Why are you so fat?

Most of us are overweight or just face it….we are FAT! I’m fat….your fat! Your sister is Fat….you Mom is Fat….my god, your Dog and Cat are fat!

Why are we so Fat? It’s a half a Trillion Dollar Question!

So let’s find out what I learned when I asked that question.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention 69 percent of all adults over the age of 20 are overweight. Nearly 36 percent or 87 million of us are obese! Adults over 60 are more likely to be obese than younger adults, so as you get older…you gotta watch it!

I’m not even talking about the kids….there are over 12.5 million kids that are obese!

Being overweight isn’t just about looks. Being overweight is not healthy. Fat people have higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Osteoarthritis, joint problems and certain types of cancer. It’s expensive to be sick. The estimated medical cost to treat obesity was $147 Billion in 2008 and approaching 200 Billion in 2014.

Hey….I know we are all going to die, but I’d prefer to have as many healthy years as possible. Wouldn’t you? Let’s face it, getting older sucks. If you can do something to get healthy, stay healthy and keep moving longer and later in life wouldn’t you’d you prefer that to walker or electric scooter or worse?

I’ve seen too many people get to the age of retirement; a time when they should really be enjoying their life but because of health issues, they are too sick or aren’t physically mobile enough to have a good quality of life.

You know you are fat. I know I am fat, but I wanted a good definition to confirm it. If you check with the CDC, the Mayo Clinic or the World Health Organization (WHO ?) for a definition of being Overweight, they all point you to the BMI or Body Mass Index as a measurement. I did a 3 part series on the Food Pyramid and BMI a few years back. You can use the Search term; MyUltraLife BMI, if you want to check those out.

The Food Pyramid and Body Mass Index (BMI) Part 1

The Food Pyramid and Body Mass Index (BMI) Part 2

The Food Pyramid and Body Mass Index (BMI) Part 3


Here is the formula for BMI: (from CDC website)

Formula: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703

Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.

Example: Weight = 150 lbs, Height = 5’5″ (65″)
Calculation: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = 24.96


Basically if you have a BMI of 25 to 29 you are overweight. If your BMI is 30 or higher….you are an obese person. For example if you are 5’4” and weigh 174 pounds, you are obese. If you are 5’9” and weigh 203 or more, you are obese!

BMI isn’t always the most accurate, but it is the best and quickest gauge of fatness. You can do the math, but I have an even faster method. Go look in the freaking mirror! Come on….you know you are fat.


But Why? Why are American’s so Fat?

Is it because America is a Richer Nation with more choices; we can afford to eat more! That could be the reason.

The U.S. has been listed as the country with the highest obesity rate in the world. But I have good news. We are now the country with the second highest obesity rate. Mexico just beat us! Some of the other countries in the top 10 are; Micronesia, Dominca, Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati and The Cook Islands. These other countries don’t sound like wealthy countries compared to America….but maybe they are Rich in their diets! Ah ha!

Some of the countries with the lowest Obesity rates are Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Romania, France and Honduras. These aren’t the poorest countries, so I don’t think living in a rich country or a poor country makes the biggest difference. What is different is diet and culture. And, as you might expect, countries with lower obesity rates also have lower rates of disease and greater longevity.

Are we fat because Americans just aren’t aware of the problem?


Maybe we should diet more!

According to Marketdata Enterprises, an independent market research company; Americans spend over $61 Billion dollars a year on weight loss. They report that 82% of those dollars were spent on “do it yourself” diet plans such as over the counter diet pills, meal replacements, diet books and diet websites.

Weight loss chains such as Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem got more than $3.4 Billion of your dollars and multi-level marketing plans such as Herba-life, Medifast’s Take Shape for Life and others grabbed over $1 billion of your bucks.

I’d say that with Americans spending over $61 billion dollars a year….and that number keeps growing each year….we are certainly aware of the problem.


The reason we are FAT is that we don’t go to the Gym and workout

The Gym, Health & fitness Club market brings in over $26 Billion are year with over 30,000 facilities around the country and more than 52 million members. This includes Gym’s and Fitness Centers, Tennis Centers, Dance Centers and swimming pools.

Do you have a Gym membership? Have you been lately? I must admit there was a time I hadn’t gone to the gym for so long, I forgot the combination to my lock! I had to throw it away and buy a new one. The U.S. population is 316 million and 52 million go to the Gym, well I guess this is the 16% of us that are healthy!

And for those of you who don’t like the gym and say you’ll workout at home….you spent almost $2 billion on fitness equipment. That treadmill was not meant for hanging your clothes.

Let’s do the numbers

Treating diseases that are the result of obesity costs $187 Billion

Dieting costs $61 Billion

Gyms and Fitness Centers cost $29 Billion and we spend $2 billion on home fitness gear

That’s $279 Billion dollars spent by Americans each year to lose weight and get fit, yet 69 percent of us are still overweight and 36 percent of adults are obese.

Wow…I think I’ve found the way to balance the Federal Budget!

Something is not working. My point is not to focus on the money being spent. My point is that people are trying different methods to lose weight and battle obesity, but it’s just not working.


Maybe the Government should help!

Obesity is an enormous, like a gigantic public health concern, especially with the government getting deeper into the healthcare business, so as you might expect there are many government agencies involved in studying and preventing obesity in children and adults.

Let’s run through just a few of those……You’ve got the Department of Health and Human Services which oversees 11 agencies, many of these work on obesity issues, such as:

-Administration for Children and Families

-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

-Administration on Aging (AOA)

-Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

-Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

-National Institutes of Health (NIH)

-Office of Womens Health (OWH)

-Indian Health Service (HIS)

-The Office of Public Health and Science, which oversees;

– Office of Adolescent Health

– Office of the Surgeon General

– Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

– President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

– Office of Minority Health

– Office of Women’s Health

I thought we already covered Women’s health….the list is exhausting. We haven’t even got to some of the big ones yet like the FDA, USDA, NIH, FTC, even the FCC and all of these big agencies have sub agencies. Then you have the agencies that form collaborative agencies to form a research group and it never ends.

If you go to the www.USA.gov web site and search the word “obesity” you get 6,880,000 results of studies and reports on obesity. It’s really incredible!

If you visit the National Institutes of Health Obesity Research Funding Opportunities web page you will find no less than 53 new research topics they are looking to fund and that is a partial list.

Even the First Lady got into the act beginning in February 2010 by launching her, “Let’s Move” campaign with the goal of “solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight”. Let’s move.gov involves the Department of Education (DOE), Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). No report of the campaigns results, but they have a song, “Move your body”, sung by Beyoncé Knowles and Swizz Beatz.

So your “do it yourself” diets, weight loss programs and diet books are doing it, most of us don’t go to the gym and the government is “studying” the issue and implementing programs while the obesity rate continues to increase.

So what is the solution? I don’t know! Oh, wait….you thought I had the answer? If 6,800,000 answers on USA.gov haven’t provided the answer, I don’t think I have the answer!

I do have some ideas that I will share in future posts; but I think we find the solution that works for each of us individually. If we work on it step by step, we will learn what works for us.

I hope we can use the MyUltraLife site as a forum to share ideas on what works and what doesn’t. What makes MyUltraLife better than the hundreds of other health and fitness websites? You….you and me together. We make it better through our efforts to lead UltraLives. By motivating and encouraging ourselves to reach our goals….we make it better by making ourselves better and over time we just might help others lead Ultralives too!



Marketdata Enterprises: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/4/prweb10629316.htm

CDC – Adult Obesity Facts: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

CDC Fast Facts – Obesity and Overweight: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm

Countries with Lowest and Highest Obesity Rates: http://mecheshier.hubpages.com/hub/International-Obesity-Facts-Highest-vs-Lowest-Worldwide-Obesity-Rates

Obesity rates hold steady: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264970.php

Fitness Centers: http://www.ibisworld.com/industry/default.aspx?indid=1655

Lets Move: http://www.letsmove.gov/ and http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/first-lady-federal-agencies-launch-summer-initiative-curb-childhood-obesity-and-

Campaign to end Obesity: http://www.obesitycampaign.org/

CDC-Communities putting prevention to work: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dch/programs/CommunitiesPuttingPreventiontoWork/index.htm

NIH budget: http://report.nih.gov/categorical_spending.aspx

NIH Obesity Research funding Solicitations: http://obesityresearch.nih.gov/funding/funding.aspx

Organizational Chart of Governmental and non-governmental agencies addressing Obesity (2010): http://www.yaleruddcenter.org/resources/upload/docs/what/policy/AgenciesAddressingObesity5.10.pdf

Nutrition.gov: http://www.nutrition.gov/nutrition-and-health-issues/overweight-and-obesity

Partners in Information Access for Public Health Workforce: http://phpartners.org/obesity.html

Today’s Shirt – Challenged Athletes Foundation – http://www.challengedathletes.org/

If you’d like to promote your charity or event, send me a shirt, I’ll wear it and promote on this channel.

Have an UltraLife!!

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