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Better transportation options also mean Americans walk less than in the past, said Holly Lofton, the director of the weight management program at NYU’s Langone Center. In the past they would be “playing things like dodgeball, and they’re playing on an i Pad now,” she said.Still, simply increasing exercise isn’t a cure-all, Ochner said, since those who exercise often then compensate by consuming extra calories. Income Americans in some lower-income demographics struggle more with obesity because consistently eating healthy and fresh foods can be more expensive than fast food or packaged foods, Ochner said.
That isn’t a decrease from the amount of sleep they reported getting over the last 10 years, but it is a full hour less of sleep per night than Americans got in the 1940s. Other illnesses Illnesses such as depression can cause increased appetite for some people, causing weight gain (although as Ochner noted, depression can actually cause lack of appetite for others).
Some people who take medications, including those prescribed for ailments including depression and nerve pain, or even hormones for in-vitro fertilization, may also experience weight gain, Lofton said.
Those with lower incomes also may have less information about healthy eating, as well as less access to care for issues related to being overweight.
People who don’t have health insurance often can’t afford to see a medical weight-loss specialist, Lofton said.
Although the new data didn't represent a statistically significant increase from the last time the survey was conducted, from 2011 to 2012, it shows obesity remains prevalent among both adults and children, despite recent efforts to fight the issue. I was not expecting this,” said Bartolome Burguera, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Endocrinology and Metabolism Institute.
“It’s a very important wake-up call.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define obesity in terms of body-mass index (BMI).
They may also be unable to consistently exercise, whether that’s for lack of money for a gym membership, or lack of time or a safe outdoor space. Stress Longer work hours and greater competition, both at work and academically, contribute to stress and consequently, weight gain.
When people experience stress, the body feels a flight-or-fight response; this makes the body more hungry, so it will have the energy to fight off the attack, and it could lead to the body storing more fat, Lofton said.
In fact, there have been some positive signs that Americans are changing the way they eat. The researchers concluded that these changes in energy intake were independent from economic conditions or food prices, and public health efforts were likely to have helped. (And, to be clear, that doesn’t mean gorging on junk food won’t make you overweight.) Still, despite recent findings, there is still work to be done about the foods Americans eat.
American adults and children slightly decreased the amount of calories they were consuming on a daily basis from 2003 through 2004 to 2009 through 2010, according to separate research from Shu Wen Ng, Meghan M. Larger portion sizes for adults and children, plus the amount of sugar in Americans’ diets, remain a concern, especially due to the prevalence of savory items that aren’t well-known for their sugar content, including such items as fast-food cheeseburgers and certain salad dressings, said Christopher Ochner, a weight loss and nutrition expert at Mount Sinai Hospital.