According to the American Heart Association, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese today, nearly triple the rate in 1963. A new report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation advises that if adult obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, by 2030, 13 states could have rates above 60 percent; 39 states above 50 percent; and all 50 states above 44 percent.
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity, based on research at 10 universities, points to the use of hormones in factory meat production as a major reason for this trend. Pesticides are another culprit; the average American is exposed to 10 to 13 different types each day via food, beverages and drinking water, and nine of the 10 most commonly used are endocrine disrupters linked to weight gain. Genetically modified U.S. food crops are also sprayed heavily with biocides. Findings presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science linked bisphenol A (BPA)—an industrial chemical contained in plastic soda, drinking and baby bottles—with abnormal estrogen function.
To win the battle of the bulge, Americans need to eat balanced diets and exercise regularly, but additional steps can further help: choose organic, grass-fed meat instead of corn-fed; use glass instead of plastic containers for beverages and food storage; avoid canned food unless the label states BPA-free; and consume yogurt daily or take a high-quality probiotic to help restore healthy intestinal flora.