If you've ever sat at a restaurant or shopping mall, and thought to yourself that Americans are heavier than ever before, it's not your imagination. In fact, the statistics are downright scary.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the obesity epidemic is more serious than ever: The percentage of adults over age 20 who are obese and the percentage of adults who are merely overweight (not obese) are now equal—at 34 percent each! Not only is that obesity statistic frightening, if you do the math it means that healthy weight Americans are now the minority, at just 32 percent.
Biggest Factor in the Obesity Epidemic
One of the biggest contributors to the obesity epidemic is restaurant meals. There’s new legislation afoot by the FDA to force chain restaurants to post the calorie counts on their menus. But folks, it shouldn’t take a legislative act to figure out that a carbohydrate and fat laden entrée that could feed a family of four, instead of just one diner, isn’t going to do your health or your waistline much good.
So, what should you do to avoid falling victim to America's obesity epidemic?
- When you’re ordering off a menu, look for meals that contain plenty of vegetables, moderate protein, and a small amount of carbohydrates.
- Ask if you can switch that pasta or potato side dish for steamed vegetables or a side salad, instead.
- Refuse the bread basket or chips and salsa.
- Start your meal with a salad with the dressing on the side, so you can control the amount—and skip the croutons.
- Order an appetizer instead of a full meal.
- Ask for a take-out box with your meal, and immediately put half of the meal in the box to save for lunch or dinner the next day.
- Consider sharing an entrée.
- Skip dessert.