We all know the obesity rate in the United States is climbing rapidly. This epidemic is attributed to over eating and under exercising, right? Well, maybe it’s more than that.
According to an article on the Co. Design website, it could be what we eat, not how much we eat that is having an adverse effect on our waistlines.
While the article acknowledges that Americans consume more calories than any other country in the world, it isn’t substantially more.
The average American consumes 3770 (!!!) calories per day and spends about 6.9% of their income on food. Currently 34% of the population is considered obese.
Just as a reference point, it takes 3500 calories to make a pound and the average salary in the U.S. is $46,326 per year. That means about $8.75 per day is spent on food.
Comparatively, Italians eat 3660 calories per day, and spend 14.7% of their income on food. Italy’s obesity rate is 15%.
So what’s contributing to the difference?
It seems that Americans are obsessed with cheap food sources. In the 1950’s mechanized foods, such as canned, frozen, and fast foods were considered a sign of our country’s progressiveness. Cheap, processed foods became a source of pride for our nation.
Other countries held fast to their cultural traditions, and continued to enjoy their national cuisine. Using the freshest and finest ingredients to produce regional delicacies is far more costly than the pink slime consumed in our country.
Although it is clear that 3770 calories a day is way too much, especially when the average American is fairly sedentary, it appears that the quality of our food may play as great a role as the quantity we consume.
photo: Glasshouse Images