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5 Graphs to Show Why Americans Have Become Much Less Healthy in the Past 50 Years

5 Graphs to Show Why Americans Have Become Much Less Healthy in the Past 50 Years

Americans are suffering from all sorts of health issues as a result of being overweight. More than two-thirds of Americans are now said to be above the healthy weight range, and more than one-third are considered to be obese. Louisiana is rated as the top state for levels of obesity, followed closely by Alabama, West Virginia, and Mississippi. At least 35 percent of these four states are considered obese.

National Geographic has made a list of graphs to show how Americans have become much less healthy in the past 50 years.

United States Daily Calories (1960–2011)

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less healthy

    In the United States in the ’60s, health was on a different scale. The ’60s lacked the fast food obsession and for cultural (and lifestyle) reasons, there was more emphasis on mindful eating and meditation. There was a higher consumption of dairy and eggs at this time and a lower consumption of sugar and fats. People were also more active outdoors before technology became a pivotal focus of today’s younger generations.

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      For similar reasons the 1970s remained quite similar in scale to the 1960s; however a daily caloric intake was already beginning to rise.

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        The amount of daily calories consumed on average is still rising, and an increase in the amount of sugar and fats per day is beginning to expand. It is noticeable too that a decrease in the amount of dairy being consumed is slightly lowered, which could be due to the amount of processed foods increasing; therefore the amounts of whole foods and farm produce is beginning to decrease.

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          By the 1990s the sugar and fat content is still increasing, as is the caloric intake. The ’90s saw a huge boom in information technology, and with this came a new surge in fast-food advertising and accessibility to processed foods.

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            By the 2000s the daily calorie intake has jumped by over 700 from the 1970s. This is close to half your daily needs, which is an enormous amount of difference and would very easily lead to weight gain and other health problems associated with weight gain. The level of sugars and fats that have increased over the four decades is a main concern, as are the economic reasons for these changes.

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              The changes from the 1960s in America up until now are significantly down to one thing: our level of fats and sugar content. The ways in which foods are now made and distributed is a large factor in why Americans are consuming so much sugar, which in large quantities is then turned into fat by the body. So basically, we are consuming way too much fat for the body to be able to process, and the result is  the increasing number of obese people in the United States.

              Limiting Your Health Risks

              Being aware of what you put into your body is a huge factor. Knowing both the health risks AND the health benefits can have a large impact on your overall health. It is always important to remember that  healthy body means a healthy mind. And that when we are in good physical shape we are benefiting the most from our experiences. Our bodies are our greatest ally, if we can treat them as such.

              Tools like My Fitness Pal can be a great way to keep control over how many calories you are ingesting. But overall, if we listen to our bodies we will know what it needs. Being in tune with our bodies is one of the greatest mental and physical gifts you can give yourself.

              Featured photo credit: National Geographic via nationalgeographic.com

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              Last Updated on January 21, 2020

              The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

              The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

              Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

              your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                Why You Need a Vision

                Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                How to Create Your Life Vision

                Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                What Do You Want?

                The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                Some tips to guide you:

                • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                • Give yourself permission to dream.
                • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                Some questions to start your exploration:

                • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                • What qualities would you like to develop?
                • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                • What would you most like to accomplish?
                • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                A few prompts to get you started:

                • What will you have accomplished already?
                • How will you feel about yourself?
                • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                • What does your ideal day look like?
                • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                • What would you be doing?
                • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                • How are you dressed?
                • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                Plan Backwards

                It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                • What important actions would you have had to take?
                • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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