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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 November 20, 2018

              10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

              10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

              A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

              Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

              1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

              Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

              If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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              2. You put the cart before the horse.

              “Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

              3. You don’t believe in yourself.

              A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

              4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

              The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

              5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

              If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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              6. You don’t enjoy the process.

              Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

              The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

              7. You’re trying too hard.

              Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

              8. You don’t track your progress.

              Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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              9. You have no social support.

              It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

              10. You know your what but not your why.

              The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

              Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

              Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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              Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

              Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

              Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

              • The more specific you can make your goal,
              • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
              • The more encouraged you’ll be,
              • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

              I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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