US Obesity rate 1985-2004.

obesitymap.jpg

CNN has a flash map showing how the percentages of overweight and obese people have changed over the past couple of decades. Link -via Fark

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I am 6'1" and 135 pounds, and no, I am neither Bulimic nor Anorexic. I simply eat many tiny meals throughout the day, which I have found helps people to develop a higher metabolism, in turn helping them to burn more calories throughout all activities.
Regular exercise is another way many Americans could stay not only "in shape" but also keep away from obesity.
Many people strive for a perfect appearance when they go on a diet or exercise program. They are too impatient with their results, because it takes a long time for someone's body to change from one type to another.
The emotional distress of not becoming what they sought out to be plunges many people into an emotional and physical depression, lack of physical activity, happiness, and healthy eating habits lead them back into obesity. I would know first hand.

The obesity problem is not just a food problem, but a social, mental, spiritual, and cultural issue.
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Sid, you are Wrong. Negative reinforcement is one of, if not THE LEAST effective way to change behavior. Positive reinforcement is the way to go. Making fun of someone isn't going to get them to change in a vast majority of cases. It just adds to the problem. Take it from someone who has been a student of psychology for 22 years, you are out of your league.
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Barron -
Sorry you misunderstood me. While, it is NOT OK to mock people, it is *effective* at changing behavior. That isn't an endorsement of the means, though! Shooting people for shoplifting is an *effective* way to keep them from stealing (at least repeat stealing), but I don't advocate that either.

Nora notes that prices on things like blueberries (or whatever) being getting "jacked up", because they are healthy, but she has the order all wrong! Prices got high because DEMAND went up when they were found/declared (often via clever marketing and grower-financed research) healthy? Did you ever notice in how research on the health of certain fruit generally comes from the Universities in the states that predomininately grow them? It's common business sense. Create demand for your product and you can sell it for a higher price! Solution: Grow your own! I grow cherries, apples, currants, gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, pears, asian pears, plums, and appricots on my property for home use by my family. Dwarf trees are cheap and don't take up much room (10' apart or so). No blueberries yet, but they are scheduled next -- they are a bit tougher to grow, because they like the soil REALLY acidic which takes some prep work in my area. The yard work keeps me from being fat, too ;-)
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People only ultimately have themselves to blame. VERY true...BBBBUUUUUT...

Here in lovely America, any time something makes headlines as being even mildly "healthy", the price gets jacked up.

Blueberries were super cheap when I was a kid. You could buy them for less than strawberries. Now that research shows they're full of all these "magical" good-for-you things, the price of blueberries (especially dried) is insane. Same for Pomegranate, "wild foods" or anything "free range, or organic"
Meanwhile craptastic food like Doritos and Bologna stays dirt cheap.

I'm not saying that money is the root of the problem. However...
I'm sure when people AREN'T trying to be healthy in general, they're not going to go out of their way and pay more for something that's good for them, when junk food is so much cheaper.
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