We are all hearing a lot about obesity these days and more people are obese than ever; one-third of American children and two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. The American Medical Association has declared that obesity is a disease.
While diet and exercise are important factors in the obesity epidemic, an emerging body of science demonstrates that exposures to chemical obesogens may be important contributors. A number of chemicals known to disrupt hormones also appear to affect the size and number of fat cells or hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism.
It’s tough not being perfect. Everyone who has ever had a bad hair day knows that. And that’s no more true than for those misshapen, oddly sized fruits and vegetables that Mother Nature inevitably produces.
It seems every week, mainstream media is reporting on a new study pointing to food A, or beverage B, as the latest malign of the American eater. The truth is, the rising obesity rates in the U.S., and the frightening rate of decline in children’s health in our country are complicated.
Many in the public health community have long decried farm subsidies for commodity crops such as corn and soybeans as the reason for the low cost of junk food relative to fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Subsidies, the thinking goes, have caused farmers to over produce corn and soybeans.
The recent and exploding epidemic of child obesity is upon us. Obesity among teens is more than three and a half times more prevalent than three decades ago. The solution is multifaceted, but local government action is essential according to an Institute of Medicine Committee convened in 2008 to focus on preventative actions for local governments.