3 reasons we’re fat and how to change your diet to lose weight

There is no delicate way to put it. Americans are fat and getting fatter every year.

Currently, 38% of men and 41% of women are obese, numbers that have doubled over the past three decades, and worse, the number of fat children and teens has tripled. But, why are we so fat?

The simple explanation is that we eat more calories than we burn each day, leading to an excess of calories in the body that are converted to fat and stored.

An argument can be made that this is not entirely our fault as we have fallen victim to lifestyle trends that sneaked up on us, and this is especially true for our children. For example, consider the role of our school systems. Kids expend fewer calories each day because of a reduction in physical education classes and recess, and less participation in organized sports. In addition, to boost revenue, many school systems have contracts with soft drink and fast-food companies, encouraging unhealthy and fat-promoting eating practices at school.

Soda has been made the main culprit in the war on obesity, but beverage experts say the sugar and caloric content in the average soft drink are way down.

Add to all this fact that at home, kids are playing video games or engaging in social media, instead of going outside to play. And, of course, adults move less as well, with space-age appliances, multiple car families, and too much TV, plus working more to pay for the high cost of living.

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How has the fast food industry contributed to obesity?

Onion rings.

Other behind-the-scenes trends have been operating as well, including high fructose corn syrup resulting in more calorically dense soft drinks, snacks and convenience foods. The fast-food industry also was hard at work contributing to American fatness. First was the introduction of “value meals,” which combined sugary soft drinks with high-fat French fries and burgers. Soft drinks cause a big insulin response while fries and burgers provide lots of dietary fat calories. Insulin not only regulates blood sugar, but it also promotes the conversion of excess calories into body fat.

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