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January 12th, 2009
04:01 PM ET

More Than a Third of Americans are Obese

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There are now more obese Americans than those who are merely overweight.

A new Federal report says that 34% of Americans are now obese.

A new Federal report says that 34% of Americans are now obese as compared to the 32.7% who are overweight. More than one third of all Americans, 72 million people, are obese.

Among the objectives set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services for the year 2010 is to reduce obesity to less than 15% of the adult population. To say they've got their work cut out for them is a gross understatement. It's now 2009 and the numbers are moving in the wrong direction.

The rising rates of obesity aren't new. As a nation, we've been getting fatter and fatter for years. Health officials have warned us that obesity increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other illnesses. The message is clear, eat healthy and exercise. But we don't listen and rather than shedding the pounds people are putting more on.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that more than a third of Americans are obese?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

JR from Norfolk, Virginia writes:
It means the United States is a very wealthy country with a population, although lacking in self-discipline that have the freedom and responsibility to eat too much and get fat. Don't over think everything, Jack.

Erin from Healdsburg, CA writes:
It's not just poor food choices, it's the desk jobs that we all have these days. Life for many didn't used to be like that. Now we are all chained to our computers.

Beth from Waco, Texas writes:
No one seems to touch on the fact that the food which directly contributes to obesity is the cheapest to buy and the most filling. All food is expensive in the super markets today, but potatoes, chips, pasta, bread, corn, fatty cuts of meat, etc., are cheaper than lean meat, fresh vegetables and fruit. It costs a whole lot more to live and eat healthy than it does to eat processed carbs, and when money has to stretch so far in today's economy, healthy eating is taking a back seat.

Sharon writes:
Jack: Our new President is gonna have a lot of work to do, no doubt, but we are gonna have to help him "trim the fat." He works out six days per week. What's wrong with the rest of us? The Bushies trimmed all of the fat out of our wallets, just saw my 401K, it's hard to eat without money. But we now all have a chance to start over, get healthy, save more money, cook more often, and live longer. Just say no to obesity. Happy New Year!

Caroline writes:
If there are stiff taxes on alcohol and liquor to deter over-consumption, why not a junk food tax. We can use the revenue to fund PE and proper health education in schools.

Don from Fort Gratiot, Michigan writes:
We just don't get off our butts enough anymore. We use our vehicles to drive everywhere, we won't even get out of them to get our take-out anymore, we wait in the drive-thru cause its easier. In a few years that 34% will be 50%.

Tom from Germantown Hills, Illinois writes:
It means there are too many of us sitting on our fat behinds watching you.


Filed under: Health • US Obesity
soundoff (480 Responses)
  1. Frank

    Jack, simply put we have poor eating habits.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  2. JR in Norfolk VA

    It means the United States is a very wealthy country with a population, although lacking in self-discipline, that have the freedom and responsibllity to eat too much and get fat. Don't overthink everything, Jack.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  3. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    It means there are a lot of fat people in the country.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  4. Dave in Saint Louis,MO

    It means that you are obsessed with questions about obese people. First the airline ticket question now this! Jack leave the obese alone how would you like it if these questions went after the elderly?

    January 12, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  5. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    It means that more than a third of us eat not only to much but to much of the wrong thing. Now you can not only order pizza or 2 pizzas but you can get sweat bread with chocolate dipping sauce with it. After you eat pizza do you really think dessert is in order I don't think so.
    It also means that more than a thrid of us need to get out and do something besides sitting on our fat back ends in the car at home or wherever you know at least walk sometimes around a block or two is that to much to ask of a thrid of us I think not.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  6. Rod from Allentown PA

    It means we eat too much of the wrong food and are becoming more and more lazy. I'm sure though that most of the comments will blame either Bush or the Republicans in one manner or another.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  7. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    I never understood the term "pork belly futures" before, but with this news about how obese Americans are getting.......the phrase is starting to have meaning for me.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  8. Anj in CA

    We eat too much and move too little. It's all about the calorie math.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  9. Jenna Wade

    What does it mean that more than a third of Americans are obese?

    It means that there are other factors than diet and exercise.

    I eat 1200 calaries a day, no bad carbs.

    I workout 30 minutes each day during the week and an hour each day on the weekend

    And I am Obese.

    Since more are becoming like me then seats need to be getting larger in public places and on airlines instead of smaller..

    I'm becoming the norm instead of the one who is openly discriminated against..

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    January 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  10. Jim

    Jack,

    It means that food is cheap, fun and full of calories. It has ceased to be simply sustenance and has become entertainment. Ours is surely not the first society for which this is true. The concept of gluttony has been around for a long time. We're just the first society to turn it into a national pastime with entire industries devoted to finding ways to make us larger and more unhealthy.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  11. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    It means the recession couldn't have timed itself any better. It's hard to be overweight when you can't put food on the table.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  12. Jenny Rome Ga

    Jack,
    Maybe we all sit abound watching too much CNN and bolgging.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  13. Katiec Pekin, IL

    That we are lazy, careless and ignorant as to what all this fast food,
    easy cooking is doing to our bodies. Perhaps with our failing economy there will be less eating out and good, sensible home meals actually containg vegetables.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  14. Jacqueline in Cameron, Missouri

    It means that the country as a whole tends to be lazy. The most obese want handicap parking and want to ride scooters while they shop. What we need to do to lose weight is park further from the door and walk. Those who want to lose weight also need to take the time and effort to make their own food at home and to pack a lunch at work, as both will help them to lose weight and/or maintain weight.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  15. Joan

    It means that more than 1/3 of Americans are not taking responsibility for their own health. They should all be made to pay an extra premium for insurance.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  16. JD in NH

    It means the population is uneducated about proper nutrition, undercared for by the medical community because of the restricted access to medical care that comes with no insurance or insufficient insurance, and underpaid making it necessary to buy 3 boxes of macaroni and cheese for a dollar rather than an orange. Obesity is a complex issue that combines economy, education and mental health. We need to address all of them and a good starting point would be single payer, universal healthcare.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  17. Richard Rohde

    It means someone lowered the bar on what is considered obese, just like they did for what is considered diabetic a few years ago. Someone in the public health system has a political agend. It's kind of like the global warming stuff. Those with a political agenda are in control and are pushing that agenda to the point of confusing us.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  18. Doug - Dallas, TX

    In our quest to have everything at our fingertips, we've gotten spoiled and lazy. The food companies fill their products with chemicals designed to make us eat more and exercise is the exception rather than the rule.

    When was the last time you or anyone you know got up the change the channel on the TV? I seem to remember doing it once back in the 80's!

    January 12, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  19. Terry, Chandler AZ

    The obese are stupid, lazy, and egotistical. Any person who would do this to their bodies are hurting themselves and society. Additionally the short live they will have hurts loved ones.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  20. Ann in NH

    It means that the only thing we don't feel guilty about buying is food. Since the economy is in the toilet and no one wants to spend money on anything we still need to eat so we overspend on food and then eat it to comfort ourselves because the economy is in the toilet!

    January 12, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  21. Gerard Canta N. Arlington NJ

    Our diet sucks. Fast food and junk food are addictive. We need products with less sodium. Salt retains water weight. Sugar and fat have already been substituted in many items but not salt.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  22. nora CC TXAS

    Anyone who has been to the grocery store lately knows that food has gone sky high. Good healthy foods, are very expensive. Pasta, rice and beans are probably the cheapest to buy and those are not good for you. Try buying milk and bread, those prices are ridiculous. Also maybe so many people out of work gives them more time to sit around and eat, and I mean sit around!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  23. Meg Ulmes

    Jack–
    It means that we eat too well and sit around too much. I know that I do. It also means that we need to be more careful about what we eat and make sure that we exercise enough every day to burn some of those great calories we're taking in.

    Troy, Ohio

    January 12, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  24. dennis north carolina

    We do not eat right and have enough physical activity ot keep our bodies in shape.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  25. Ron K

    Hi Jack:

    Stress, Stress, Stress. Come on Jack. Stress and overeating go together. It's all learned behavior.

    Ron San Diego

    January 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  26. carson

    Everyone hate obesety but only a few people care to avoid it. that's what the problem is happening.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  27. Richard - Knoxville TN

    With the way the economy is going the obesity problem is going to solve itself - I'm already on a "Senior's Bush Diet" and, at 5ft 11in am already down to 120 pounds - I just hope I can continue to afford our staple of dry dog food - (the kind that makes gravey when you add water is best - Yum-Yum - Cat Food is cheaper, but the taste is, well, Yucky ) - A person's gotta draw the line some place - You Betcha)

    Knoxville TN

    January 12, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  28. Brian from Irvine, California

    It means over 100 million U.S. residents graze instead of eat, while there are millions of world residents dying of starvation.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  29. Brian in Denver

    Americe needs to get off the couch and quit eating anything with high fructose corn syrup in it. (Why do you think the markets will sell you soda at "buy 3, get 2 free" discounts?)

    Eat more fish, veggies, and fruit. And for gosh sakes, ignore all of the "lose weight quickly" schemes and come-ons.

    This is sad, and, unfortunately, the next generation may be worse as they are hooked on video games instead of excercise games.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  30. Ed from Durango, Colorado

    It means that one third of Americans eat the crap that Big Food and Ag pawn off as food when it, in actuality, has all natural nutrients removed from it and is loaded with sugars and fats and unhealthy additives. Plus Americans spend way too much time being sedated by television. I suggest that if the obesity rate is to be lowered, children need to be educated on eating good healthy foods and need to get off their butts and become physically active. Maybe their parents will take the hint and do the same.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  31. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    It means Jack that ome people are born to fatness. Others have to get there.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  32. Lipty

    What it means is...I should be selling food!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  33. Colby Cockrell

    It means that people are not getting enough exercise and coupling that with a diet that's high in saturated fats, trans fats and high fructose corn syrup.

    People think that they can simply take a pill or undergo a procedure to make all their health woes go away – it doesn't work that way. It takes a wholesale lifestyle change.

    Sadly, this is why my and President Obama's dream of universal healthcare is a fallacy: The only way to get a universal healthcare system in this country to work is to get people eating better and exercising. Something more than doing 12 ounce curls on the couch – it doesn't look like we as Americans will be doing anytime soon.

    Colby Cockrell, Hampstead, North Carolina

    January 12, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  34. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Some people just can't control themselves and overeat. Others do not know what proper nutrition is and how to eat a balanced diet. Still, many people can't afford the foods that go into making wise nutritional choices. If the economy keeps going the way it has been, the middle and lower classes will be lucky to eat at all. I believe that jobs and education are the answers here.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  35. Allan G. Hanson Placerville, Ca.

    App
    The health cost related to obesety are too great. apparently life is not so bad after all.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  36. Jackie in Dallas

    That we've lived a fat life for far too long! Of course, you aren't helping - here I am sitting in front of my computer answering your blog questions instead of going out to walk during my lunch hour!

    With the economy down the tubes, this may be self-correcting, however. We all might become adjusted to eating less in the years to come!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  37. Barbara - NC

    They obviously need to practice the exercise of pushing themselves away from the table/snack bar.

    I'm 5'4" and weigh slightly over 100 pounds – my metabolism is PERFECT. (Eat your hearts out everyone else). I seem to lose weight chewing chocolate or ice cream or cookies.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  38. Dean in Macungie,PA

    Jack,

    It means life is good in the old US of A.

    Dean

    January 12, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  39. Mike, Syracuse NY

    I Don't have time for this silly question; pass a Ring-Ding.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  40. Gigi in Alabama

    I guess a lot of people are a Big Mac away from a heart attack. We in the south eat entirely too many fatty foods and most of it attaches to our hips and belly. Not a pretty sight!!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  41. Gerry In Toronto

    Must all be politicians who are obese from eating all that pork they approve.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  42. Robert S., New Orleans

    It means more than two thirds of Americans eat too much.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  43. Justin, Alexandria VA

    It means I'm getting relatively thinner all the time.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  44. Don (Ottawa)

    That's too easy Jack; when you sit and watch a computer screen or CNN all day, and eat a whole pizza as a snack, what do you expect?

    January 12, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  45. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    It means that in addition to the fact that many of us have not paid enough attention to our diet and exercise habits, we have not been reading and paying attention to the the ingredients in our food. Additives, saturated fat, and trans-fats were the norm just a few years ago. Americans like to eat out, and we eat prepared foods at home. Use of pesticides, fertilizers, hormones, and antibiotics are common. USDA where are you?

    January 12, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  46. Keith - Cleveland

    It means Jack, that for the last many years we have lost our compass. We have been sitting in front of our TVs watching all of those 'super-size-me' commercials, and rewarding ourselves for anything that we accomplish by eating. We started the couch-potato decline ever since they invented the remote.

    Every holiday, birthday, or anniversary is celebrated with a large, tasty meal. We not only have youngsters who sit and play video games, we adult leaders have taught them everything we know... So sad.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  47. Peter from Flagstaff

    It means that not many people are going to fit into those little energy eficient cars that are going to be built.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  48. Tina Texas

    Too many are grazing at the all you can eat buffets and not getting off their duffs to do any excerise and would much rather stay in and sit in front of either the idiot tube or the second idiot tube the computer.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  49. cy gardner

    It means we're sitting in front of the TV watching you and eating the junk you advertise between diatribes. At least I'm no fatter than the tub of goo next door. That's MY version of the Twinkie defense. cy gardner arlington va

    January 12, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  50. Chuck, NW Arkansas

    This matches the pattern of excess which many American are guilty of in driving habits and all-out gluttonous personalities.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  51. odessa

    it means that one third of americans doesn't have proper healthcare to take care of themselves..rich folks never has nothing to worry about because their coverage is paid..but i believe that all americans should do better with their eating habits as changing their lifestyles too...every american should have good quality of healthcare regardless of their situation..

    January 12, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  52. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    It means, "It's Getting Pudgy Out There."

    January 12, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  53. John

    Jack: It means that skinny kids like you an me probably do not have to start watching our diet until our late 40"s. It means know one gets out of physical education except for sports and marching band. It means that Obama is right when he talks about a preventive health system over just a curing disease system. We need to walk more, never smoke, drink in moderation, and when the air is good get outside. Kids need to play for 45 minutes before doing homework.

    John
    Alabama

    January 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  54. Gina in Racine, Wi

    Last I heard.... over eating and weight gain are a sign of depression.

    Look around us, Jack.

    We are hated by most of the world, our Economy is in the toilet, jobs are disappearing in record numbers, the Politicians are corrupt......

    We have alot of good reasons to be depressed.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  55. ajks

    We are not the biggest losers?

    January 12, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  56. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    I means that we Americans need to change our life style. I lived in Holland for 22 years where a large percentage of adults as well as the youth belong to some sort of sports club. Local trips and errands are done on bicycle. A sandwich consists of one slice of cheese or sandwich meat not layers.A large soda is atleast as small as our small size. At restaurants, courses are proportioned to provide a well balanced meal. Rarely does one see doggie bags in Europe. Unfortunately, the United States has always been a leader in pop-culture and our fast foods have been invading the rest of the world. Obesity, while not yet as serious a problem as in the U.S., is on the rise in many European countries and is causing concern If we Americans can have generally fuller lives, perhaps food would become less of an obsession. Let's not worry about how we look, but how we feel. There has to more to life than wolfing down snacks and fast food while watching MTV or Ultimate Fighting etc. Let's get active and enjoy life!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  57. Nuria

    It means we are a country of excess, in every form.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  58. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Where is the evidence? Both you and the Wolfman are fine physical specimens and likely to live forever..

    January 12, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  59. mark in phoenix az

    Ugh. saw a documentary on the fattest teen-ager last night. 800 lbs. Think I'll go out for a walk during my lunch hour. Sunny and 72 degrees here today, so there's reall no excuse not to.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  60. Veronica in Virginia

    It means that Bush has made us depressed, so we eat, & eat, &eat!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  61. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I think it means we have a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The youth and their parents of today participate in the games of baseball, football and basketball among others in video games only. When I was a child we played these games on the field not in our living room. We could not wait for the first measurable snow to fall. Everyone would grab their shovels and head for the good paying homes to shovel walkways and driveways. Now you are lucky to find a kid holding a snow shovel then alone knocking on your door asking to shovel your driveway. When I was a child and if you would lay around on the sofa too much, you would end up with a thermometer in your butt followed by a strong liquid laxative that would make you run no matter if you wanted to or not.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  62. Valarie

    I can't talk right now. It's impolite to talk with your mouth full! How come we can't use the word 'FAT'?

    January 12, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  63. Philip from Toronto

    America is not well. Not enough education and too many commercials. My 10 year old knows more about nutrition than I do and choses her food more carefully in both style and quantity. I'm proud of her.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  64. Jane (Minnesota)

    Even if the American economy is shrinking.......Americans are experiencing growth! It's a pretty sad commentary and will no doubt lead to more medical costs down the road.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  65. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    It means that the stupid food pyramid the FDA puts out is completely backwards and upside down. It's basically the same diet that cattle producers feed their herds to fatten them up, and after generations of Americans buying into that nonsense this is what we have become. We are obviously not mature enough, as a nation, to know how to make smart decisions so the FDA is supposed to look out for us. Fat chance (pun intended) of that happening. 80% of the stuff on the shelves at the grocery store should be illegal for human consumption, and just because it won't kill you outright thirty minutes after you eat it doesn't mean it is good for you. Our food system is all about profit and very little, if any, about health.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  66. john ... marlton nj

    Jack it means we will need more air fresheners in public places.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  67. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    It means that 2/3 of Americans either make less than the average income or are so deep in debt that they can not afford a happy meal.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  68. Ray, Florida

    It means almost two third of the country is eating healthy Jack.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  69. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Most Americans don't consider themselves "obese" because they look around and see someone bigger than them and justify their size by saying atleast I'm not that big.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  70. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Ask the owners of McDonalds, Burger King, Hardees, KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Little Ceasars, Dairy Queen, Long John Silvers, Arbys, Jack in the Box and Wendys. Then go to the super market and look at the potato chip and cracker isle. After all of this no wonder why we are a bunch of blimps.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  71. D. Texas

    to may Americans are eating junk food.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  72. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    It means that we are a fat and lazy people. Honestly, I must put myself in that category also! We know what we should and should not eat, and that we should exercise daily...........but we don't! If I had the answer, I'd weigh 110 lbs!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  73. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    It means we are weak minded, fat and lazy, spoild rotten slobs. We are only a fraction of the earths population, but we consume the more than anyone els. Doing with less, is something we don`t do very well.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  74. Conor in Chicago

    It means that a significant portion of our population no longer does physical work for a living. It's like I had to tell my mother recently when discussing this. She commented "When I grew up in the 60's and 70's I didn't know any 20 somethings or even 30-somethings that had beer guts yet almost all of your friends do". I explained that almost none of my friends work up a sweat at their jobs. We all work in offices, sitting idley all day, and then when we deal with the traffic on the way home and are starving the last thing we want to do is run in place for an hour.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  75. don in naples, florida

    more of the foods we eat are processed and don't have any nutritional value.. It's the price we pay for overconsuming, we don't get to eat "real" food.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  76. Dan from Alliance, OH

    Jack

    It means that these people do not eat properly and fail to keep their bodies in proper shape. People who have less money buy the cheapest items at the supermarket. Lots of starchy foods, less veggies, fish and meat. If they do buy meat it normally is cuts with lots of fat and less protein value.

    Dan

    January 12, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  77. Lee in TN

    It means that we are not getting the exercise that we used to do, me included. The kids are at the computer more since they now have it in school and want homework done on the computer,etc.

    We eat out too much. But not now, because the prices are going up and the jobs and the pay are going down.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  78. Linda from Kentucky

    Hello, Jack
    I think a major part of our country's problems with obesity and health is the availability and cost of healthy foods. Take a trip to our local Save-a-Bunch (name changed) grocery store and you will see nothing but off-brand, inexpensive foods loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, fat, chemicals, and god only knows what else. I try to purchase organic foods whenever possible, but they are hard to find and very expensive. If we would start subsidizing farmers who grow organic & sustainable foods, maybe the lower & middle class folks can afford to eat healthy. It's hard to be green when you're poor!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  79. Troy

    I don't know but I feel like chicken tonight. It also means that we never have to worry about going hungry.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  80. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    That we have a great opportunity to help over 100 million Americans become fit and trim.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  81. Julianna, Biloxi, MS

    Fast food restaurants should be closed down – period. Look at pictures of folks BEFORE these restaurants opened and you will see very few obese people. Plus, folks need to back away from the computers/game stations/ TVs, etc. and start moving again.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  82. D - Atlanta, GA

    Perhaps they should exercise a little free will and do some push-aways (from the table). We need to accept more personal responsibility in our lives and stop blaming others for things that ail us.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  83. Mickie

    It means nobody takes time for family meals any more - it's all fast food and preservatives zapped in a microwave. More than the amount of food you it, it's the quality and nutrition that counts. You can eat mountains of food, but if there are no nutritients in it, your body still craves more for fuel to function. Other countries still have local markets where people shop every couple of days, they don't store frozen instant foods like we do. Well, maybe in England they do, but they are also having an obesity problem. How about not having meat with every meal. When I was a kid meat was a delcacy and it wasn't served every night. Let's face it, we are an imbalanced nation in many ways – not just food.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  84. Simpliticus

    As we enter a period of downturns and bad economics, do not expect people to take heart and to take off weight. This will only make people seek out venues of personal pleasure like eating. Things can and will only get worse as suffering continues. People will get fatter as hopes fade.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  85. HD Taylor - Arizona

    Jack, this is a symptom of the deteriorating personal values currently espoused by the nation since the Reagan administration. If you don't believe me, come to Chandler, Arizona and visit a restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill. This is no joke. The menu features items such as a hamburger with 4 half-pound beef patties and is called the "quadruple bypass". As a side dish, you can have an order of what are called "flat liner frys". It's like hooters meets general hospital and this nation is full of people who have no respect for their bodies. It is like we have a nation full of people who constantly demand their right to be stupid and seek out the lowest common denominator in all their personal decision making.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  86. Neatha from Kansas City

    As a rule, Americans are lazy and take the easy way out. I am not obese but my brother and his wife are. My family workouts, take pride in our apperance and we are careful when making food choices. Children in elementary school get recess 3 times a day and they have P.E. at least once a week. When they move to middle school, there is no more recess and in many cases no P.E. My children were only allow to take P.E. one semester. They can take it in High School but it uses up their electives that are required to graduate. It is a simple formula, eat less and move more.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  87. Alex

    It means that more than a third of Americans are digging their graves with a knife and a fork in anticipation of their premature deaths.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  88. Anna

    I am responsible for reserving the academic space on one of our state university campuses. The university has had to change out all the old-fashioned desks because the students can't fit in them. It's clear that the American public is headed for a major case of heart disease. If Obama wants to be as creative and innovative as Kennedy and some of the other out of the box thinking presidents, he'll crank up the physical fitness program again. Kids don't have PE anymore like we did when I was coming along. And since kids don't play outside anymore because they may be kidnapped or worse, skin their knees, school recess and PE are about the only exercise these kids get.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  89. Joe in DE

    We overeat and do't excerise enough. We are fattening foods. This is not new information.

    Some people are probably eating to compensate for the stress of current times and the lousy economy, and the their are the illegals who worry about being deported. .

    January 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  90. Diane Glasser

    It means we have a hell of a health crisis looming. The cost of health care for each person will be 10 times that of a healthy person who has normal weight. There are a multitude of healthcare problems and diseases that will follow these obese Americans to an early grave.
    Our focus in healthcare should have been on prevention not on treating the signs and symptoms of poor health. We now have a generation that will never ascend to their full potential because of lousy health.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  91. sully,,,forest park ga

    that's its hard to put that budlight down.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  92. JW in Atlanta

    It means the nation has become a nation of lazy overeaters. Too much eating, too little exercise. The world is easy when energy is cheap and machines do the work at the push of a button. It's easy to cry "equality" and "productivity" while the tubby-tons pile on. But when the energy is gone and we have to pull some collective weight to get something meaningfully done, the fatties are going to have a problem.

    A movie has lately addressed the situation in a humorous way.....Wall-E. I highly recommend it for the lesson within.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  93. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    Using high fructose corn syrup and aspartame as sweeteners is killing us. Along with the long list of bizarre unpronouncible preservatives listed on the back of any can. We are being poisoned, drugged, and misled about the effects of what we put into our bodies.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  94. Nancy from Richmond, Indiana

    It means that they are not eating right or getting enough exercise! How do I know this? I am unfortuneatly one of them! Now I have gotten better with eating less and more of the right foods but I have not got into the exercising routine yet!

    January 12, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  95. I.M. Sparticus along the Apian way

    This means less than a half of Americans, and more than a Quarter of
    Americans weight much more than they should Jack.
    or it is estamated about 1 out of 3 Americans need to devise a diet
    program, as there is more than 50 ways to lose Your Blubber.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  96. Wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    Iam sure there are some people that have inherited there problems from there family tree, but there are also a great number of lazy, fast food eating people out there. iam retired i walk as much as possible, eat my own cooking witch is very important. the things they put in the processed food is scary. you reap what you hoe...

    January 12, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  97. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    It means they should ban high fructose corn syrup in foods.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  98. mitchell, arkansas

    they eat too much. i'm 44 ,rarely excercise, smoke, and i am at the perfect weight and quite healthy. i just don't get why people feel they have to eat so much. i eat once ,maybe twice a day. i think 3 meals a day is just too much, but, we been told [programmed] that way. i prefer to do my own thing.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  99. susan from Idaho

    It means the average age span of Americans is going to plummet. Diabetes, certain cancers and heart problems are skyrocketing in numbers higher than we have ever seen.
    Sadly these folks are also a drain on our health care system. There has been a new term coined for over weight people it is called diabeseties.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  100. parkerhealthsolutions

    The message that the statistic does not relay is the fact that these obese people not only have a weight problem, but they are also malnourished. When the body is nourished correctly, hunger pangs are understood correctly, processed foods are not easily tolerated, fast foods make the body ill and all the related diseases like heart disease, diabetes, etc, become a statistic you read about, not experience. A body must be properly nourished before it can become balanced and this in turn inhibits obesity.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  101. George

    It means that some of us are staying at the trough too long. Bad habits kill more people in the U.S. than all of our wars do, because we don't seem to be able to back up from the trough, or the bar, and smoking is the worst habit of all to me since I was born, and raised in Kentucky, in tobacco rich country, and was/am aware of what goes into cigarettes, but there is no way that I am going to pull that POISON into my lungs.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  102. Tom

    I means there are too many of us sitting on our fat behinds watching you.

    Tom Carroll
    Germantown Hills, IL

    January 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  103. stephen blesofsky

    It means we need to recognize obesity as a very complex issue and that platitudes like "pushing one self away from the table is the best exercise" and " it's simply a matter of calories consumed versus calories burned" are not only empty, but delusional-thus dangerous . They marginalize overweight people in school, on the job and elsewhere in this society which adds to their stress . As stress compounds the difficulty many non-obese people have with weight, imaging the impact of added society imposed stress on those predisposed to being obese.
    Doctors need to get honest about how little they know about obesity and how ineffective what they do know has proven; using double blind studies, the only studies that matter, only 5-10% of those who lose weight in any program (except weight loss surgery) keep it off for five years. While this asks much of a profession with a ton of built in arrogance and inertia, something got to give!
    Oprah had her own cook, her own trainer and every other resource known. Yet here she is, fat again.
    If Obesity is the health hazard they say, and I believe it is, it need to be subjected to a dedicated attack like cancer and heard disease.
    And those selling bogus quick fix program need to be required to invest their ill gained profits with Mr. Madoff.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  104. David in Granville, Ohio

    Jack it means that the conventional wisdom of "fat makes you fat" is not true. Americans buy "low fat" and panic about everything they put in their mouth more than any other nation in the world. In spite of this France – with a diet most Americans would consider extreme fat – has much more healthy people.

    The truth is that it is fat+carbohydrates and carbohydrates alone that cause obesity. Reduce the carbs and lower the fat. Simple really.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  105. Scott, Wichita

    It means McDonald's should be ashamed of themselves, because it's obviously not the obese peoples' fault.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  106. Lois Canada

    Well I just came up with a fantastic idea, it's called the Carb Tax Initiative! With a cash back with every 25 pounds lost!

    January 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  107. Willow, Iowa

    I believe (written by an overweight person, not obese) that the human "animal" does what all animals will do, when food is available and plentiful, eat and save up for lean times. However, in the modern developed world, there aren't many lean times. thin people from under developed countries come to the US, and they also begin to gain weight. When we do less activity, and more availability of food, this is what happens. Sorry to say, but this is a sign that we have arrived into "the best of times".

    January 12, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  108. Esther M. Akron Ohio

    what is the percent of those who are starving? they people who are obese have eaten what those people would have gladly just had a tenth of what they consumed in order to get obese. we are a sick nation that is what it says. all those dam feed the children campaigns got to the wrong people and look they want to have two seats on the plane for one price. we are sick

    January 12, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  109. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    Only one third !!!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  110. Don in Fort Gratiot MI

    we just don't get off our butts enough anymore. We use our vehicles to drive everywhere, hell we won't even get out of them to get our take-out anymore – we wait in the drive-thru cause its easier. In a few years that 34 percent will be 50 percent..

    January 12, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  111. Pugas-AZ

    Maybe we should make food much harder to get. How about making those people who can do physical labor for their meals. Dosen't that sound like the old days. Maybe they weren't so bad after all. Kind of like "walking a mile for a Camel".

    January 12, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  112. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    It means that we need to spend less time responding to blogs.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  113. BRUCE, ST PAUL, MN

    It's all emotional eating. We are trying to fill that hole where our money used to be.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  114. Doris, Portage

    It could only mean one thing: We're fat, Jack.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  115. Frank from Peterborough

    Well since obesity is a leading cause of serious illnesses like heart and stroke as well as diebitous there will likely be a lot of Americans dying young.

    This will be especially true if a large portion of them still don't have access to affordable health insurance.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  116. Jerry, Silver Spring, MD

    It means that they eat too much.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  117. MB in VA

    I think it means that we are addicted to fast food and rely too much on our cars and other modes of transportation to get around. In European countries, people walk to their destinations more often and eat freshly-made food in smaller portions. Even those that smoke and drink wine incessantly are healthier than we are!

    January 12, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  118. Jerry from Jacksonville

    Looks like they spend more time eating than they do working. Food is to easy to get. When I was young there were three meals cooked a day and if you didn't eat then tough luck. My mother didn't run a take out diner, you ate when food was put on the table and after that it was work, school and playtime.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  119. Terry in Hanover County

    It means that cutting calories and exercising doesn't work for everyone. Instead of taunts and jokes about how fat someone is, try compassion. If appropriate, politely suggest that an overweight friend or relative see a doctor, not for a quick fix, but for a checkup. For some, it's a lifestyle change needed, but for others weight gain may be a reaction to certain medications they take or it could be a sign of depression or another disease. Some folks are happier just being "fluffy," as my Nana would say. Leave them alone.

    As for myself, I've given up the battle of the bulge and am on the "Garfield" lifestyle plan. Taped to my frig is his cartoon which reads, "Diet is 'die' with a 't'." Instead of another "die-t," I now laugh more, eat less, sleep more, exercise, and accept myself as I am. And, you know what? I'm actually losing weight, too.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  120. John in Rohnert Park

    It means that technology has started to make us soft. Kids used to go out and play all day. Now parents plop them in from of a computer/game screen for hours on end instead. Most kids today don't even know how to play real baseball or football, but they can on a simulated screen. Our technology is rapidly replacing our ability & desire to do the simplest of tasks. We need to put the electronic gadgets away and learn to play and do things for ourselves as we once did.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  121. nan manteo, nc

    DUH!! it means they are fat!!!!
    health costs will sky rocket in the next 30-40 years. and the death rate from diabetes, heart attacks and other obesity related diseases will also skyrocket.
    can i have a large order of fries with that double cheeseburger?

    January 12, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  122. Rusty

    It means Jack we are lazy. Parents use fast food drive throughs like there no tomorrow and than put their kids in front of the babysitter oops I mean TV. More calories in than out seems to be the American way.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  123. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    Americans are lazier than ever and they have access to an abundance of cheap junk food filled with fat and calories. They watch too much TV, spend too much time on the computer and all the while say they don't have enough time to exercise. America may still be the land of the free, but it is also become the land of the fat and lazy.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  124. Natalie- Dayton Ohio

    It means that despite having enjoyed the reputation of being the richest and best country in the world, we are empty inside and using food to fill the lonely places.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  125. Dan, Chantilly VA

    I hate to say it, but some of the blame lies with political correctness. Sometimes we strive so hard to convince everyone to be confident about who they are that they start being apathetic about who they are.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  126. Jane in CA

    1) Marketing works
    2) Adding fats (@ 9 calories/gram) is the easy way to add flavor
    3) Fresh fruits and vegetables cost more per calorie than processed foods
    4) Hunger is less easily sated by processed foods
    5) Video games, computers, and watching TV burn less calories than riding a bike or playing sports
    6) Labor saving devices like vacuum cleaners and power drills don't burn calories
    7) Americans consume more calories than they burn

    January 12, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  127. George from Tampa, FL

    It doesn't mean anything Jack. In the end, it's up to the individual to self-discipline themselves into a healthy lifestyle. Blaming it on culture, and other factors shows lack of accountability.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  128. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    I'm overweight and I know it. It means that the food police need to get a real job. The real menace is the politically correct unproductive hand wringers intrusively minding of other people's business has become epidemic in America too. So get out of my face and off my back and mind your own damn business.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  129. Peter from Yalaha, Florida

    It means we're too mesmerized by Wolf Blitzer to get up off our couches.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  130. Dean in Pa

    Jack,

    It means life is good in the old US of A. Eat On!!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  131. circy in New Mexico

    It means the fast food restaurants are winning out over healthy food.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  132. James in TN

    People turned to food in crisis, not just the economy but, any type crisis. It's so easy now to go thru a drive thru and get cheeseburgers, burritos, and just about any other food. Even dominoes and Pizza Hut has a drive thru. Curve side service if you may.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  133. Claude,Calgary Canada

    It means the Situation Room needs to change its format. Wolf will have to have a town hall format and just before the program starts with serious political issues, Wolf will start with an Ellen style dance off with Jack Cafferty as the first guest of the program.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  134. David Ellis in Ontario, Canada

    It means more Americans are lacking the income and / or the necessary time to buy and prepare healthy food. Junk food is cheap and readily available in low-income neighborhoods. Fresh foods made with a variety of whole grains and vegetables cost more money and take more time to prepare.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  135. Paul

    Sure Madoff is a crook but what ever happened to Jeff Gannon and the White House Press Corp.He should have been there to throw some softball questions for old time sake.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  136. MARCUS123 Flanders

    They eat too much;

    January 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  137. Paula, Los Angeles CA

    Are you seriously asking this in this economy Jack?! Forget obesity, Americans are just trying to retain the will to live!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  138. Paula, Los Angeles CA

    Are you seriously asking this in this economy Jack?! Forget obesity, Americans are just trying to retain the will to live period!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  139. Jay in Texas

    It means that many Americans have become dangerously lazy and have no sense of personal discipline. Many do little or no physical exercise and are not careful about what they eat. I am 54 years old and have kept a 30-inch waistline since high school. I walk at least two miles every day, do other daily physical exercises like stretching, military-style sit-ups and pushups, rarely eat in restaurants, hardly ever eat fried foods, take vitamin and mineral supplements, don't drink alcohol, and eat a diet heavy in fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables. The next time you visit a fast-food hamburger joint, just look around you. I bet more than a third of the customers there are overweight.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  140. garrick

    hi jack
    its not like the old days when you had to walk places and your parents made you go out and play.also our schools have taking out the Presidents Olympics, kids now spent to much time on the computers and playing vedio games,plus the parents drive them everywhere.make them walk to school and go out and play hide and go seek or tag,even takeout the trash.plus we love junk food.
    clearwater,fl

    January 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  141. Roy Munroe

    Can we sit down and discuss this over cheese burgers and french fries?

    Roy
    Olympia, WA

    January 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  142. Ray Kinserlow

    I have lost 40 pounds by cutting back a bit on eating and adding about four days of water aerobics. Exercise, exercise, exercise is the secret to loosing weight.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    January 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  143. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    It means that our health care system is out of touch. Telling an obese person to eat healthy and exercise is like telling a blind man to see a painting. The chronically obese have an eating disorder. Eating disorders are, as a rule, not addressed by our health care system, even though, as you pointed out, obesity increases the risk of a legion of illnesses. We could save billions of dollars and millions of lives if only the health care system (Insurance Companies) took their heads out of their "you know whats" and covered treatment for obesity.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  144. Tom from Boston, Mass.

    It means that two things have failed. First, the obese are disproportionately poor and they eat cheap and very fattening foods. Our economic woes are only going to make this worse. Second, our health care system continues to focus primarily on disease management and not prevention. Imagine if your health care premiums were directly tied to whether or not you took good care of yourself, exercised regularly, and maintained a healthy weight. Such an incentive might just change the way Americans live – finally.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  145. Gigi

    This is what it tells me... To many people eat for comfort because they are not happy. Find a healthy way to burn it off and the desire to over eat will go away. Food is fuel. Get a pet, friend, support group etc.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  146. Teeps, Pt Huron, Michigan

    Its called fast food, video games, and tv. Kids and adult don't get out and play like they use too. Its easier for the goverment to give out food stamps to the needy instead of medical insurance or a gym membership.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  147. sandi-arizona

    Clearly the problem is one of individual choice, however, when it is less expensive to get a hamburger and french fries than a salad or fruit the choice made by most is to get what fills them up for the least amount. I have fought weight most of my adult life. Eating right and exercising is diffinately the right cure for that, but it is expensive to eat right. Fruit and vegtables are more expensive than many processed foods and much more perrishable. Keeping them around requires multiple trips to the store in one week. It's not for lack of wanting to do the right thing , it is a problem with execution.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  148. LUCY - ILLINOIS

    You know what they say, if you are nervous or worried, you over eat.
    I wonder if that could be true? What would we be upset about?
    I guess if the mess that Bush is leaving does not get better, we might all be getting skinny, because of no money for food. you can't buy food and pay the nessary bills too.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  149. Karen - Missouri

    Well, maybe we should sue food makers like they did cigarette companies. Foods have so much crap in them and over-processed. That includes all the fast-food and many restaurants. I'm really tired of having to ask for a 1/2 order off a menu...restaurants push huge portions that are not necessary. Ahhh, for the good ole' days of a sit-down family meal at Big Boys when you used to just pass the bowls around and take what you needed. Stop blaming on US totally...unaware of the harm of all the fillers and preservatives and the tons of salt and sugar included.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  150. John, Fort Collins, CO

    It means those 34% of the people must not have invested their life savings with Bernard Madoff.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  151. Tom, MT

    It means that, as being just 7% of the world's population but using up 25% of its energy, and being the largest per capita emitter of CO2 into the atmosphere (and not giving a darn), Americans aren't just the super-sized fat slobs of the planet in a figurative sense, but also in real life.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  152. Marietta

    What does it mean–were Gluttons, lazy, eat out of the box, chemicals added, to many idols.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  153. Ken in NC

    It means that if we are going to continue walking we WILL have to carry a big stick.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  154. Jeff in Connecticut

    Oh Jack, haven't you seen the commercials for the latest snake oil fat remedies? It's not their fault! It's not their fault that they shove everything within arm's reach down their throats, it's not their fault that they never stick to the salad bar unless it's "all you can eat". It's not their fault that they devour chips & cookies 24/7. The only real cure is to personally tax people by weight.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  155. Daniel, Indiana

    It means that the advertising industry, the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry have succeded in selling a terrible diet to Americans. That means millions of dollars in their pockets.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  156. frankie

    The false idea that rampant consumption is the way to have a good economy hasn't worked, not for the economy and when it comes to food, not even for us citizens.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  157. Beth - Waco, TX

    No one seems to touch on the fact that the food which directly contributes to obesity is the cheapest to buy and the most filling. All food is expensive in the super markets today, but potatoes, chips, pasta, bread, corn, fatty cuts of meat, etc., are cheaper than lean meat, fresh vegetables and fruit. It costs a whole lot more to live and eat healthy than it does to eat processed carbs, and when money has to stretch so far in today's economy, healthy eating is taking a back seat.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  158. J in ATL

    One third .... sounds like the portion of food they should be consuming!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  159. Annie, Atlanta

    It means we don’t need to spend billions on counter-terrorism. We’re destroying ourselves from within, the lazy and cheap route. And big pharma, well, they couldn't be happier.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  160. Roxane from Hancock, Mn

    Jack, this question insults us Americans that are in that 1/3.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  161. Chris

    It is quite simple.. it is easier to eat a Big Mac after using the drive thru than it is to get exercise. So we get fat.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  162. Dave from Erin Ontario

    Jack,

    If I didn't have this cheeseburger in my other hand, I'd have a written a longer answer.

    Does the gluttony of the Roman Empire come to mind?

    January 12, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  163. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Too many people use Rush Limbaugh as a role model.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  164. Jim/NC

    Americans eat more fat, sugar and artificial sweeteners. We ride more and walk less. If gas prices spike again, coupled with the tanking economy, obesity will surely subside. Get back to me in two years.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  165. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Oh Dear Jack,

    I hope you can pass this message on to Oprah! Tell her to stop wondering why she is having weight problem. First, ask yourselves why all sugar in our food is corn based! Because it is easier to digest and you actually want more. If we would have for example soft drink made from sugar cane you would not be able to even finish one drink! Then ask yourself why is there so much freaking soya in every thing, I was not raised on soya...or corn...cows were!

    Simple Jack! You want to fix healthcare costs and obesity! Automating health records will help a bit but putting companies at home and abroad accountable for what they are doing to everyone is simply a crime against humanity...the food industry is a perfect example of how the market is not relating to a real quality life. It is always easier tosay everyone has to do their part...but let's look at our farming, pesticides, OGM and all that crap of sugar and fat added to our food. Because of bio fuels we are killing all of our soils and at the same time we are feeding populations as if they were cows...and we wonder why most people look the size of a cow! It is sickening! I am telling you to get out of this economic mess, forget the tax cut and invest instead in people for them to learn to read, invest in real new green farming and a real reform in all pesticides. We can look at records...but we have to start looking at our food industry first! It is totally irresponsible. In fact, I read at one point to get out of a recession, the golden oil (corn syrup in everything sweet) was the answer to get people to drink and eat more i.e. buy more!...Mow we will get everyone to eat and to eat more with corn that grows without water...wow such a miracle...corn without water when the human body is mostly water! I better stop but people have to learn to read to be conscious and get better paying jobs and start taking charge of their food quality that is available in the country in order for them to get healthier...! And guess what! This would actually reduce the healthcare costs and this is where companies have to pay back to government for all those years that they have introducing such sugar in our foods and preservatives (why do we need that much preservatives when food is available all year long!) ...do you actually know the real color of real orange juice! You would be surprise!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  166. Dee in Florida

    It means we are moving like snails and eating like pigs.

    However, I do not totally blame the people for the obesity. When I say we "eat like pigs" I mean that LITERALLY, in that all the additives and crap added to the feed animals eat is probably carried through toall the meat we eat.

    So, are we all being 'fattened up' without our knowledge?

    January 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  167. Robert in Galveston

    Most people in this country should know by now that "studies" can be skewed to say anything the people running the study want (as we have seen over the last few years). While this study might be correct in its findings it makes me think of what my Father was fond of saying-"there are liars, damn liars and statisticians".

    January 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  168. Jason Egroff

    Truth is: it's hard to eat healthy, Jack. We want to be able to drive up to the window at McDonald's and have a quick burger. These huge fast food chains decide to put the garbage that's contained in the stuff they try and pass off as food. There's no reason why they can't put more healthy ingredients into their products. Of course, they are making the disease care system a TON of money. Perhaps that's why they don't change their menus! It's criminal.

    Scranton, PA

    January 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  169. Brian, Buffalo, NY

    We were told 40 years ago that we were all eating badly and becoming obese. A multi-billion dollar diet industry has profited from that observation as well as a prescription drug industry that constantly bombards us with advertisements for cholesterol-lowering drugs and heart regulation medication. Non-diabetics are consuming low fat food and drink with sugar alternatives. Even politicians are considering taxing sugary drinks while ignoring toxic sweetened drinks. My question is, can we really believe that the multitude of chemical food additives and artificial flavorings/sweeteners are not the real culprits in prolonging this march towards obesity? What is really wrong with good old full cream milk, butter, sugar candy and all unadulterated food and drink, as long as we are sensible in observing moderation? I want to eat healthy. Even a small dose of most deliberately contaminated processed foods and drinks ain't healthy.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  170. Bill

    There must be a lot of depressed Americans.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  171. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    As you can see I have a lot to say about this subject. You know why? I am on a path to real recovery after spending so many years of being sick because I never was able to enjoy any meal even when they were healthy. After many tests, we found no food allergies! But I realize that I was not fed on corn and soya!
    I eat fresh fruits, vegetables including potatoes, herbs and spices, small amount of meat from farmers close to home, water and tea with lemon and honey, dark chocolat, brown rice pasta, rye flour and spelt flour! That is my own ticket to health living so far!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  172. Ralph Nelson

    I'm one of them and always have been except for the war when I was rewarded with 19 years of malnutrition and no help from the VA. treating it. Insulin causes weight gain. I have not eaten at a fast foods place since 1971 (Arby's). And I only eat once a day after 7pm to keep blood sugars down. Diabetes? Crippled me. If you're fat, get it off . Count every calorie and don't go over 2,500 a day. And when you do consider yourself an American Hero. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  173. lou

    It means fast food and junk food is too cheap. Put a tax on it the stuff and use the money to put the deficit on a diet.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  174. Paulet

    Ask restaurants all over the U.S. to cut out the supersized DRINKS and meals - the big Gulps came from lazyness on part of waitstaff in doing refills and now everything is filled with too much dirty ice - also have someone seriously look into diet drinks -- everything is mega, supersize, kingsize, Vendi, etc.

    And, about that new triple ply toilet paper in a green society - how wasteful is that??? It's about time that company's, restaurants, stores start being more responsible in what they sell to the public, perhaps they might start boosting sales if they sold what they should instead of trying to market for the largest dollar.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  175. Shelly - NY

    It means that Food Stamps pay for too much junk food!!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  176. STAN - PEKIN

    If obesity was the only danger out there, I would be worried. There are really bad things like, the air we breath, the water we drink, drugs and war. You are worried about food??

    January 12, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  177. Katherine Layton UT

    It means that our society has become lazy and dependent on others to provide for them. What happened to the days when dinner was on the table at six o'clock and kids liked to play outside?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  178. Roy - Chicago IL

    It means that kids are still being raised to recognize Ronald McDonald before they ever enter kindergarten. As long as fatty foods are cheap, and as long as the airwaves are inundated with advertising making these bad foods 'cooler' than healthy foods....nothing will change.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  179. Harry

    Sitting around, watching T.V., playing video games and surfing the internet are probably a large part of the problem.

    Maybe you and Wolf will show how much you really care about the health of the American people and start advocating less T.V.

    Did I just hear a collective gasp from CNN headquarters?

    Harry
    Ky.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  180. Martin Smith

    The Health Administration will simply redefine what it means to be obese, thus reducing obesity by 2010 as promised.

    They will come out with some sort of study during the next year that shows that being overweight is normal, and they will rethink the average height and weight tables for men and women, causing less Americans to be classified as obese and justifying the Health Administration's goals.

    Just like any other branch of Government, they won't make any changes that will really make a difference to the way Americans deal with personal responsibility (such as responsibility for eating more than the average person in any other country on the planet).

    Martin Smith
    Kelowna, BC, Canada.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  181. Jack

    Mr. Cafferty:

    It means that the lipid gene pool is on the rise at the rate of one third the half life of adolescence. Fortunately, us non-lipid types can run faster and escape the insanity.

    Jack
    Lancaster, Ohio

    January 12, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  182. Geri

    Other than the fact that a third of us Americans aren't blessed with your good looks, lean physical frame, and great style Jack, it means that 1. we will die fatter than you will and 2. if there is a famine those of us who are overweight wil die after all the skinny people do.

    All together now, repeat after me the CDC/AMA mantra: Y-O-U A-R-E F-A-T! Y-O-U A-R-E F-A-T! Y-O-U A-R-E F-A-T! And so we are.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    January 12, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  183. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    I forgot to add to my list olives...and olive oil and walnut oil and linseed oil! The secret is to never cook with oil! Cook in meat stock or consomme and at the end you add drizzle of the oil to have to good fats! Cooking with oil is very nasty even as a simple stir fry since it is cook at high temperature!

    I eat fresh fruits, vegetables including potatoes, herbs and spices, small amount of meat from farmers close to home, water and tea with lemon and honey, dark chocolat, brown rice pasta, rye flour and spelt flour! That is my own ticket to healthy living so far!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  184. Russ in PA

    They eat too much for their activity level? Of course, the government food pyramid didn't help any...

    January 12, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  185. David

    Jack,
    Yep! Add me to the list.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  186. Joshua, Chicago IL

    What does it mean? Hello? It means Americans are lazy and not self motivated. Good example: There is a CHILDREN'S Hospital here in Chicago that has a McDonald's in it! I mean, how about reinforcing bad habits at a young age with kids that are ALREADY SICK? Jeez.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  187. Shayla from Tennessee

    It means unfortunately that our health costs will continue to rise. Jack, this is really not surprising to me, being a health educator myself. I believe it is going to continue to get worse instead of better. The sad part is that a significant part of the third of Americans who are obese are children. I see children every day in my office who have no choice but to be overweight because they eat what their parents feed them. It is also of course cheaper to eat something high in fat than something that is healthy. I will continue to try and educate people on healthier eating as much as I can, but we are indeed a "fast food nation."

    January 12, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  188. Amy NO VA

    It means they are sitting on their behinds too much and eating too much processed junk
    Get moving people and make decent homecooked meals where you control the ingredients !

    January 12, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  189. Rox from Minneapolis

    More than a third of Americans obese simply means that the world's Super Power is officially Super Sized... along with the Medical crisis that will come with it.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  190. Jeff Crocket

    It means as children we should go back to playing outside, and as adults going for a walk!!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  191. Warren, Minden, Ontario

    Jack, what it means is that our life style is racing at an unpresidented rate disallowing us time to eat properly forcing us to the greasy spoons or fast food outlet, coupled with the fact, grocery items have increased to the point we can't afford the proper nutritional foods in the first place. Our budjets have decreased, food items are consistently rising and we suffer at the expense of the profiteers and greedy food conglomerates. The end result is obesety and eventually an alarming drain on our health system.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  192. Griff

    But to be serious.... Work with the Kids.... Depression does nothing for the Parents of the Little ones..... Forget about your Monthly Cheque... You are the Jounalist.... Use your experience..

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  193. Alan, Buxton Maine

    It means an enormous increase in health care costs and a lowering life expectancy. Americans are well aware of the hazards of overeating but continue to overeat anyway. Restaurants continue to increase portion size and fast food joints continue to poison their customers. It seems that there is a desire for suicide among the population of this country and they are getting a lot of help.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  194. Gerard

    If Obama doesn't hold George Bush and his administration officials accountable for allegations of wrongdoing, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will become worthless pieces of paper, "with liberty and justice for all" will have to be stricken from the pledge, and King George's belief that "policy is above the law" will replace government of, by and for the People. The British will have finally won the American Revolution. The Boston Tea Party will have to be continued until the People succeed in getting it right.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  195. Paula from Canada

    In my opinion there are two many fast food outlets. I think parents should cut down on the "junk" and start cooking healthy foods again.. like in the good old days. It is also cheaper. It amazes me how in this economy people can still eat out, buy junk food, drink and smoke. We are setting very poor examples for our kids.
    Make some homemade soup, chili, stew.. and pass on the Big Macs.. our kids lives and the qaulity thereof depend on it.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  196. Judd in Missouri

    Have Obama decree Americans skip one meal a week and donate the money saved toward paying off the national debt.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  197. Iris in Saugatuck, MI

    It means that, if you're at the movie theater, and the persons to the left and right of you are skinny, then you might want to reconsider consuming that extra-large tub of buttered popcorn, those Butterfingers, Raisinets, Reese's Pieces, Runts, Junior Mints, Milk Duds, Nachos, and that DIET COKE you just bought, and share all of that junk with your neighbors. It means that you should focus on watching the movie instead of fiddling with candy wrappers, spilling snacks everywhere, and going back to the snack bar for seconds and thirds, upsetting everyone around you in the process. It also means that you need to cross your big fat chubby arms during the show...nobody appreciates an arm-rest hog.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  198. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    It means that they have quit smoking!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  199. Allen

    Jack, several studies have been done about this and one thing stands out: poor people eat high calorie foods. The poorer we are as a nation the more obese we become.
    Allen
    Hartwell, GA

    January 12, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  200. Skyye

    He should ask his DOJ to hear the people on this issue of the Bush Administration, not just the torture. The people should simply ask to DOJ. To investigate allegations of policies and actions in full. ...And respond according to the constitution (as it was Before the Bush Admin took over. We The People might like a report open in a transparent way. This should not just be done for the torture issue. He doesn't have to, he has a department to do that. It might be what he meant in one part.

    I'm all for peace and forgiveness and I can do that AND hold accountable.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  201. Maynard Thomas

    I believe that the data is based on the frame of the body vs. ideal weight determined by doctors. It may also be determined by the amount of body fat. Regardless of how obesity is determined, we are larger than what may be ideal. My observation is that I see less children outside playing. I can remember growing up and playing basketball, baseball, football, tag, swimming... the list goes on. We played outside from daylight to dark, we had to be called inside at night or in the winter, "come in when the street lights come on". There was also a a Presidents Physical Fitness Program in schools. Everyone took PE unless you had a Dr's excuse. Physical activity was the norm. Now we have video games and this pertains to adults as well as children. We need to get more physical, period. Even if it's simple gardening or yard work. Wash your car more often and it wouldn't hurt to wax it, instead of taking it to the car wash and letting someone else do it . Get physical America.
    Maynard Thomas, Catlettsburg, KY

    January 12, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  202. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    What it means is that the cost of health care is going to continue to rise through the roof. It also means that the country is getting lazier and more stupid than ever.

    Now more than ever, these fat folks are going to be demanding health care to take care of all those ailments caused by obesity. It's ironic, the nation is screaming about universal health care when so many don't even care about their health.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  203. Nelly from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    It means that Americans are getting fatter and dumber Jack. Another obvious reason that reminds us we're living in the most vain society.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  204. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    This comes as no surprise! Just look at all of the outrage a few years back when fast food restaurants were told they needed to report their calories, saturated and trans fat, and carbohydrate count for their customers. And look at all the outrage when these same restaurants were told to take trans fats out of their food. Most people sided with the restaurants and took the "I don't want to know, I just want my food" approach.

    People want the luxury of ordering their food and having it available. Most people do not want to take the personal responsibility and learn how to eat healthy. We are a nation of fat, lazy, and spoiled consumers. Consumers want what they want, when they want it.

    But, place a lawsuit on a fast food restaurant because their food "might" be unhealthy and watch everyone become concerned. Unfortunately, our Western lifestyle of eating and exercising is quickly spreading to become a global problem.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  205. johnchristopher, weyburn, SK

    It means the American Way of life will be destroyed by eating its way into oblivion. America runs on Dunkin' doesn't it. We have created a Monster of more is better and even more is best! It's time to feed our brains, not our bodies.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  206. stefan lewis

    the answer jack
    is
    Capitalism has taken over

    January 12, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  207. Jim El Paso Tx.

    It means Jack that we spend too much time in front of the tv watching CNN...and Wolf. Your segments don't count against us:) Or we bolg till we can't blog no more!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  208. Danni

    It means we are fat!!!!!
    Danni
    Upland Ca

    January 12, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  209. Stewart, Santa Fe, NM

    I think it is more than a third of the population here is obese. And it means we eat the wrong foods, eat too much, and don't exercise. Look at footage from the 1950s through the 1970's: HARDLY A FAT PERSON ANYWHERE. When I was in school (1960s) there were only two fat boys in the entire middle school. Look around. Today almost everyone is fat. We are in terrible shape, disgusting. Go to Europe. You don't see pick up trucks or fat people unless you're looking at a tour bus loaded with Americans. We have no shame it appears.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  210. Randy from Salt Lake City

    I means that a third of 'Murikans are just plain stupid.

    They think cars going around in circles is a sport. They think Bush is a great President. They think a few illiterate Muslims living in caves brought down steel buildings. They think that 'Murika is gawd's gift to the world. And they think that eating crap is good for them. Stupid, man. Just plain stupid.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  211. Sharon

    Jack:
    Our new president is gonna have a lot of work to do, no doubt...but, we are gonna have to help him "trim the fat", He works out six days per week...what's wrong with the rest of us?

    Tthe Bushies trimmed all of the fat out of our wallets...just saw my 401K, it's hard to eat without money...

    But we now all have a chance to start over...get healthy, save more money, cook more often..and live longer...just say no to obesity...Happy New Year!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  212. Barb Hendee from Oregon

    Unless there is a technical issue going on, so far . . . no one has responded to this question.

    I thought this was a good question, Jack.

    Perhaps the apparent lack of concern here is part of the reason so many people in our country are obese?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  213. Jasmine in Germany

    It's amazing, Jack. Let's make it perfectly clear to your readers; there's a difference between being obese and overweight; obese is a medical term which means "grossly fat or overweight" . I'm a US American who travels and eats throughout the world. I am slender and strong. My stateside observation has been that US Americans eat poorly in general, in as much that they have access to all and the best foods available in the world, they choose to eat unhealthy food, which is also rather expensive in the long run. Jack, the educated people in NYC are OK, but educated people in some other parts of the country have fast food for dinner daily as a lifestyle. Doctors and lawyers don't know how to make a salad or bake a few pieces of chicken that don't come out of a box or bag. And then there are the uneducated. I'm hoping Obama might change some attitudes because he seems to understand fitness and food. And he grew up in a family that didn't waste food, there's a little food for thought as well. People make themselves fat, they don't eat properly or in moderation, and they don't get enough exercise. The human body was designed to move, not to be a couch potato. And lest it not be known, the USA is ridiculed world wide for its eating habits.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  214. Peter TX

    Ever heard of putting a square peg in a round hole? not us, we are beating that statement down, we wanna be well rounded to fit in the hole.

    Peter,

    Dallas-TX

    January 12, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  215. Arlene-- Illinois

    Looks like I'll be buying some stock in McDonalds, Burger King
    Wendys, and by the way pass the napkins!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  216. erinmontague

    It's not just poor food choices – it's the desk jobs that we all have these days. Life for many didn't used to be like that... Now we are all chained to our computers.

    Healdsburg, CA

    January 12, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  217. John from collinsville, Illinois

    Jack it's going higher as you speak with raising job losses and war torn depression. Bush and the loss of trust in polititions, Rocky Road Highway is the only solution!!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  218. Maria

    It means that we let ourselves go...in everyway including our waistlines

    January 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  219. Jeff

    It means we stiop watching you and hit the gym.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  220. Darren

    We're a nation of sating of cravings and desires and putting our health and well-being on the back burner. Hard to believe we were once the driving force in world affairs, which George W. Bush took care of for all of us.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  221. Sean from NJ

    It means that Americans are unable to show self restraint in a society that has robbed nearly everyone of personal responsibility.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  222. Kevin Clotfelter

    It's because in America, you are either rich enough to afford all the food you can eat, or you are too poor and have to settle for garbage. Either way you look at it, You'll get fat.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  223. Erik

    It means the terrorists have won, Jack.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  224. Mike Moceri

    Jack,

    It means that we need to start doing more liposuction so that we can resell that fat as biofuel.

    -Mike

    January 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  225. Jim Necci

    I see these folks regularly Jack. I think some of them are ready to explode!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  226. M.L. Squier

    It means that they are fat. That's "skinny" on that question. Hold it. No, it means that they're big, fat pigs. With no intent to offend our porcine cousins. It's just an expression.

    El Paso, TX

    January 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  227. rita hainsworth

    It means the rest of us are skinny and fabulous!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  228. Kevin Clotfelter, Skokie, IL

    It’s because in America, you are either rich enough to afford all the food you can eat, or you are too poor and have to settle for garbage. Either way you look at it, You’ll get fat.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  229. Alisha

    Yes, we eat unhealthy food and don't exercise. That is part of the problem. But you have to take into consideration all of the technology we have that does so much for us without having to leave a recliner (such as I am doing right at this moment). Most of us don't go out and chop firewood because we have a fake fireplace, for example.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  230. Peg

    Jack, as the recession gets worse, you are going to find more and more people packing on 'recession pounds'. Why? Because cheap/bad food is all people can afford. The sales numbers for SPAM are skyrocketing along with the numbers at McDonalds. If you only have 20 dollars to feed your family. You can feed them all on fast food. People don't want to eat bad, but many don't have a choice.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  231. David DeLuca

    With the tough economic times and the tougher times to follow, perhaps we already have a solution.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  232. Steve

    It means that if people get any fatter, the United States is going to sink into the ocean. Don't blame global warming for the rising sea levels. Blame the fat fat fat Americans whose collective weight is forcing our continent underwater!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  233. Weena of NH

    Jack, Please! Can't you figure this out??? Cheetos cost 99 cents. An organic apple is 2 bucks. You do the math.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  234. J Bush Jr

    It means we have alot to learn about nutrition and diet. It also means we are blessed as a nation in that we have food in abundance.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  235. DanO

    It means that two thirds of us are not eating enough!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  236. R.T.

    Jack, it means Oprah needs to do a better job convincing Americans to lose weight.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  237. odile

    It means that Americans are lazy and self-indulgent. It's time to change!!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  238. Ray

    We have all the answers infront of us for years but we refuse to listen to them. It doesn't matter if you are on the Sothbeach or Fatkins diet counting carbs. All you need to do is eat well and work out. We should all change our habits and join a gym. If you use it then you will definitely loose the weight and feel the benefits. If not, just look at it as a fat tax.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  239. Georgette, Manalapan, NJ

    Why must you and Wolf be so judgmental? Do not equate obesity with laziness as you did in your commentary. The two are not synonymous. Obesity is a disease and like any disease, compassion is necessary. I don't know why so many of us are obese. Is it really important to answer that question?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  240. bob anderson

    It means they are fat.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  241. Leo Shinn

    Invest in donut stores....

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  242. Garry Schwartz

    It means that we will not have to worry about that overpopulation problem that was predicted.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  243. joey

    Forget about fancy diets – it's all about portion control.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  244. Baron Von Choldness

    It's not our fault that everything tastes better deep fried... Damn you Colonel Sanders!!!

    Baron Von Choldness,
    Utah

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  245. Al

    It means that when people ask you "I am fat" we shouldnt lie to them and say "honey you are alright" we should tell them "yes you are fat and get to the gym and drop that piece of pizza". Its whats called Tough Love.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  246. David Little

    They (I just lost 25 lbs) have 'food n mouth' disease. Eat smarter and exercise; the formula isn't going to change!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  247. Dexter

    Jack, we won't have to approve a Federal Bailout of the fast-food industry. Our fat nation will keep them loaded.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  248. Eric Kull

    I guess it means we need a "Snack Czar"

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  249. Caroline

    If there are stiff taxes on alcohol and liquor to deter over-consumption, why not a junk food tax. we can use the revenue to fund PE and proper health education in schools.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  250. Dr. Dave

    It means that the Big Corn Lobby and Big Pharma Lobby are both very happy as their superiors are very profitable. It will never change as long as the FDA and the big drug companies are this closely tied together. And people will continue to suffer until they wake up and take control of their lives.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  251. hugh ~ tracy, california

    This obese kids learned from their parents behavior and eating habits. Maybe if parents were more responsible and made their kids turn off the video games, get exercise in family activities, and limit saturday cartoons and get out of the house more we wouldn't have so many overweight children. Jack, back in the day I use to see children doing chores, helping Mom with the housework or Dad in the yard by raking leaves or mowing the lawn. I never see kids doing yardwork anymore. Do you? I do see many overweight kids though who excel at video games, but probably don't know what a rake is.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  252. Penny C

    Simple. We are a nation of excess. Big cars, big houses, over-extending credit. Look where that got us. I may be called an "America Hater", but we have too many choices...and we want it all CHEAP. Advertisers don't help. We are barraged with McDonald's, Burger King, other fast food......

    I heard the other day that this may be the first generation where Parents outlive their children. How sad. And how disgraceful that we would do this to our children.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  253. Jacqueline

    Jack, it means someone need to invent a refrigerator that is self locking an hurls insults if the eater tries to break in!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  254. Mark

    It means that a third of the country is sitting on its collective rump watching cable news and eating the junk that's advertised between segments.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  255. Chris M

    It's obvious, the food is just better here.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  256. Slimdog Tax Payer

    It means a National Health Care system if established will be faced with a budget crisis and imminent implosion before it sees the light of day.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  257. john hickey, dallas

    Jack, I think this health crisis indicates that Americans are increasingly finding no purpose or meaning in their daily lives. If we were active and involved in jobs we valued and in our growing circle of communities, from family to nation-wide, we would not turn to intaking large amounts of calories which we do not need.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  258. Vickie V. Emporia, Kansas

    It means that the livestock industry needs to stop using hormones in the production of chicken, beef, and other meats. Before the use of hormones to speed up weight gain of livestock, people didn't have that much of a weight problem. Simple as that. Now go fight that industry without coming out of it bleeding.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  259. Nick D, Toronto, Ontario

    It mean it's time for the US government to end its agricultural subsidies, that make sugar, cooking oil and factory-farmed animals so cheap.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  260. connie, Richmond, VA

    Jack,

    I'm sure the majority of people are going to say wwe eat too much and don't exercise enough. While that is true, a lot of the obesity comes from people not being able to afford healthier food like fruit, fresh vegetables, leaner cuts of meat, etc.

    Poor people have to buy starchy, unhealthy foods that go a long way and that will leave enough to put a roof over thier heads. Some have to choose between medication and food. guess what type of foods they buy?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  261. Dave B

    In a capitolist, fast paced and money hungry world people don't want to take time to relax and eat real food so they constantly look for the fastest, worst most miserable junk they can quickly eat and go make more money.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  262. Liz Petrocelli, Bristol, ME

    I was widowed 3 months ago today. I am 66, disabled, and, in it's infinite wisdom, the Dept of Health and Human Services "reduced" my food stamps to $33.00/month after being notified of my husband's death. What, other than bread, could I afford to eat? Certainly not fresh fruits and vegetables!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  263. Addison Urbalejo

    it means we do not see a problem that is front of our faces as we talk about it. i wonder what percent of body fat you carry around every day Mr. Cafferty?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  264. Gerry D

    JACK

    It means one third of the country has a lot of catching up to do...

    Lazy, lazy, lazy

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  265. John Wenger

    Hey Jack,

    I think or obesity problem is contributed to the social norm people have to over consume, or lazy country over spends, over consumes and over eats without any disregard for the consequences. It is embarrassing people need to realize this and need to CHANGE!!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  266. Barbara - Vero Beach, FL

    It must mean that we are approaching perfection. Afterall, a sphere is the perfect shape in nature!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  267. henri fenger

    it means that junk food is cheap and health food is expensive...I think you will find that the problem is far more common among people with low incomes..who cannot afford the personnal trainers..the time..or the organic health food stores..then it is among people who are more well off...if junk food was expensive..I htink you would find that people would eat more vegatables..and things that take time to cook..rather then parking in front of the TV set with food that has been pre perpared

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  268. rex jones

    Great for social security and medicare!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  269. Dennis

    Just another facet of the New Rome, and the downfall which is inevitable.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  270. Terri in Lakewood

    As one of the obese, it means that whether we know it or not, something in our life is not quite right. Maybe we are depressed, or anxious and are undiagnosed. Maybe we are dependent on something...chewing, or eating or feeling full. Maybe we are addicted to our current way of thinking, our behavior, or our inactivity. Something may not be quite right. Something. Terri in Lakewood.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  271. david

    Just stop eating too much of meat, and add some veggie to your life. I promise you will not fat!!!!!

    David, Houston, TX

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  272. Roxanne Morris

    They say you should "shop the perimeter" of the grocery store; fresh produce, dairy, meat, poultry, and fish are on the perimter where there is more aisle space. The extra space is needed for more frequent stocking. Processed foods, which last indefinately on the shelves are also high in all the unhealthy ingredients; salt, sugar, fat. If you avoid the center aisles and shop the perimeter, you will automatically be a healthier consumer.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  273. Joanne Betts

    It means we have commercially overfarmed the land and have lowered nutrition even in that "balanced diet". It means those additives in our food probably aren't good for us, and it means our lifestyles should probably be looked at for improvement, rather than just announcing eat right and exercise. When people are grateful just to have food on the table, the quality of that food isn't of prime concern.

    We have to stop looking at things issue by issue and start looking at the whole. Something none of us are really comfortable doing.

    Fed up, literally
    Joanne

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  274. Krystal

    The bottom line is, many Americans (particularly with the economy in the state that it is in) work in fast-paced environments with little extra money to spend. This means that if you're eating on the run and have to hit up a drive thru at a local fast food joint, it's much cheaper to get the double cheeseburger off the dollar menu than the six dollar salad. The same goes at the grocery store. It's much cheaper to get the fatty foods than the organic, lowfat, or low calorie options. If we're going to push to lessen obesity in this country (which I agree that we should) than I it's vital that healthier options for food are offered at more reasonable prices.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  275. Mike

    Jack, take a look at pictures from the Great Depression–I don't recall seeing any fat people–Maybe this is Dubya's plan to get our weight down. Seriously, it is pretty shameful that such a huge % is obese.
    Mike from Shelton

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  276. Mac from Upstate NY

    It means our waistlines are recession-proof.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  277. burga nestora

    President elect Obama should institute a' fat tax' anyone considered obese should be monitored on a yearly level and taxed if not lost any weight. There should also be no more food stamps but meals provided like one of the weightloss programs that advertise nutrious meals for $ 10 a day.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  278. Jake, Carrolltown PA

    Jack,
    As a smoker i am surprised that there is not a growing movement to ban harmful food like there is for tobacco. After all heart disease is the number one killer. Why is it becoming nearly illegal to consume tobacco products but 2 fast food stops a day is fine? Were becoming not just fat, but hypocritical. The obesity problem will continue until we are all convinced what bad people we are and how bad it is for our health to simply eat.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  279. Andrew Nathanson

    Historically every major superpower has fallen. One signal leading up to that point is the people of those superpowers get fat both literally and figurativelyl. You would have to live in a cave to not realize things aren't going so well in the world today. Time to get on the bike and ride!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  280. Reginald Hook

    If you want the country to loose weight you should make them pay for it by charging more for cheap unhealthy foods and less for the more healthy foods. Basically, the more cash strapped the country is, the cheaper we eat – resulting in a whole bunch of fat folk.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  281. Catherine

    You know I am overweight. I am 5'2" and weigh 190 pounds. I walk two mikes a day, eat healthy, have three active kids, and live a busy life. Not all of us who are "fat" are unhealthy. Quit lumping us all in the same boat.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  282. Roberta J

    Unhealthy food is much cheaper than healthy. As long as the economy is tanking and the income gap between the rich and poor grows, Americans will probably get fatter. President Elect Obama's choice for secretary of agriculture signals that the current pro corporate farm policies of the past, which have definitely contributed to American obesity, will continue. I'm disappointed.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  283. Jonathan

    How are we going to defend our country if we're too fat to perform normally as a society? Has anyone thought about this?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  284. Yomo

    One-third of Americans being obese means 1) our health system will continue get more expensive, 2) more people will not be able to afford health care because insurance companies will not insure them, and 3) more people will continue to die from complications of diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and cancer.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  285. Del Vezeau

    It means that there is too much weight in the Northern Hemisphere and cavitation of the Earth's rotation could be the result. Thanks America!
    Signed – One just as guilty Canadian 🙂

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  286. Jennifer

    Get the kids and yourself OUTSIDE! Along with obesity, there is vitamin D deficiency, ADD, and the like. This problem has worsened since the advent of children's TV and the pervasive importance of television. There is no doubt about it–if your active, you don't use food as a crutch. Familiies bond wonderfully when the tv is turned off and everyone sits around a homecooked meal talking about the day. Works for my family, bet it would work for many more!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  287. Michael Vanden Daele

    No, Dave, nothing to do with rich and freedom... on the contrary, it shows the huge number of poor people who only can afford cheap high carb foods... the notion of rich country should take into consideration the big gap between rich and poor unlike Scandinavian and other European countries

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  288. Seth

    Right food, more excercise come on Jack...we drive everywhere, our country is built to make more and more fatties. Lethargy, and apparently global warming, are consequences of sacrificing good health for AUTO-nomy!

    Maybe we should take a page from the rest of the world's book and build in physical excercise to our daily routine.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  289. henri fenger

    it means junk food is cheap..and health food stores are expensive ..perhaps cooking your own food would help

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  290. Rocket Punch

    We live in a society where people are happy to sue restaurants for making obese people obese, because we also live in a society of people who don't want to be responsible for anything they do, even the things that they did to themselves.

    Among the world community, Americans are known for 2 things. Fat and like to sue people.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  291. charles

    jack;
    you can thank high fructose corn syrup, it is in everything and until they outlaw it we will get fatter.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  292. Paul Array

    I tried to make my second Diet Book ( No White Diet) simple, gave everyone a list of foods to eat and not to eat, even listed every fast food restaurant with their good and bad foods.
    Then did a survey of readers to see who listened, only 10% paid attention. Shameful.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  293. Rex

    Jack, I think that the status of people is a real reflection of our country. The people are going downhill...and so is our nation. Unless the people start realizing that the way they act is a reflection of the total country, then we are in a hold lot of trouble.

    Rex

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  294. Michael, Bellevue, Nebraska

    Jack, it proves American's are spoiled – darn spoiled – and self-centered. We consume too much, give too little, want too much, walk too little, and we have no idea what real hardships are. I wish it stopped there, but we are also child-spoiling, creating generations after us, guaranteed to be worse monsters than we are. Weigh to go, America!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  295. Big Boy

    I'm a military man, can max my physical test with a 2-mile run in 12 minutes, 90 pushups in 2 minutes, and 85 sit-ups in 2 minutes. My sitting pulse is 50 per minute and my blood pressure is perfect. I just completed a 10-mile race in just over an hour. However, my short and stout body is considered obese by all BMI calculators. In fact, I did the WII Fit and my little electronic man's belly blew up to reflect this obese boy.

    If only all of us were this obese!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  296. Walt Zydhek

    To me, it means that with our current economics, it is more costly to take care of ourselves. The cost of Junk, Fast, and non-nutritional foods make it more "economical" than buying foods that are healthier for us. This combined with Health Care costs, lack of sufficient health education programs, and costly excercise programs severely cripples our nation in regards to taking care of our bodies.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  297. Ryan Brown

    From our waists to our ever thinning pocketbooks, we are a nation of quick fixes.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  298. Mike Pereira

    If 1/3 of all Americans are overweight. That means 2/3 of all Americans are doing fine. Way to go America.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  299. kelley hewitt

    Read Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" Our US Agriculture policy makes junk food cheap. We give huge agribusiness subsidies to grow cheap corn that is then turned into everything from high fructose corn syrup, which leads to diabetes and obesity, to cheap meat high in fat. Cows aren't supposed to eat corn–they eat grass, but agribusiness feeds them cheap corn in crowded conditions so Americans can eat bad food cheaply–and lots of it. READ THE BOOK and MAKE CHANGES

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  300. Ryan, Kansas City, MO

    Isn't it clear? We as a nation over consume on everything from credit cards to eating. Like all great empires, ours will too eventually fall.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  301. Don Graham

    After 60 plus years of on-and-off dieting, and being told I am obese, I finally found the solution. It's so easy and thoroughly satisfying – change the definition of obesity and eat yoursef into total satisfaction. Don't laugh, it works for me.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  302. Pastor R Hunter

    When we can not get food that is filled with "hormones" through meat and vegetables, we may shed some pounds. This didn't happen 20 years ago, animals were not injected for fast growth. God help us all, the food, all of it is bad and don't taste so good.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  303. Lily

    It's really quite simple. The American way of life is set up in such a way that we can go a whole day with hardly any standing, walking, or climbing ramps or stairs. It is completely normal for kids and adults alike to spend an entire day sitting down – whether it be driving, using a computer, or watching TV. As a result, we are burning just slightly more than what our metabolisms burn naturally. At the same time, processed foods contain way more calories than we need, and Americans have no grasp of how many calories are in such basic foods/condiments as cheese, mayonnaise, oils, butters, and dressings. So calories can be invisible, and this is deceiving.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  304. Andrew, from Long Island

    We need to re-emphasize portion control and exercise, Jack. While years ago, people were active enough to burn off their excess calories, that's just not the case anymore. Unless we can collectively forget a "bigger is better" mentality, and get some physical activity in, we'll lose the battle.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  305. Greg NYC

    It means that the same 1/3 of Americans who think that Bush is doing a good job are still incapable of knowing when the old plan isn't working.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  306. Sharon, Chicago, IL

    Jack, I am a retired LPN, RN, and MD–one of the few doctors who studied nutrition in depth outside of medical school. I have to say that the government is partly to blame in that they have passed some absolutely astoudingly stupid food labeling laws. Fatty acids, known chemically as "triglycerides" are required, by federal law, to be labeled as such in food products; however, their breakdown products diglycerides and monoglycerides (each "glyceride chain" is attached to a backbone, and is metabolized into two-carbon fragments–how saturated this fat is depends on how much hydrogen bonding is present) are fat, too, and the body cannot tell the difference. Food lobbying apparently influenced Congress into passing laws that let products full of diglycerides and monoglycerides to be labeled as "FAT FREE." So, lots of ignorant Americans purchase and ingest these products thinking they are doing the right thing. I blame CONGRESS for this silliness.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  307. Amanda McCubbins

    St. Louis MO

    American's like to ignore health suggestions in favor of economic predictions. And it probably doesn't help that healthy foods are so much more expensive than the fatty foods we normally eat. With gym memberships going up in price it is even less likely that people will actually take the initative to work out.
    Come on America! We are filling out not just our waistbands, but the global idea of the American stereotype.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  308. Carol

    It means American fatties have no self-discipline. Just like the gluttons on Wall Street who couldn't control their financial greed, obese Americans can't control their greed for burgers, fries, and milkshakes. And just like the financial markets, the majority of us pay for the sins of the minority - in this case, in exhorbitant health-care costs for a population of diabetics and walking heart attacks.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  309. Melissa Frykman-Thieme

    That one third of us are obese speaks, I believe, more to the epidemic disease of addiction in our culture than to laziness or sloth. If not food, then alcohol, crack or sex. All addictions produce the same physiologic response– you get high, then you go VERY low. Food is the only substance in wide abuse that is always legal, can be consumed in public nearly everywhere, and is associated in our national heart, with comfort and love. It gets us high. Ironic that the cheapest of foods are often the worst for us. We would all do well to start growing our own, and finding local clean sources of untainted (by sugar and fat) foods.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  310. Celia Harrison

    I worked as an RN for over 20 years and I use to teach nutrition for the cooperative extension in Washington state. When I went on disability I gained weight. A part of it is being less active, although I do walk several miles a day. I do not have the money to eat healthy. I have more knowledge than most about how to make healthy choices, I just cannot afford to do it. Less espensive foods are full of fat and sugar.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  311. Giddy

    Obesity – I'm reminded of a splendid line from Scent Of A Woman, when Frank (Pacino) says "well what the hell would you know, you've been watching MTV all your life". Nothing against MTV, but about the lazy children that have been left alone to Pringle/Cheeto themselves into this state.

    I grew up playing in the yard with a box and a stick and coming in at dark for supper and smelling like a "yard kid" as my grandmother said. I am not obese and still love to play in the yard till dark. And probably still smell like a "yard kid".

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  312. joe

    In the 60's and 70's there where anti-draft posters with pictures of pretty girls and the slogan " Girls say yes to guys who say no". There should be the same with unhealthy eating. People who say no to unhealthy eating and exercise practices won't get sex, that's what motivates me.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  313. Vincent van der Meulen

    it means that two thirds of americans aren't stimulating the economy enough... 😛

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  314. Bjorn

    Obesity is largely the individuals own doing. However, we as a society have embraced excessive eating, either during holidays or the Sunday brunch after church. Many foods also have addictive ingredients which is a reflection of our capitalistic philosophy. Minimal regulation on processed food as long as it is cheap, with complete disregard for the health and well being of our citizens. Eat up America we need to get out of this recession!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  315. Karen

    Well Jack, if I had your salary to live on I just might be able to afford quality food. All of my tax dollars are going to keep the Congressmen, and Senators, and the Bankers fat and happy. All I left over after taxes is enough to buy Macaroni and Cheese.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  316. Arif

    It means that all this God bless America mumbo-jumbo has to do more than foreign policy or politics in general. Our culture dictates our appetite, and I know for a fact that there are people who would read my comment and say.."so what? I'm not going to live forever, I'm going to eat what I want" ha, yeah and your going to die faster, so please keep it up, America is only going to learn from its casualties, troops will die in pointless wars, and Americans will die because of their stubbornness and diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. God has blessed America way too much, and now we are all fat, disgusting, gluttons..

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  317. Steven Villarreal

    All these response and not one mentions the Body Mass Index. Although the BMI is the hallmark for measuring body fat (ie. overweight or not) it is outdated since it's implementation in the 1960's. Using the BMI, most people that eat modestly, exercise and do not smoke could also be overweight. I am 6'4" and weigh a healthy 205lbs. Based on BMI, I am overweight, when in fact the majority of the weight is muscle and not fat (around the mid-section). Heck, Jack, based on BMI you are probably overweight as well.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  318. Bill Snyder

    The new obesity stats mean our healthcare system will gradually become overwhelmed with obesity-related disorders that Americans could have avoided if they simply took their health seriously. Wake up Americans.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  319. Al - Boston

    It means we got to show some tough love to our loved ones. When they ask you " I am fat" tell them "yes and you need to go to the gym. Its for your own wellbeing and beauty." When you tell them no hun you dont look fat. They grab a piece of pizza and here we go again

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  320. Avinash Appu

    Jack, All know the answer Junk food, But i think Bhush Adminstration was one to blame, in one word no job,no work..obviously one will put weight.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  321. Patrick, Miami Beach Florida

    Jack, I am a member of my high school's cross country team. I exercise whenever possible. Unfortunately, I have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (the kind you don't get by eating unhealthy). It is a shame that so many americans, who have the chance to control their health, refuse to do so. We need to wake up and address this like we have taken on Smoking. We can change America's habits, but it may take a while

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  322. James V.

    What does it mean that more of us are Obese than overweight?

    Jack, very simply it means that when foreigners call some Americans " Fat Cats" perhaps we should look in the mirror instead of calling for them to stop " bashing" us as Americans. The truth hurts sometimes, unfortunately.

    Jim/South Central NJ

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  323. Tanya, NJ

    Jack,

    It means that America is going down the tubes. Eating right is expensive and too many have little money to spend on food. We are killing our youth and someone needs to do something.

    Tanya, NJ

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  324. Randy

    This is just another symptom of our society's appetite for excess. Be it food or credit card debt, Americans just don't know when to stop. The federal government is trying to cushion the blow of this financial crisis so it will be very interesting to see how they try to do the same for an overstressed medicare and medicaid system in the future.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  325. Peter Steele

    Jack,
    Nowadays, it's no surprise that people are overweight. I mean, we aren't even walking up to the lightswitch at night anymore. We do a clap or two instead. Also, think about your health before stuffing yourself with food, because that's a great way to pack on a few pounds.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  326. Garrett K

    It means you don’t need a handsome body or face to be good looking anymore; you just need to be thin.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  327. Joyce Levine

    If they continue lowering the bar on what is obese, everyone in the country who is not a size zero will be considered obese. Something is wrong with our standards when a woman who is a size 14 is considered obese. Marilyn Monroe was a size 14. When did 36-24-36 become obese?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  328. Diann Henderson

    Obesity in the US is representative of the current culture of lack of self responsibility. People blame the fast food restaurants for "making them eat the wrong food"..... where is the self monitoring? Is it any suprise that the financial system got "obsese" and burst?

    Diann Henderson
    Quito, Ecuador
    (from Maine)

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  329. Sharon from Arizona

    Jack, the obesity problem is directly linked to the economy and poverty in America. There is no way to eat a healthy diet, high in protein and fresh fruits and vegetables (5 servings a day) on the income 1/3 of our citizens are trying to manage. Other necessities come before food. This isn't new; it is just worse when the economy takes a downturn. It takes very little of the filling, high carbohydrate foods to "pack on the pounds". Take for example beans and rice – doesn't cost much but really adds to the pounds.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  330. Hamon

    It means that we are busy, broke and careless. It saves people time and money. Those who can afford to eat helathy, fresh meal however couldn't help themselves out of obesity due to shamefull gluttony.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  331. Tim

    I am a college student at Xavier University, and I have been fat all my life. I hate it. I want to change, but I just can't. The problem with my obesity - like many others - is that there is a perpetual cycle that keeps us fat. Sometimes, we get so depressed that all we can do to make ourselves feel better is keep on eating. In fact, many obese people lack self esteem, due to a lack of relationships and social respect, therefore the only way to bring about immediate pleasure is to eat and eat. Frankly, eating is the only good thing that some obese people might have in this world.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  332. Carmine Napolitano

    How about looking at fast food commercials reaching Main street faster than the economic bail out!! Don't blame the American people when a Big Burger cost much less than 1 serving of yougurt. "Bad" food is so easly available that you almost have no choice but to fatten that American pig!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  333. Kevin

    It's simple Jack, they quit smoking.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  334. sarahsamudre

    This study is based off of the Body Mass Index, an increasingly discredited way of measuring a person's fitness. If this study was based off of fat percentage, I'd be worried- but according to BMI, my trainer who has a 2% body fat percentage, is considered obese because she's short, but has a lot of muscle. Our government needs to get a more accurate way of measuring this instead of spurring on fat phobia by publishing inaccurate studies like these.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  335. Rodney

    Jack,
    The problem is that Americans work too long and have no time to exercise. To top this, a lot of us don't make enough money to afford healthy foods or to join a health club.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  336. Lessie Donelson

    Jack, please hear me out! Some of us are older, and in bad health.
    I currently have broken tendons in both knees. I was exercising before
    this. Now, I don't have a leg to stand on! Figuratively & literally!
    Also I have a leaky-heart-valve, which makes me not have enough
    stamina. I'm NOT LAZY, I'M SICK. Its something I live with each day!
    I'll be 62 on Valentines' Day, God willing. Thanks.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  337. Irene Folk

    Dear Mr. Cafferty, How is it that the most fattening foods available also happen to be the cheapest? Is there some kind of connection between fast food (which is so readily available) & the rise of obesity in the US? Look at other countries who have tried to emulate American's lifestyle. They are now facing increasing obesity along with the attached physical ailments that accompany it – diabetes, heart disease etc. What a legacy we are spreading in our own country & around the globe!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  338. Caroline

    If there are stiff taxes on alcohol and cigarettes to deter consumption, why not a junk food tax. we can use the revenue to fund PE and proper health education in schools.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  339. marcia

    Jack,
    Americans are obese for many reasons. From bad relationships, pressure on the job to personal financial problems, eating is often the only thing that people can afford do. And, yes it does make us feel better...maybe not about our body image. I truly think that as American we need to focus on what make us happy. Because until we confront the personal and financial problems that ails us, I think that obesity will continue to rise...a symptom of deeper problems. Think about it, how often do you see fat wealthy or emotionally balanced people?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  340. Earl Dionne

    There are multiple issues with the problem of obesity in America. Poor food choices, lack of nutritional education, and cost of healthy alternatives.

    Have you ever tried to eat healthy on a low income? Go to any supermarket across the country and compare the prices of healthy foods with those of higher fat, higher sugar alternatives. Gotta love how the food industry prices our populace into obesity.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  341. Frank B. Fort Worth, TX

    What does it say about us as a nation with a crumbling economy that will soon only provide service jobs-the biggest ones being in health care and fast food? It's pointing to a self fulfillling prophecy as these industries could really become inter'dependent on one another. Now there's some terror for you!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  342. L A Winans

    B.S. There are more overweight people because there are more old people. Once one is over 50 the metabolism slows down and weight accumulates. We have the largest over-55 generation and as a result have an increase in average weight. The alternative is not active, svelte oldsters but dead oldsters. Given the choice I think I'd rather be fat.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  343. Ken, Newburyport, MA

    I believe Michael Pollan's book Omnivore's Dilemma goes a long way toward explaining why Americans are overweight. The longer answer is processed food. The shorter answer is simply CORN. The government's policy towards the production of corn should be re-assessed.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  344. B Cassell

    It means that WE as a nation have done this to our children...No exercise programs at schools. Fast food when they get home and hey, let's stop and get that sausage biscuit before school.

    Fast food, No execise and the almight television has done us in

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  345. Sharon

    Let's face it Jack, we are only 5% of the World's population yet we use 25% of the earth's resources. We as Americans think we are entitled and basically we're PIGS! We do EVERYTHING too much it's an epidemic!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  346. Ethan N.

    Obesity is a problom we probably will not be able to tackle as a nation for a long time. People are stubborn and not willing enough to take the steps to prevent obesity. We should start by removing unessecary vending machine foods from the schools, stores, ect.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  347. Grant Mayland

    I'll tell you what it means. It means that everyone is going about this the wrong way. Gimmick diets and magic weight loss pills have completely taken over the market, and it's easy to see why. It's much easier to take a pill once a day for a month, then to completely change your lifestyle. One thing is definitely for certain, if Americans don't start bucking up and making healthy decisions, our health care problems are only going to get a lot worse.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  348. Jill

    Jack,

    I think some of the medications our physicians prescribe are not helping our health either. The latest Crestor study that's been designed to encourage healthy people with low cholesterol to take this drug fails to point out to people that this drug significantly increases the risk of developing diabetes (which can cause people to gain weight and become obese as well). So it's a bit of a vicious circle. Basically if you do NOT want to be obese – you should go to weight watchers and hire a personal trainer to whip you into shape and get on the exercise train

    Jill in Iowa.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  349. Caralynn Goldschmidt

    Those who have been in tune to nutrition for a long time know that FDA has failed by allowing food to be processed to the point that there is not nutrition left. Plus low FDA standards have led to quick frozen and boxed dinners be so high in fats and preservatives that peoples health is suffering. Parents that work and are tired rely on these products which has led to obesity and adult and childhood ailments. CG

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  350. James Collins

    Jack,
    Have you taken a look at what we feed our kids in schools!?!? It is a betrayal of our kids to feed them the cheesy/fat meat stuffed/carbohydrate loaded pizza (along with other food items and snacks. Sugary sodas, no fruit/vegetables in vending machines etc. We teach them to hurt themselves and then complain about the results. Unfair ... shameful ... huge dereliction of duty!!!
    James Collins

    January 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  351. Brooke, Atlanta, Ga

    The fact that 1/3 of Americans are obese is very telling of our general state of mind, and can be correlated with the degeneration of science and math in the classrooms of American schools. Science and math are difficult and take effort to master, and so there are fewer and fewer students entering into engineering and scientific majors, causing a majority of quality engineering and products to be associated with China and Germany rather than the United States. Similarly, rather than cook dinner, it is easier to go out to Chili's where the necessary quantities of salt and butter are doubled. This country needs a reformation of both physical and intellectual health on a massive scale.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  352. Rich

    Jack,

    Isn't it interesting that the US is no longer an industrial nation, it is a nation of service providers and consumers. How many people do you know that go to work each day and actually make something? Most people stop at the Starbucks on their way to the office and when they get to the office they plop down and sit for the rest of the day. Maybe we could fix the economic crisis and the health care crisis if we'd just get off our fat butts.

    Rich
    New Jersey

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  353. T Jae

    I means that the FDA should be immediately dismantled and restructured to include knowledgeable people like holistic/natural foods experts who really care about solving the "obesity crisis"! The chemicals and additives that are being allowed in our food are killing us, causing us to be fat and causing an increase in disease! These additives are poisonous and additive and make you want to eat more! Shame on the FDA! Who are they really protecting anyway???
    T Jae
    St. Paul, MN

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  354. Ken Myers

    Americans are obese and in debt, I think the two might be related.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  355. Gregory Priem

    It means that healthy food is not as readily available as it should be. It means Americans are drenched in decadence. It means that to food companies and fast food chains it is more important to make a buck than provide quality, healthy food. It means that Americans barely have time between work, sleep, taking the kids to school, work, watching their American Idol and work to prepare a wholesome meal. It means that our priorities got skewed somewhere along the line. It means we have become complacent. It means we eat portions anywhere from double to quintuple the size of the portions eaten in other countries where the people are fit. It means society is content sitting on their asses being spoon fed(literally) the status quo, rather than taking a pro active stance and make a positive change.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  356. Jack in Lombard

    Jack: It means we found the solution to the Social Security crisis!! If we keep eating twinkies, we won't need much Social Security. Maybe the next stimulus package should hand out fast food coupons...

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  357. Michael Vanden Daele

    @Kevin from Dallas: you're wrong; obesity will go up because of the economic crisis... people get fat from eating cheap high carb food.. the obesity rate in Mexico is also very high.. there is a link between poverty and obesity

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  358. Mark Conharina

    More than 1/3 of americans are obese because obese many people do not watch what they eat and that results in obesity. Many people also overeat. Mostly the foods today have lots of fat and sugar and that is not good to stay healthy. Lots of resteraunts use ingredients that would make people obese.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  359. Darren Hall

    I find it sickening to look around me today and see what is happening. The fact is that Americans are going to live very short lives if they do not get off the couch. Jack, I believe that people need to understand the caloric balance that drives weight gain. I just arrived back from China and was pleased to see no overweight people in sight.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  360. A.M. Ohio

    We all are crying out for affordable healthcare. As a medical student, I hate to inform you that obese americans are eating up all of our healthcare dollars – leaving the rest of us with just a few crumbs to get by on.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  361. george german

    jack it states the obvious.................msg, corp. fast food..................play station 3........ nintendo....x-box. ect ect ect.......oh yah and the food network.............dont be fooled by the food network..............watching that channel makes you want to eat everything in the fridge.
    enough said........
    we are a bunch of underexersized human beings.
    conveniance ie sevin elevin ....every thirty feet is killing us.

    dont sweat it jack we are on the verge of a new depresion...............we are all about to go on the jenny craig prgrm.
    george
    chester,ct.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  362. Alison

    It means that Americans are highly stressed. Haven't you ever reached for sometihng to eat when you weren't hungry, but rather stressed? For us gals, it's the "ice cream container" syndrome. I just lost 68 pounds with 19 to go. Make small changes at first. – diet soda, 1-2 fewer desserts, park in the last spot, etc. Success breeds success. Come on, WE CAN DO IT!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  363. Steve

    Unfortunately, as a Vascular Technician it means job security!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  364. Heidi

    It means Americans are too busy with their jobs and running around all over the place. People are not given enough vacation time and there is just not enough time in the day to finish everything. When you're too busy thinking about work and where the kids need to be dropped off next, it's so much easier to order that #1 Extra Value Meal and not have to think about anything, than to actually go home after a long day and make a nutritious meal. The US really needs to rethink their PTO policies. Why does a first year employee in an European country receive 5 weeks of PTO when and American gets 2 weeks? People are just too stressed and don't get enough time to themselves.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  365. Frank B. Fort Worth, TX

    R.T. is a geek!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  366. Kara

    People are literally addicted to food for comfort. Simply telling people to eat less and move more will not alleviate the problem. If people don't know how to relieve stress in healthier ways, they will continue to turn to food and Americans will continue to be obese.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  367. Brad Dalton, GA

    Sounds like a 1/3 of Americans still have money. Maybe a few of these obese wealthy people could open a few restaurants and employ some of us healthy, hard-working (but unemployed) citizens. While we are working and earning some much needed income, they could go to the gym and we could end our use of employment insurance compensation (and get out of the unemployment lines). Sounds like a win-win.

    Sincerely
    Brad
    Dalton, GA

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  368. Conor in Chicago

    News organizations have hardly reported at all about all of the things massive food companies are allowed to put in our foods. There is hardly any regulation and many of the pesiticides and addititves-etc, that are currently in our food supply were recently added (late 90's) and there are no long term studies as to what the effects might be. Retention of weight might be one of them.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  369. Ishan Adhikari

    One third of American are obese because they are irresponsible and has never been accountable for their eating habits. This has led tremendous pressure on government to bear their health care cost which is coming from those who are more health conscious. Why are not they been accountable? If you tax those who smoke cigarettes why not to tax them if they go and eat unhealthy junk food full of fat. Why would I want to pay for their health care cost when I am being responsible towards my health? Jack, do you want to pay for other person wrong doing?

    ishan

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  370. S. Jay Olshansky, Ph.D.

    Jack
    This trend in obesity could grow significantly worse when the generation of children who acquired their obesity before age 10, grow into adulthood. Unless we intervene, today's younger generation in the U.S. could be the first in the modern era to live a shorter and less healthy lifespan than their parent's generation. This is not just a problem for Americans - it is a global reversal of health gains made during the 20th century.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  371. E. Matthews

    I'll believe health and obesity are a real government concern when I see the checkout stations in the grocery stores stocked with individually-wrapped fruit and nut health snacks instead of candy and chocolates.
    There is a much higher profit to be made on the convenience foods so of course business people will push these products.
    Magazines, television, billboards, etc. push convenience foods- there should be a required 'balancing' of product ads.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  372. Ishmael

    It is a symptom of an unhappy society that is drowning in an illusory lake of wealth. The US has moved from industrialization to consumerism. People have been conditioned by advertising to believe they can achieve happiness if they buy another gadget/car/house or eat more food – after all that is what happens to the people in the advertisements.
    The people of the United States have been duped by clever advertising and are in a downward spiral of ever greater consumption in the pursuit of happiness, while only making themselves more depressed about life.
    The pursuit of ever more material wealth is a sure path to unhappiness.
    I find this situation sad beyond belief, that the world's greatest society could decline in this way.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  373. John Sailings

    I believe that many Americans are very stressed out and worried about things like the economy, the state of the country and the world, personal issues, work, Etc. We are seeing more and more obesity because we are using food for "comfort" as a way to cope.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  374. Michael Le Houllier (Taichung, Taiwan)

    Four years ago, I was overweight on the way to obese. I decided to do something about it. I became a cycle commuter and began running regularly. I have since lost 40 pounds, am running half-marathons and will be running full marathons by the end of the year. I have now begun regular swimming to prepare for triathlons. I am 38 now and people tell me I look ten years younger – and I feel it. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Get off the couch, get on a bike or on a track or in a pool. Lose the weight. You will feel much better for it. I most certainly do.

    - BTW, I am an American living overseas and I am sick of all of the American obesity jokes I hear from my Taiwanese friends.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  375. Arif

    ..oh and one more thing...99 cent heart stoppers at your local McLardies, just as bad as cigarettes

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  376. Vincent van der Meulen

    Arhem, Holland btw 😀

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  377. Genevieve

    It doesn't help that most readily available, affordable food is terrible for the heatlh. Processed food is far cheaper to live on than fresh fruits and vegetables. Partly we can blame Ethanol for this, as farmers grow corn crops to get the subsidies, which makes other crops more scarce and more expensive...and partly we can blame the tarrifs on things like sugar. We pay twice the world price for sugar, and instead drink manufactuers like Coke use High Fructose Corn Syurp, which leads to health problems like diabeties... and HFCS is in nearly every single thing an American can buy at your regular chain grocery store.
    And mainly, I don't think people are aware of anyone but themselves. They don't think they are using too much energy driving instead of walking to the mailbox, driving instead of biking to the store to pick up an item or two.. they think "leave the resonsibility to fix things to the next guy". It will take a severe change forced on people to get them to change, they've been convinced that apathy=happiness.... when just the opposite is true.
    I take the stairs, eat no junk food (maybe a couple times a year), take my vits, and exersize daily. My blood pressure is 108/70. My doc says I'll live forever.
    It isn't that hard to exersize, eating right is easy too once you realize how horrible most popular foods are for your body. Maybe more public information is needed, despite what corperations try to discourage from going public.
    There is simply more to gain, litterally, from making everyone fat. It makes the health care industry richer, it lines the pockets of executives on everything from chemicals produced for food use, to packaging, to people who actually manufacture and advertise the food.
    The philosophy of capitalisim in every single way possible (especially when talking about big business), could quite possibly kill nearly all of us one of these days.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  378. Kathy

    What doesn't it tell you?
    Like the economy and healthcare, people are going to blame the government for growing waist lines and want the government to fix it.
    There is no more "personal responsibilty" in this country. That has become as much an oxymoron as "illegal aliens".
    We are fat and lazy and, sadly, that is the truth.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  379. Barry in NY

    It means that North America is sinking. Which helps explain the higher than normal tides. And you thought it was global warming.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  380. Lisa S.

    I can agree with you that the people in the USA are way to fat. I know that I have had a weight problem all my life but I will tell you one thing, the more that I try to eat better and healthier the more it costs. I am still not understanding why you buy organic foods whether it be vegetables, breads etc and you have to pay an outrageous price for it. I unfortunately have been unemployed for a year now and living off of my retirement and small income that my husband brings in and it is very difficult to be able to afford those real good for you foods. I do whatever I can to give my family the best for the dollar, fruits, vegetables, grains etc. but its becoming almost impossible to feed a family of four on this tight budget.
    Also, remember its not always the junk food that causes people to be overweight, its portion size you don't have to just eat junk food to get fat.
    It would be nice to have a healthy magic pill someday.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  381. Kate

    This doesn't come as much of a surprise to me. Food isn't the only thing Americans consume in excess! I suspect that there is a strong, positive correlation between time spent watching TV and obesity. Our decision to devote such a large percentage of our time to watching commercials, talking on our cell phones, and buying crap we don't need is at the root of this. We are a product of our culture...or lack thereof...

    January 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  382. V

    Even with all of the recent weight loss crazes, people are still becoming obese because they simply don't have the will to sacrifice a portion of their day or week to exercise, or to start cutting out those unhealthy foods. People just get thrown into a comfort zone where they enjoy on a regular basis that horrible fast-food or take-out while sitting on their couches and watching television. As a nation, we haven't done enough to enforce better eating and exercising habits. Commercialism is essentially what is to blame for America's skyrocketing obesity rate. While McDonald's, Burger King and other such enterprises continue to market such cheap, unhealthy food to middle class Americans (whom I would assume make up the bulk of those afflicted by obesity) , healthy eating habits are simply not being enforced or acknowledged.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  383. Amy Elkridge,MD

    *

    It means:

    BERNIE MADOFF's CLIENTS should've had their money in

    McDonald's and M & M Mars instead.

    *

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  384. Anthony

    It means time for Dr. Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General !!!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  385. Donna

    It means we need to outlaw all-you-can eat buffets. I see people go back three and four times and pile it on their plate. The mere thought of eating that much food makes me want to gag. Try cooking a balanced meal every night. By the time you get done making a real meal, you're no longer as hungry as you thought you were. Also, get rid of the soda pop, even diet is not good for you. Drink water without adding anymore calories to your diet. And have we heard of taking a walk or riding a bike?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  386. erik

    As a canadian, it is easier see why americans are more likely to be obese. It is simply a difference in culture. I've noticed most Americans would rather eat twice the quantity of fast food (crap food) , rather than a reasonable portion of healthy food. They seam to share the same missguided attitude that has lead GM to near ruins, i.e. "Bigger is better". When the american culture will change – so will it's citizens attitude towards their dietary habits. If the rest of the civilized world can do it, why can't americans!? From the outside looking in, America is headed in the wrong diraction on many levels. Electing Obama is a start... too bad he can't control what people eat.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  387. Peggy

    It means 2/3 of the country is hungry.
    Washington

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  388. Lucas

    This means that we need to get rid of the all-you-can-eat buffets, so we don't ourselves to death.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  389. Holly

    The fact that the percentage of obese people has risen is misleading. Pharmaceutical and weight loss industries continually fund obesity studies, which show the "ever increasing obesity epidemic." The health care industry and the government use the findings from these studies to set the indicators for what makes a person "obese" or "overweight". I know if I wanted to sell a diet program, I would try my best to make people think they are dangerously fat too! This is not an issue of laziness or poor habits, but yet another instance of special interest groups controlling our government and, in this case, our health.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  390. Sue

    To many overweight people food is a drug. It's what they turn to when
    things in there life are not going well.
    Or they have the preception that it is not going well. Food can fill the void for lack of money, love and so many things that we are convinced that we NEED.
    The emotional is the driving force for the behavior. Correct the thought process and you can begin to become healthier.
    Be thankful to be here , be thankful for the love of your family and friends and refocus on what is truly improtant, people not things.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  391. janeyrocket

    The U.S. is a nation of entitlement, gluttony and excess. The fact that people think it is normal and reasonable to have 200 brands of pretzels or 15 kinds of Pop-tarts from which to choose hardly seems to resonate with most Americans. There are people starving all over the world. Here is the answer to your question as to why so many Americans are obese: greed.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  392. Mary, Hampstead NC

    Jack, it means that physical fitness in schools program laid out by JFK is officially dead. It died a long time ago, but now people are finally speaking to the issue. I wonder how underfunded schools and a culture of junk food can ever be completely turned around because in addition to poor use of public funds, a marketing culture which knows every button to push, consumers don't look at their own responsibility to take care of their health and that of their children.

    I've fought the battle of the bulge many times in my life and am currently working hard to get the weight back down. 25 lbs. and counting!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  393. Kelly J

    Jack,
    You think obesity is a problem, it's just the beginning. We all eat too much processed food loaded with preservatives, dyes and artificial colors. 1 in 125 of our children are diagnosed with autism. You can’t keep polluting our planet and ultimately ourselves with out consequences. Everyone needs to wake up now.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  394. Michael

    What! Me worry?
    I think the skinny live forever folks need to get over the situation. There is always a chance to die of something every moment.
    I think that being fat and happy (and I am obese – not just 10 pounds up) and able to afford eating what I want to eat, not chicken food (maybe the whole chicken done in a nice sauce...) while spending days watching the news and such all day, working on notebook computers so I do not have to leave the recliner is a sufficient goal.
    I am not looking to live forever and when I want to tavel and see the world I can do that also – bringing my cell, my notebook computer and my PSP. Usually I go out to visit great food places!
    I am not looking to live forever, and it is sad that so many see only the extension of life length to be worthwhile.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  395. Phil Cicero

    wellness habits need to begin when our children are young and in school. However, today's school spend too much time preparing for standardarized tests mandated by our federal and state governments. This is better known as No Child Left Behind. The unnecssary emphaisis and time spent on test preparation and testing is motivated by school districts looking to stay off embarssing improvement needed lists. Some districts have abandoned recess and minimized physical education time in exchange for more test preparation time. While academics are certainly important, they can no longer be emphaisized at the expense of physical activity. WhenPresident elect Obama gets around to reviewing and recommending the reauthorization of NCLB, he and Congress also need to look at how the current legislation has harmed iour children in so many other ways.

    Phil Cicero
    Bellemore, NY

    January 12, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  396. Mark

    The issue is beyond health and external appearances. America, as a nation, still has the potential to set good examples in the world. Although not a forefront issue, the fact that many of us can't run a single lap without running out of breathe doesn't exactly shine a positive light on our culture. I believe that a step towards health could potentially help restore the confidence that many of us so desperately need. With the economic crisis at hand, the War in Iraq and countless other issues today, the health problem only worsens our stance as a people.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  397. Holly from Urbana, IA

    Hi, Jack.

    The fact that the percentage of obese people has risen is misleading. Pharmaceutical and weight loss industries continually fund obesity studies, which show the “ever increasing obesity epidemic.” The health care industry and the government use the findings from these studies to set the indicators for what makes a person “obese” or “overweight”. I know if I wanted to sell a diet program, I would try my best to make people think they are dangerously fat too! This is not an issue of laziness or poor habits, but yet another instance of special interest groups controlling our government and, in this case, our health.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  398. Fanny

    Did I hear you right? Did you say Health officials warned us? Let me tell you!! My brother in law who doesn't exactly speak english had serious problem with sleep apnea. His Dr. pescrbed medication, suggested sleep study and did pretty much every thing but didn't mention any thing about his weight. Since I had gone with him to translate I asked why she didn't say any thing about his enormous gain (he gained 80 lbs in one year) she told me yes it has an effect. I couldn't continue with my questions because the woman herself was at least 225 and not more than5' 4". Since I didn't want ti to look likea personal attack I just stopped. Our dr's, our personal dr's don't want to hurt our feelings so they don't say any thing to us until we are in the verge of catastrophe. This is when you havehealth insurance . The other 47 mill. God help them.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  399. Joel

    Obviously, simply telling everyone to eat better and exercise is NOT addressing America's weight problem adequately. We must get down to the causes of why Americans eat too much and seek solutions to that. The main reason Americans eat too much on a regular basis is we are trying to soothe negative emotions such as fear, anger, sadness. We've been taught that food always makes things better and it's always a good thing to have more of it. Not true. When food is used like a drug, it makes one feel better temporarily, but in the long run it reinforces low self-esteem and only amplifies negative emotions. As Americans, we must learn to better identify and deal with our addictions, whether they be to drugs, food, sex, gambling, control, etc if we are to live truly purposeful and happy lives.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  400. Cornel

    It means fast food resturants are not victims of the bad economy.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  401. Tyler Batten

    For the capitalist, entrepreneurial style economy of the U.S., 1/3 of the country being overweight is healthy– atleast for the countries well being, not its inhabitants. Who gains off the bad food choices? The medicine industry, fast food, diet aids, the list goes on. Fast food keeps your country alive.

    T.T.J Batten
    Toronto, ON

    January 12, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  402. Sharon

    Let's face it Jack, we are only 5% of the World's population yet we use 25% of the earth's resources. We as Americans think we are entitled and basically we're PIGS! We do EVERYTHING too much it's an epidemic!
    As a former resident of Texas, it would make you cry to see how little the second most populous state in the union recycles....it's criminal!
    Sharon Moore
    Los Angeles CA

    January 12, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  403. Nancy in New York

    Let's shame all of the obese people like we have done to smokers. How about adding taxes to Big Macs and making fat people sit in the "fat section" of a restaurant. Let's go up to them whether we know them or not and give our opinion about their disgusting overeating habits. Hey! It's worked with smokers so why not give it a whirl?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  404. cynthia

    American's are obese due to inflated egos and an extremely strong sense of entitlement. We want our cake and eat it too, and if we don't get our way we just take it. We as a whole respond to situations like children instead of acting our age and taking responsiblity for our actions.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  405. DUANE-FLORIDA

    It is called population control. Go ahead and eat, drink, smoke, do drugs,and enjoy yourselves. I do not care. More space for me on this beautful planet. To bad I have to keep paying for these idiots. Blame everyone but themselves! If the government gets involved, they better inhabit Mars soon.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  406. Arif

    ..and finally, I don't believe Americans will change, I have no confidence that the larger general public who live far outside cities will ever change, if anything, the more intelligent, rational people bring up concerns, the more they are going to reject and rebel anything that is for everyones best. we are going to implode and explode at the same time, Our time is up.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  407. N. Doherty

    We are all programmed to associate feeling better or even celebrating with sweets; for example, the birthday "cake".

    It's hard to break these lifelong habits when there are way too many bad foods available and advertised everywhere.

    There needs to be a change in America on what foods are being made available.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  408. Ed Riverside,Ca

    Well, Cooperate America will lose 1/3 of its potential market and the rest of us will get more elbow room. I'm sure in the end, we'll need another "Bail-Out" package the for cooperations.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  409. Jennifer - Raleigh, NC

    It means that whether it's oil, energy, cheap foreign made products, or fast food, Americans have made an art form out of total consumption. Unfortunately that art form is an obese and destructive one, and until Americans are willing to change course in all areas, we'll continue to be the nation of fatties with an absurd sense of entitlement.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  410. Robert Vaessen in Charlotte NC

    Jack,

    It means that national health care has a big challenge – how do we hold people accountable when they come to the nation for help in dealing with the consequences of their irresponsible choices?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  411. connie, Richmond, VA

    To Barabara in NC:

    "My metabloism is great so eat your hearts out"...

    Just wait. The same amount and type of food you eat today, along with the same amount of exercise you do will NOT be enough when you hit 40 or 50! Unless you're an alien you'll be like the rest of us whose metablism slows down. Naturally.

    You will have to starve yourself and work out like it's a 40 hour a week job! I wouldn't gloat too soon if I were you!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  412. Gerald W Riley

    Our obesity and over weight issues reflect our lifestyle. The time constraints prevent mom (or dad) from preparing meals and insuring we and out kids eat well balanced meals. There is increased demands on the average person and no one has time to eat in a leisurely manner unless its fast food. You have to raise your kids, take care of your home, work, attend church, and oh yeah...eat when you can.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  413. Daniel Vahab

    The way to lose weight is this simple formula: lose more caleries than you take in. This entails dieting and exercising. But, despite the fact that everyone knows that, there are still too many obese people and it's growing. For some people, losing weight is just as hard as gaining weight. I once lived in Costa Rica for a summer and noticed that most all the people there were skinny–and it wasn't because they were starved or that food portions were lower. Rather, it was mainly because they walked around everywhere, like those living in NYC. Granted there are those unlikely individuals who inheritanted "fat" genes, but that's only a very small portion of the population. For everyone else, heed the adage: "nothing worth having comes easy"–and take your fat-ass to the gym.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  414. Roxanne

    Not all Americans are lazy. How about the high cost of food? No money to spend on healthy food? And all the junk and sugar put in food disguised as high glucose corn syrup which was unnecessarily put in food until around 30 years ago but it is fine if eaten in moderation? And when we get sick because of eating this way , we cannot get medical attention beacuse of no health insurance? Again not all Americans are lazy, and not all Americans have jobs and not all Americans have health insurance.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  415. Jay from Boston

    Simple. Too much of the wrong kinds of food, too much bad TV, too much staring at video screens - all done while sitting on a butt that's too fat to put in motion.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  416. Michael

    It means the incredibly powerful pharmaceudical companies are using their immense amounts of money to keep us fat and lazy so they can make more immense amounts of money off their very expensive chesterol lowering drugs, cancer drugs, and many other drugs constantlery advtised as a magical quick fix rather than the 'daunting' task of changing the way you eat and getting off the couch once in a while.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  417. Alison from Arizona

    It means that Americans are highly stressed. Haven’t you ever reached for sometihng to eat when you weren’t hungry, but rather stressed? For us gals, it’s the “ice cream container” syndrome. I just lost 68 pounds with 19 to go. Make small changes at first. – diet soda, 1-2 fewer desserts, park in the last spot, etc. Success breeds success. Come on, WE CAN DO IT!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  418. Jay

    I would propose that the answer is not simply that we're lazy and self-indulgent.

    I think a large part of the problem is that we are overworked. People spend so much time working that they simply don't have time to exercise, or cook healthy meals at home.

    When you're spending all your time working, commuting to/from work, or recovering from the exhausting week, you just don't have time or energy to cram in a "healthy lifestyle" into those few hours.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  419. joe from nc

    In the 60’s and 70’s there where anti-draft posters with pictures of pretty girls and the slogan ” Girls say yes to guys who say no”. There should be the same with unhealthy eating. People who say yes to unhealthy eating and exercise practices won’t get sex, that’s what motivates me.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  420. federico

    People have no jobs and no jobs means no money. So it is easier to spend $2 for 2 then to spend 5 and change for 3 pieces of lettuce and low fat dressing. Add that up for the week and see how much you save. Plus no jobs means no healthcare which means no discount for a gym. Why pay for the gym when you have a mortgage, the car, and two kids to feed. People are trying to figure out how they are going to make it tomorrow not worried about gaining a few. Which they should because then they have to spend money on new cloths

    January 12, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  421. Jackie

    It means some of us quit smoking and started eating.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  422. Marty

    Jack,used to be a big kid thought their was nothing i could do about it,then i stop eating fast food, quit drinking beer,and stopped drinking pop.Yes im still here but 100 lbs lighter.you can eat healthier and survive,but i also understand that its not always the easiest thing going to the store and spending 50>100dollars.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  423. mnthenya mulwa

    Dear Jack ,
    It's a shame that such a big percentage of Americans are obese. Unfortunately some people would like to eat healthy but healthy food has become unafordable for majority of the common American. Not that I justify the fact that this is a nation infected with obesity but with the current economic situation, it's only going to get worse and very expensive for the government.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  424. Renee Boncore Scalzini

    Reasons Americans are Obese:

    1. Upbringing- Your eating habits are formed at home by your parents. If they don't eat healthy controlled portion meals you won't either.

    2. Cost-Most healthy foods such as quality lean meats. seafood and fresh vegetables are expensive, especially when you are feeding a family.

    3. Time- Most people that work, do not have time to shop, cook and clean up. Take Out saves time not Calories.

    4. Awareness- Even if you want to eat healthy it is not always easy to find out nutrition facts on a variety of food choices.

    With education and planning there are good affordable choices out there but you need to work in into your daily life.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  425. georgia espersen

    unhappiness makes people eat more. the middle and lower class has been losing ground for years. healthier foods cost more than foods that fill you up on the cheap. as for those on food stamps $3 per day I defy anyone to buy healthy food for a month on that amount.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  426. Jerry

    Jack, you should be ashamed of yourself. Obesity has many causes.A major cause is education on how to eat. Food that is bad for you costs a lot less than food that is good for you. In this economy it's no wonder we are all eating ramen noodles too fast. My by-pass surgery is in two weeks. People should be allowed a good meal rather than a cheap one.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  427. Lori Coupez

    For many, obesity is simply a reflection of the times in that we are working harder for less money. That translates into cheap, fatty fast food and fat and sugar filled inexpensive foods that are easy to make at home, especially if you have kids too. After long hours with less spending money, it is cheaper and fattier to stop at a fast food joint than wait for salmon and brown rice to cook in 45 minutes. Also, the stressful times incur comfort food binges. And work out? When?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  428. mike william

    there only three word response to the american overweight greed,greed,greed!!!!!!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  429. Tracy V-OHIO

    We are a nation of Supersize portions. If you visit France, where the overweight population is around 9%, you will see much smaller portions on peoples plates and lots of healthy greens and everyone is walking , everywhere!!

    We are a society of 12 ounce steaks or worse, and large over-sized potatoes loaded with extras.

    This is all being burned off by evenings watching reality shows and dancing with the stars, except the skinny ones are the ones dancing on TV.

    Where is our discipline ???? This is disgusting!! Sit on a plane on a 4 hour ride across the county next to a obese person! They should pay for 2 seats. Put the fork down please!!! My dog has more discipline!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  430. Buzzy Morse

    it means that two thirds have not been honest-
    but lets be fair–and give this economy its fair share of the blame--becoming overwieght is also a direct function of not only poor eating–but also of stress–levels of stress directly dictates both good eating and bad eating habits -and to fat-we can thank this damn economy that is screwing most of the hard working Americans for the terrible mental and physical shape that we are all in–

    January 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  431. Lori

    It means we're a bunch of spoiled people, ESPECIALLY since another third or so are "overweight" - that means TWO-THIRDS of us are eating food we don't need that the homeless or starving people in our own impoverished areas could be eating if we were a more attentive, compassionate people that could see beyond those Golden Arches!
    😉

    January 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  432. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    First, only cheap foods are the foods that are not good for us.

    Second, it isn't safe for us to walk and jog in some neighborhoods. Drive by shootings and other crimes make that a no-no. Also in some neighborhoods there are no stores with fresh fruits and veggies.

    Third, the entertainment is in the house. Why would I want to go out and throw a football when i got Madden '09?

    Fourth, No one cooks at home anymore. Mom is working and Dad is working. All they have time for is take out.

    And with the steroids and other additives in the food, there is not a doubt that we'll blow up big too eating the animal or food that was injected with the stuff.

    So it is us and the lame FDA. to blame.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  433. Julianne

    Hello- As we have been led and manipulated into the dismal economic state we are now finally in, so too we have gone that way with obesity. It is a direct by-product.of the never ending consumption of any and all product we have been encouraged to enact. Which a huge part of has been fast-food which includes those big-gulps which in turn have in particular helped spike obesity as well as diabetes. Greed and manipulation is what you ought to be talking about. Thank you

    January 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  434. Loretta

    It means that a third of Americans are unaware of "the Gum Diet." You've heard of Nutri-System, Weight Watchers and numerous other weight loss programs, but I found that when I want to eat something that I shouldn't like cake, candy, ice cream etc., if I chew gum, I immediately satisfy the urge to eat and after a couple of minutes, I get rid of the gum and my desire for something sweet is gone. I've lost ten pounds in less than two months but the great part of this is that I no longer have a desire for sweets. The word "dessert" has disappeared from my vocabulary. This is a very inexpensive, pleasant way to diet. Try it, all you've got to lose is........weight.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  435. John

    I'd be less worried about fat people and more worried about this:

    Obama climate czar has socialist ties
    Group sees 'global governance' as solution

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/12/obama-climate-czar-has-socialist-ties/

    But then you would have to have some integrity and intellectual honesty to report on this. Instead you protect Obama the Marxist.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  436. vern-t anaheim,ca

    it,s too easy to eat jun k food and not eat food that is good for you and also, alot of obese people are kids who would ratherb eat hamburgers and also theyndo0n't get enough exercise by sitting in front of the t.v. or sitting at the computer and as i've learned many schools don't offer p-hyiscal education classes anymore

    January 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  437. Heather

    Sadly, it means that this country (or rather, its citizens) need to take a drastic look at the business of agriculture and how corporations have hijacked the nutritional value of our foods and we've blindly allowed them to do it!

    I'm so tired of the 'media' putting the majority of the blame on the people who are growing more and more overweight due to their lack of control and eating disorders. Yes, we all need to exercise more and eat healthier- especially when so many of us have jobs that involve so little physical activity- but we also need to pay attention to the so-called 'healthy' foods that are available in this country and start eating locally and regionally! And start exercising a little common sense- since when is it 'healthy' to eat salad greens and tomatoes in the middle of winter just because it's available in our supermarkets? The sad truth is that the probability of those foods having any nutritional value are mute when there's so much genetic alteration going on- with the USDA approval-for the sole purpose of transporting foods and food companies making a quick buck- at our health expense! And that's just our vegetables! What about the conditions of which our meats are raised and we're repeatedly being told it's safe to eat?

    My sincere hope is for all of us to start taking the responsibility of eating right and sensibly, to start questioning the motives of our food industries and putting 2 + 2 together- why all of a sudden do we have so many food related illnesses, so many cases of obesity, so many new drugs and so little health coverage? We were the 'breadbasket' of the world and now we're on the verge of practically starving to death- do people realize that statistically, our children will have a shorter life expectancy than us? What kind of a future are we headed for?

    Stop believing all those commercials, stop believing it is your fault that you are fat, stop being victimized and stop eating foods that are naturally out of season, and start supporting your local farmers and growing some of your own food! It's not rocket science; it's basic biology.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  438. Anne

    The large majority of the people who are claiming that their obesity is due to some kind of genetic issue are full of it. The human species hasn't evolved that much, that quickly (and only in Western countries).

    The guy who made the point that the bar has been lowered for what is considered obese probably has a point to some extent. Same for diagnoses of autism and just about everything else. Our society loves to pathologize; everyone wants to have something that makes them "special," and if you can't do it by actually accomplishing something, then do it by claiming to be a fragile flower. ("Oh! Make an exception for me! I'm fraaaaaail!")

    But also? People eat a lot of crap in this country, and they sit on their butts and get fat. Duh.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  439. Neena

    You seldom see the wealthy (the so called beautiful people) obese! The least expensive way to feed the hungry stomaches of the families of the poor and shrinking middle class is w/pasta, pasta, pasta (3lbs for a $1.00 on sale) when you can't afford any healthly protein, fruits, and vegetables.
    Add that to the least expensive fried and sugar loaded junk fast foods,
    cereals directed to children and sugar diluted fruit drinks and you have an obese epidemic...and ketchup is still considered a vegetable in the wealthiest (only for the wealthy) country on the plant!
    One doesn't have to be a genius, right Jack.
    Neena

    January 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  440. Christian Nys

    As long as the focus of food producers in this county is motivated by profits, mass-production and shelf-life, the American people will continue to receive nutrient deficient, processed, addictive, and chemically laden foods, which are predominantly fractionated carbohydrates. Food manufacturers and fast food restaurants are drug pushers, and they know it. The chemicals and the refined flour/sugars/syrups in our foods are very addictive drugs. This must stop. This is a crime on our people.

    We need to return to locally grown food from family farms, where chickens roam outside eating bugs and grass like they're supposed to, where cows eat green grass like they're supposed to, and where vegetables are grown in soil that is rich in organic nutrients, not pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides. If you make these healthy foods readily available to all demographics, people will rise to the occasion.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  441. Mel of Saginaw, MI

    Simple Jack!

    Gluttony! Americans are failing to exercise self-discipline and reasonable constraint. We want instant gratification and more, more, more. Look at Wall Street, our government, corporate America and the housing market and you will find too many people want more than what is reasonable and eventually lose control. God bless America and President-elect Obama to exercise some constraints.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  442. LISA

    what angers me about obese Americans is when I travel. On my last trip home from Los Angeles flying on United Airlines, I had to pay for my one suitcase that was to large to use as a carryon.
    A very large obese man was allowed to board early and had a carryon bag. I can tell you my weight plus my under 50 pound suitcase weighed less them him.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  443. Michelle, Kansas City

    Jack, we live in a nation of excuses. There's always an excuse for people being grotesquely obese. And how dare we call them fat! We might hurt their feelings!

    I've seen people making comments on your blog calling obesity a disease. I'm sorry, NO, it's not. It's a side effect, and the primary cause is bad eating habits and too little exercise. I'm sorry, boys and girls, but compassion isn't going to help you lose weight. The only thing that will help you is getting your butt of the couch, NO EXCUSES.

    When I was a pre-teen, I was mocked for being fat, so I decided to do something about it. I turned myself into a distance runner, and started a lifelong eating lifestyle of healthy foods and balanced nutrition. I did it on my own. There were no expensive trainers, no specialty food programs, no pills or powders. It was me, a pair of running shoes, and the road. I'm still prone to being stocky, but nobody would know it, and my biggest health problem is that my blood pressure might be a bit too low. I still fit my high school prom gown – size 6. It takes dedication, every day. It takes consistency. It's NOT LUCK.

    Dear Americans, you have to learn to rely on yourselves. NO EXCUSES, no whining. If you want to be fat, that's fine, but if you're unhappy being fat, then do something about it. You WILL be sore! You WILL sweat! You'll ache and groan. Then, eventually, you'll get fit, and it will become easier and easier... but you need to start on your own. Nobody will do it for you.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  444. Ed Riverside,Ca

    Well, Cooperate America will lose 1/3 of its potential market and the rest of us will get more elbow room.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  445. Lynn Rae

    Has anyone ever thought that perhaps all of this obesity, is due to the additives that are are in our food. High fructose corn syrup, enriched flour, whether it is white or wheat, and hydrogenated oil, are in almost every food we eat. Some people could be more sensitive to these additives, when it comes to weight gain. I can't believe we are eating that much more. Look how our ancestors ate, and didn't have health clubs, and still never gained the weight. They ate a lot of high fat, etc, but didnt have the additives we have in our food. Think about it!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  446. Sheila Esmaili-Doki

    Jack,
    What exactly is "obese," anyway? These days, any girl who weighs more than 100 pounds is deemed plus-size.

    A bit less flippantly though, it is no big shock that there is an alarming number of overweight people in this country. Most portion sizes at restaurants are ridiculous. Pair that with people who lack self-control and you have one HUGE dilemma.

    Sheila
    Sherman, Texas

    January 12, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  447. Phil Cicero

    Some school districts have abandoned recess and minimized physical education time in exchange for more test preparation time. While academics are certainly important, they can no longer be emphaisized at the expense of physical activity. WhenPresident elect Obama gets around to reviewing and recommending the reauthorization of NCLB – No Child Left Behind -he and Congress also need to look at how the current legislation has harmed iour children in so many other ways.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  448. Deepti

    Eating healthy is expensive. Most people can not afford to eat fresh and healthy foods on a daily basis. A handful of blueberries costs about a dollar. On the other hand, a bag of chips is cheaper, more filling and easily available.

    Deepti
    New York, NY

    January 12, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  449. Karen Lee

    This may seem like an oversimplification, but bottom line, it's lack of God or higher power or whatever one chooses to call it. We are not getting to what's eating us, so we are trying to eat God. To satisfy the need that only God realization can fill.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  450. eysehiwot eyele

    wow 72 millions? come to my world africa over 300 millions are obese just for one good reason hunger. THANKS to Mr. bush & his help for many millions life saved in africa.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  451. ginny pizzardi

    I don't think our obesety epidemic has all to do with poor eating habits
    and not enough exercise. Although they are paramount in sustaining a
    healthy weight, it is well known that most people are overeating because
    they have no outlet for their emotional life, better known as "emotional eating". Oprah is popular because she is inviting America, and the rest of the world, to recognize their emotions and learn to express them. Eating is not the only addiction we suffer with..we can be talking about alcohol, gambling, shopping etc.
    Ginny Pizzardi, M.S.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  452. Marann Schneider

    If people will go vegetarian, buy organic foods, get off of meat injected with hormones that cause obesity, along with genetically engineered foods, people would become healthy. Blame the big food corporations and the Dept. of Agriculture for fat Americans.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  453. Lori from Broken Arrow, OK

    It means we’re a bunch of spoiled people, ESPECIALLY since another third or so are “overweight” — that means TWO-THIRDS of us are eating food we don’t need that the homeless or starving people in our own impoverished areas could be eating if we were a more attentive, compassionate people that could see beyond those Golden Arches!
    🙂

    January 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  454. judy larson

    Our obesity rate is an opportunistic two'fer! First, we can reduce our personal and national health care costs simply by slimming down, – an achievable endeavor. Second, It gives President-elect Obama a ready-made call to sacrifice: turn off the tv for 30 minutes and take a hike! Please, no doughnuts or french fries to restore your energy!

    Judy in Tulsa, OK

    January 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  455. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    I am five foot one! My oldest cookbook is from 1983 from Five Rose which includes the food guide that allows me to eat 1500 calories per day. According to today's standard I would have to eat 2000 calories. Why! am I moving more than in 1983! I now used this cookbook all the time! I simply increased the amount of fruits and vegetables per day! And I used this cookbook because Real sugar is used in the recipes. Your brain registered real sugar to tell you that you had enough food! The food industry and the FDA keeps on developing and approving new sugars all the time for us to eat sugar with no calories...the result is your brain wants more all the time since it is looking for real sugar! We have to go back to the use of real sugar from fruits and learn to eat less. Just imagine this : in 1983 a muffin recipe for 12 servings only had one third cup of real sugar...today's cookbook have more sugar in their recipes and that is without considering all the sugar added in all of our food! The industry should get rid of fake sugar, corn sugar and bad fats from any of our prepared foods! The industry could actually make more money with real and heatlhier food if they had any business and environmental sense; in the mean time they are destroying the health of their customers...so ethical and profitable!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  456. Jerry

    People are stupid . They think if you eat too much you get fat. People get fat because they inherit the genes to do so.Get off the Obesity thing untill you learn a few things

    January 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  457. Ray Richardson

    The growth in obesity means that too many are choosing the latest fade diet book. Would a diet titled "Eat Right and Exercise" sell? It should.

    Ray Richardson Greenfield, Indiana

    January 12, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  458. Elizabeth Mansur

    Jack, I blame TV commercials that our kids see consistently. We need more regulations on how food commercials being displayed. This has been going on for way to long. We are visuals, what we need is healthier commercials than double bruges with fries... it's about time
    we start looking to health through colorful glasses. ( fruits and Veg.)!!

    Elizabeth Mansur

    January 12, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  459. ED QUIROS L.I. NEW YORK

    What would you expect, we live in a country where everything has to be fast, fast cars, fast life,and of course, lots of fast food. All our meats are loaded with hormones because we need it today, pronto, and it goes into our mouths and right into our blood stream. The rest, well lets leave it to our imagination.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  460. Jim Boling

    Mr. Cafferty,

    That's a shocking figure but I am not that surprised. However I think over-eating and laziness are only responsible for Americans being fat.

    Once someone starts gaining weight their hormone levels get a little out of whack and they see a doctor who automatically blames it on the thyroid and put you on synthetic replacements which cause the thyroid to produce even less because your body thinks it's making enough.

    The fat and the synthroids make your blood pressure high so they put you on meds to lower the blood pressure. Blood pressure prescriptions are known to cause weight gain. So the treatments themselves are what move many Americans from "overweight" to obesity.

    I hate to be a conspiracy theorist but a lot of people feel the medical and pharmaceutical companies play this like a well orchestrated plot.

    Couldn't they develop a drug that treats these illnesses without causing the original symptom, (weight gain), to just get worse?

    Probably yes! But why should they? If they actually cure somebody they would lose a lifelong customer. Keep 'em sick... it's better for your bottom line.

    Jim

    January 12, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  461. QSTYK9

    Reading these comments tell ME, that most people in this country don't have a clue.... It means we have civil liberties, that dictate that we as Americans can be selfish and greedy, and we are.
    How many Americans realize, that we really DON'T require 3 meals a day plus snacks.....This won't make you healthy, just the opposite. That one of the main reasons Americans are disliked on this planet, is because we don't have any idea how to eat, or do we care that while we are stuffing our faces, people are starving....
    Growth harmones in ALL of the food we eat and is passed on to our bodies... The health industry really could care less about Obesity, because they make lots of money because we keep stuffing our faces. They can sell more pills to try and offset the growth harmones.... But people would much rather buy a twinkie then a carrot. Over 1/3 of Americans (73m) are obese... what other country even comes close. (no Asia, that's for sure) If you say someone is fat these days, you can find youself in a confrontation, even in court, because YOU'VE HURT THIER FEELINGS.... I would also suggest that a large percentage of these obese people don't have health insurance and have never spoken with a nutritionist. We have a civil right to eat what ever we want and as much as we want and when ever we want and when we say thier is a shortage of any commodity, we GO WILD instead of cutting back.
    Just like the gas, now that the price is down, people are back to running thier 4×4's and hummers and driving fast and sucking up as much gas as they can... well it's the same thought pattern with food.
    NO SELF CONTROL.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  462. N Kabadi

    It means that it is much easier to buy high calorie foods in comparison with the healthy foods, sugary drinks and chioce of inactive way of life. You really need to be motivated, disciplined and make conscientious choices in maintaining healthy weight. I have been shocked to hear in the super market advertising to drink water to reduce weight. Everyone should be drinking water as a thirstquencher and should be enjoying colored sugary drinks only for occasional fun.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  463. T.T.J. Batten (Toronto, ON)

    How could the countries economy gain from slimming down?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  464. Matt

    "I eat becaue I'm unhappy and I'm unhappy because I eat. It's a viscious cycle."

    All Austin Powers quotes aside... sadly I feel this comical quip gets to the belly of the matter. America is in bad shape politically and economically, why shouldn't we be so physically?

    As citizens we've adopted the same irresponsible lack of oversight in our diets that our politicians and leaders have exemplified legislatively in getting us into this big fat mess.

    If you throw a frog into a boiling pot, he'll jump right out, but if you gradually increase the temperature, he'll boil to death. Is it me or is it getting hot in here?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  465. Ana

    It reflects that to eat healthy is more expensive and requires more personal effort (to buy, to plan meals). Highly dense caloric foods are very chip and readily available.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  466. joshua

    It means that the incoming era of hope needs to extend to include the physical beings of america, not just a new green energy movement. Urging people to think about health has proven inadequate. A fat tax may just be incentive enough to get people and restaurants off their butts and to think about what they ingest and how they behave. Airline fees have gone up because of weight, it's not just the bags people, it's your butt... there has to be more data out there on that issue as well. The health conscious are now basically taxed already for your weak and selfish wills to remain alive and live a long life.... take responsibility and shape up! we'll all be the better for it.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  467. cynthia in TN

    Hi Jack,
    Do you know how many grams of protein are in one serving of cottage cheese?
    Is it more than one serving of steak?
    yes it is.
    there are 12 grams of protein in a single serving of cottage cheese and about 10 grams of protein in steak.

    Education! is the answer to your question. As a whole our society is still very uneducated about what goes in their bodies. We eat mindlessly and emotionally and then when our pants don't fit wonder what happened.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  468. jack Meoff shadetree wash

    lazy, poor food habits, vido games, to much internet, t.v. did i say lazy ?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  469. Nancy, Tennessee

    Americans are either fat because we live in the land of plenty and we indulge or we live in a country that stresses us to the max and we eat to cope. Watching all that is going on in the United States makes me think we are eating more comfort foods that tend to make us obese. Seems like January 20th will never arrive when we can look forward to things changing for the better. My wardrobe can't take many more days of stressful gorging. We need some relief.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  470. Cornel

    It means that fast food resturants are not victims of a bad economy but yet at the same time they are not to be blamed...

    January 12, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  471. Mo, Baton Rouge LA

    It means that obesity is not simply the consequence of the junk-food and fast-food industries, a change to sendetary lifestyles, or poor genetics, but the result of an overall lack of knowledge about health and fighting obesity. Nobody wants to be obese. People are just misinformed about losing weight. Americans spend over $40 billion dollars on weight-reduction programs and diet foods, yet 95% of diets fail. If people were better educated about nutrition, exercise, and overall health beyond just the "eat less and exercise more" on TV, the presence of obesity would drastically decline.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  472. Marissa

    Look, we live in a country of convenience. I'm sure plenty of folks would like to blame people who are obese for their situation, but that's unfair. While each individual must bear some responsibility for his or her own circumstances, we cannot ignore the fact that our culture values ease over effort. Fast food didn't emerge in a vacuum. Let's be honest, the recent shift to green cars has a lot less to do with the enviornment than with high gas prices. Now that those prices have gone down, I wonder how many people will hold true to their commitment to cleaner energy. And consider this:isn't it much easier to sit back and watch a 24 hour news channel than read a newspaper? Isn't it mcuh more convenient to type a single resopnse to a question posed by a face on the television than go out and have an actual dialogue with someone?
    You shouldn't be asking what it means that one in three Americans are obese. You sohuld be asking why Americans spend more time criticizing the symptoms and less time trying to figure out the cause.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  473. Kyle from State College

    I think the obese people have the right idea here, they are packing on the calories now and storing it for later so when the economy tanks, they'll be prepared, like a bear in hibernation.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  474. Sandy Brunnenmeyer

    That we are an obese nation is yet another example of how corrupt, corporate America operates. We've grown several generations of Americans who were raised eating profit driven, chemical laden, fatty, fake food. Recent reports that we don't grow enough fruits and vegetables to adequately feed Americans, even if we were inclined to eat right, only compounds the problem. Unless people demand change in how we process and feed our country, we will remain the fat, complacent people we have come to be.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  475. Michael

    It means that whether you choose public, private, socialist or capitalist means to provide healthcare in the United States, the problem of healthcare costs will not be solved so long as people overwhelmingly choose lifestyles that make themselves sick.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  476. Bernie Van

    Jack, Let's do the BMI the same way we figured out how to keep the CPI stable when gas was over $4.oo a gallon... juggle the numbers ! Presto... you're still 5' 10" and 210 lbs, but you are no longer obese.
    Anything else I can help you with?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  477. Rania Batayneh

    I believe that education is the key to change. I am a Nutritionist and I empower my clients to make lifestyle changes for lasting results. They learn how to cook and prepare meals and become smart shoppers. I practice in San Francisco and being in a healthy environment can influence you to get healthy. Find motivation and take charge of your life. Visit me on my website: http://www.essentialnutritionforyou.com

    Best in Health,
    Rania in SF

    January 12, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  478. dare

    very simple, americans eat too much junk food, although it could help to make junk food cost more!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  479. Walt Nicholes

    Sez Who? My point is that someone – some self important organization – has decided how fat is too fat. Truly, obese people generally, and overweight people in many cases are unhealthy, but even then unhealthy is subjective.

    The number of factors for heart disease, for instance, is a long list, with no real proof, other than statistical correlation, that weight is a primary factor. I know a lot of healthy fat people, if healthy can be defined as able to function in society, and lead an enjoyable life.

    THe only legitimate concern that the government has over this situation is created by the fact that the government pays for a substantial amount of medical care. End medical subsidies and watch the people get their lives under control. It worked in the 50s, it would work today.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:58 pm |