New Study Pegs Obesity Rate at 42%

Posted by Brigid Darragh - Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

A new study published last week by Harvard University said American waistlines will continue to expand until 42 percent of adults are considered obese.

The report went on to detail previous findings from a 2007 study that indicated people are more likely to become obese when they surround themselves socially with overweight and obese people.

The researchers came up with a mathematical model to apply to forty years’ worth of studies on the health and lifestyle habits of citizens in town near Harvard, outside of Boston.

What they found is that there is a baseline risk of obesity based on the company we keep.

Now, that’s not to say that surrounding yourself with thin friends would necessarily make an overweight person decide to lose weight...

But the study found that the rate of weight gain as it coincides with social interaction — especially a person’s contact with friends who are overweight or at risk for obesity — has grown at a rapid rate since 1971.

Specifically, researchers found that obese social contact increases an adult’s risk of becoming obese by .5 percent annually — on top of the average American adult’s baseline 2 percent chance of becoming obese in any given year.

Even more cause for concern is that Harvard’s recent study pegs adult obesity at a figure nearly 10 percent higher than the number predicted by other health aspects, who claim it has peaked at 34 percent of the U.S. population.

Back in March, I wrote about the release of a new film dealing with nutrition-based medicine.  

Forks Over Knives is the collaborative effort of various doctors, researchers, and health professionals. The story follows the personal and professional journeys of the two "protagonists" — Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn — throughout the United States, Canada, and China, and the research that lead them to conclude from separate and profound discoveries the correlation between diet and disease within certain populations.

These discoveries inspired Campbell and Esselstyn — still strangers — to continue studies in other parts of the world to shed light and gain insight on the link between nutrition and disease…

Their research led them to a startling conclusion: degenerative diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even several forms of cancer, could almost always be prevented — and in many cases, reversed — by adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet. 

You can check out the trailer for Forks Over Knives here:

Heart disease and diabetes are often diagnosed in connection with obesity, or developed later as a result of obesity...

And it’s no secret that plant-based diets are what most dieticians recommend those struggling with weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure complications.

A diet rich in raw vegetables and whole grains can often severely reduce, and in many cases reverse, the symptoms and complications of obesity — especially in young adults and children who are at risk for adult obesity.

And if there is truly a link between social interaction and obesity rates, it is vital that we instill in children the value of nutrition and inform them of the importance of a whole foods and plant-based diet at an early age.

Seems that you are not only what you eat, but also with whom you're eating.