapper and podcast host Zuby shared a chart from the CDC by way of Vox that showed how "the stunning rise of obesity in America." Two charts were side-by-side, one for men and the other for women, showing rates of obesity in the US between 1960 and 2014. On each chart, there were three categories: overweight men/women, obese men/women, and extremely obese men/women.
The rates of overweight individuals hasn't seen that many drastic changes over the last 50 years. In fact, there are fewer overweight men in 2014 than there were in 1960. There was a visible increase of overweight women in 2013, but in 2014 the number seemed to drop back down to a similar rate as we saw in the 1960s. However, the rates of obese and extremely obese people are concerning.
Roughly 10% of men were obese in 1960 and about 15% women were obese. There was a gradual rise between 1960 and 1980, but something happened in 1980 that made these numbers skyrocket. By the time 2002 rolled around, nearly 30% of men were obese and almost 35% of women were obese. That number kept climbing and in 2014, 35% of men were obese and more than 40% of women were obese. These are frightening numbers.
The "extremely obese" category also saw a fairly dramatic spike between 1980 and 2014. There were hardly any extremely obese men in 1980, but in 2014 that number had risen to about 5%. But the numbers look much different for women. In 1980 there were roughly 3% of women that were extremely obese and over 10% in 2014.
Another chart shows that the percentage of adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more (which is considered obese) has risen rapidly between 1990 and 2018. The states that have a BMI of 35 or more include Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
"What happened?" Zuby asked. "That's a rapid and drastic shift. Something happened around 1980..."
The argument could be made that the sudden increase of seed oil sales has resulted in a rapid rise of obesity. Huge corporations like Procter & Gamble started pushing seed oils in the 1970s as a "heart-healthy" replacement for butter and other saturated fat. Later we found out that the research conducted to supposedly prove that vegetable oil was healthier than butter and meat was unethically done. For example, Procter & Gamble teamed up with an "expert" named Ancel Keys to convince the American Heart Association (AMA) to educate Americans that saturated fat was causing heart disease, not things like vegetable oil and margarine. It was also found that all the scientists were paid $50,000 by the Sugar Association to lie and say that saturated fat was causing heart disease, not sugar.
Americans were brainwashed into eating copious amounts of seed oils and sugar right around the time when obesity rates started climbing. Coincidence? Doubt it.
The last few decades have also produced a rapid increase in how much hyper-palatable processed foods have been on grocery store shelves and in our kitchen. Kids are eating junk food from a much younger age and adults have access to processed foods much easier than we did a few decades ago. It doesn't help that public health organizations don't provide useful information for Americans to reverse a dangerous metabolic disorder that nearly half the country is fighting. It's almost as if they don't actually want you to be healthy.