Since I have been resting over the past several days, I have been able to spend some extra time doing research for my blog. I came across an article this weekend that I found shocking. In recently released data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers are now saying that a sedentary lifestyle, NOT caloric intake could be to blame for increased obesity in the United States. This survey is put together by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States.
How did they come to this conclusion? “Using over 20 years of data, researchers have noted that there has been a sharp decrease in physical exercise and an increase in average body mass index (BMI), while caloric intake has remained steady”. Why is this so shocking to me? Guess what demographic is leading the charge? Average BMI increases were the highest among women ages 18-39. I fall right into the middle of this group.
This is a sharp reality for me to stomach. It is hard for me to imagine that my peers are among the most likely to set their health up for disaster. This news came on the heels of a recent study that shows that maternal deaths in childbirth have actually risen in the United States over the past decade. How is it that in a country with so many technological advances, women are susceptible to an increased rate of death during delivery of their child? Could the two be related? The study on maternal deaths dares to point out that one significant reason for the increase in deaths is an increase in the number of pregnant women who have diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. By the way, it is estimated that 75% of women having babies in 2008 were between the ages of 20-34.
I am in no way certified to link the two, but facts are facts. This is a harsh reality. The impact of increasing obesity rates affects our personal health beyond our waist size. Do what you want with the information, but our personal health is one of the only things that we have some sort of control over. One of the easiest ways to make the biggest change is to add some physical activity to our routine.