Why can't the U.S. make any progress in the fight against obesity?
January 18th, 2012
03:22 PM ET

Why can't the U.S. make any progress in the fight against obesity?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans aren't getting any fatter, but they're not getting any thinner either.

New government reports show that nearly 36% of U.S adults and 17% of children and teens are obese.

When you add in overweight Americans, more than 2/3 of adults and about 1/3 of children are either overweight or obese.

Although these rates are up dramatically from a decade ago, they have leveled off in the past few years.

However certain racial and ethnic groups are still seeing increases in obesity rates.

For example, 59% of black women and 45% of Mexican-American women are obese. Also - for children and teens - obesity rates are higher among Hispanics and blacks.

Health experts say that while overall obesity rates have stopped climbing, the best way to lower rates is to stop people from getting fat in the first place.

Obesity is a national epidemic contributing to a range of illnesses from joint damage to certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes.

Speaking of diabetes, we learned this week that cooking icon Paula Deen has Type 2 diabetes.

Deen is a well-known TV personality who is overweight herself and whose Southern recipes are full of fatty ingredients.

And isn't it interesting that after being diagnosed with the diabetes three years ago, Deen chose to tell the public about it only after making a deal with a Danish pharmaceutical company that makes an injectable diabetes medication?

Here’s my question to you: Why can't the U.S. make any progress in the fight against obesity?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Cliff in New York:
Two reasons, Jack. Our driven for-profit health care system is set up to treat disease, not prevent it. And our driven for-greed Congress is in the pocket of the food services lobby.

Floyd in California:
I lived in Ecuador for 3 years. Upon arriving I lost 10 lbs, then a pound a month without changing my diet and with less exercise. Why? They do not add fat and hormones to their meat... Also the altitude increases your metabolism. In the U.S., what food producers put in our food puts on the pounds. Your only way to lose weight here is to starve.

No one these days wants to get up off the couch and exercise. Most would rather sit, eat potato chips and watch such educational shows as Jersey Shore or the never-ending GOP debates. Need I say more?

I am about 30 pounds overweight and it is killing me. Every time it gets serious I drop a few pounds, and then I start feeling better again and slip back into my old habits. Winter is the hardest time. I find that smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, and drinking 5 cups of coffee, plus eating a bacon and fried egg sandwich every morning helps. Hershey’s chocolate snacks, cheese and potato chips are good snacks to get you through till the evening meal, which usually means chicken and potatoes, followed by Fosters Beer and good cheap red wine. Hope this helps Mr. Cafferty.

Kevin in San Diego:
Watch Food, Inc.! Americans are fattened up on corn just like the chickens, pigs and cows! Simple greed is why!

Paul in Texas:
It's the other oil addiction, Jack... the one made from lard.

Ed in Texas:
White Castle Chocolate Shake. Hello?

Posted by
Filed under: Obesity
soundoff (165 Responses)

    Well Jack, maybe it is because so many Americans are in Fast Food Shops for too long & too often.

    tom, forest hills, pa

    January 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  2. Floyd - Crescent City, CA

    I lived in Quito, Ecuador for 3 years. Upon arriving I lost 10 lbs, then a pound a month without changing my diet and with less exercise. Why? They do not add fat and hormones to their meat. You have to add oil to brown the meat. Also the altitude increases your metabolism. In the USA, what food producers put in our food puts on the pounds. Your only way to lose weight here is to starve.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  3. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack,Processed foods addiction & Democracy in choice & it all starts at home.However I think we need to give our nation some credit on this issue #1 its out there and we are talking #2 We really have made pretty good progress with
    the young kids.So IMHO..................there is allot of hope.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  4. Jayne in NH

    Obesity is a complex issue that involves psychological problems, economic ability and the amount of education a person is exposed to. People have been trained by our culture to eat when they're happy (think "Happy Meals") and then, when stressed or sad, they eat to try to feel happy again. It might not be so harmful if they reached for an orange, but when oranges cost a dollar each, many people can't afford to buy them. The very first thing we should do is not make the obese feel any worse about themselves than they already do. In addition, each and every American should have access to healthcare including mental health services. Our nation will only be as sick and out of shape as we allow it to be.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  5. Elizabeth From Toronto

    Everyone including obese people who eat all the wrong foods and members of corporations who make all the bad foods and drugs and sell them have rights to do whatever! So too much to fix. You could set up tons of hearings, rules and nothing will happen. Way too much democracy in North America, it's going to bankrupt us physically and financially!

    January 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  6. Conor in Chicago

    The answer to this question has been suppressed for 2 decades. Corn startch is in everything. The human body does not process corn startch easily and it is super fattening. Agro-business suppress' every report on the subject as they have more power than big oil. This is not a conspirtorial rant. Do the research. It's not that Americans are lazy. It's what's in our food.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  7. Kevin SD CA

    Watch Food INC! Americans are fattened up on corn just like the chickens, pigs and cows! Simple greed is why!

    January 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    Because we're ignorant and politically polarized thanks to those with the biggest mouths out there, who make millions to keep us in our places. Look what our First Lady attempted to do, and the disparaging remarks she encountered, as a result. So if we want to doom our kids and kill ourselves, I say have at it, ignoramuses.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  9. Pete from Florida

    Because anytime someone like Michelle Obama makes a common-sense suggestion like improving our eating habits, imbeciles like Sarah Palin start screaming that Democrats are trying to control your life. This is usually right before Republicans tap your phone and try to control your sex life, and right after they try to outlaw abortions and censor the internet.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  10. tom bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Despite the good work of the First Lady, the Surgeon General, President Clinton, the media has treated the subject as filler rather than crisis lead stories. What the media spotlights the public focuses on. That's why you wear the moniker Fourth Estate. Big responsibility. We're dying out here, Jack.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  11. John from Alabama

    Jack: It is easy to get fat, but it is very hard to get slim. It takes a culture with the desire to be health, and America is just starting to change the culture of fast food every night to vegetables and fruit everyday. Michelle Obama is making headway in the fight against obesity. Be active, be calorie alert, and eat healthy snacks like carrots or apples for a change. Do the right thing for your body, because it is the right thing to do.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  12. Paul From Austin Texas

    It's the other oil adiction Jack the one made from lard.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  13. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    As a nation we are not a bunch of happy campers. An economically stressed society is seeking comfort through food, carelessly putting on the pounds. Most of us cannot afford our country anymore. Most struggle distressingly for food, clothing, shelter, and health care, in an era of rising prices and lower paychecks, that is if one is fortune enough to have one. Unfortunately we are not a nation free from want. The problem is we want too much and can't afford it. Pass the fries please.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  14. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Two reasons, Jack. Our driven for profit health care system is set up to treat disease , not to prevent it and our driven for greed Congress is in the pocket of the food services lobby.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  15. Brad, Portland, OR

    It's not just a matter of food being abundant and cheap.

    Or the fact that they put high fructose corn syrup in everything.

    It's also the fact that most of us are very busy and have little free time, yet most of the things we need to do involve very little physical activity. Most of us are pretty sedentary, even while we're running around doing errands.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  16. Tony from Southport

    REFER TO MY FIRST POST HERE..... this is THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA....and for the moment, we are FREE to make up our own minds as to what to eat AND WHAT TO LOOK AT ON THE INTERNET. BIG GOVERNMENT..... BIG BROTHER....... NANNY STATE....... NO. DEMOCRATS OUT IN 2012.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  17. SideTrek

    Predominantly passive activities like video games, watching TV, sports, movies at home; cutting recess and phys ed classes at school. Kids don't move enough and parents are too busy to feed them healthy meals. Lifestyle changes in the culture.

    Northampton, MA

    January 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  18. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    Well the FDA is certainly no help, and may even be considered as complicit in the fattening of America. The trouble with a free society, is that we are also free to make poor lifestyle choices. Also, as long as the healthiest way to eat, is also the most expensive way to eat, then this problem will never go away. Want an easy fix? Raise the price of, or tax, salt, sugar, and fats, to such high levels that they are prohibitive for use in manufactured foods, and people won't have a choice but to cut down on consumtion. It works for cigarettes, gasoline, and healthcare doesn't it?

    January 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm |

    Tampa, Fl Unlike our govt, fast food delivers.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  20. Pete in Georgia

    Well Jack, with the average American IQ somewhere around two points above plant life you think you really need to ask this question ??

    January 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  21. Richard Texas

    They can Jack and do every day. Don't you read the obituaries? There are hundreds of Obese people that die every day. I would say that is doing something about it. Look, eating like a pig is a personal choice. It is a persons right to eat what ever they want when they want to or for that mater to not eat something. No one wants the government telling them what to do so if your parents are not willing to educate you to a proper diet from birth to adulthood and your not willing to follow a proper diet throughout your life then your on your own.
    Perhaps the one thing that could be done is to charge people more money for health insurance based on their weight. Of course now the ACLU will get involved and say the insurance companies are discriminating against Fat people. You can't have it both ways Jack.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  22. Jerry A - Toronto

    Have they not looked at the prices in grocery store lately? You can fill up your cart for half the price or less with junk food vs. healthy food. Plus, no one these days wants to get up off the couch and exercise. Most would rather sit, eat potato chips and watch such educational shows like Jersey Shore or the never ending saga of GOP Debates. Need I same more?

    January 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  23. Doug Ericson

    I am about 30 pounds over weight on average and it is killing me. Every time it gets serious I drop a few pounds, and then I start feeling better again, and slip back into my old habits. Winter is the hardest time to to keep from gaining weight back. I find that smoking two packs of cigaretts a day, and drinking 5 cups of coffee, and eating a bacon and fried egg sangwitch every morning, ( with french or italian white bread toast, jalepeno pepper, garlic, a splash of vinegar, and good dose of salt and pepper, and yellow mustard ), helps. Hersheys chocalate snacks, cheese and wise potatoe chips are good snacks to get you through till the evening meal, which usually means chicken and potatoes, followed by Fosters Beer and good cheap Red Wine. Hope this helps Mr. Cafferty.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  24. Ken - Kingsport, TN

    It is a matter of economics, Jack. The cheaper food is contributing mightily to the obesity epidemic and, in case you haven't noticed, the largest share of Americans have been steadily economically declining over the past two generations. Plutocracy, or crony capitalism, is figuratively and literally killing this nation-empire. We all know how this is going to end.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  25. Kirk

    We don't want to.

    Not enough to suppress nature's second most powerful instinct, second only to breathing.

    People like to eat. They like to munch snacks and socialize. They like a good filling dinner, and the satisfied feeling afterward. And in a society of need and want and worry, that is a primitive instinctive comfort, and lots of people want that comfort.

    Solve the problem these other people have? Why don't you solve the problem of why it matters to you how fat OTHER PEOPLE are, and just focus on yourself? Why is MY size important to YOU? -Besides the money potential to you they offer as a market for weightloss products and services?

    A certain marketing segment DOES NOT WANT PEOPLE THIN: they want folk fat and very upset about it. People like that are marketable.

    It's ok to be fat.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  26. Mel - Houston

    Your fighting personal choice. Without a very big carrot on the end of stick no one get very far. As long a people feel healthy Krispy Kreme is going win out every time. Until insurance or Affordable Health Care penalize obesity nothing is going to happen. There is a lot of money being made by businesses in this country selling unhealthy food to people. What happens next is the corporate two step. Corporations hire lobbyist, they stuff the pockets of congressmen and senators and as usual nothing gets done.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  27. Larry in Houston

    Why can't the U.S. make any progress in the fight against obesity ?

    Easy answer Jack – Fast Foods , period.

    In my area, they Just built a new Kentucky Fried Chicken / a New Burger King, in addition to another Brand New Starbucks, in the last 6 months. When I heard on the news 9 or 10 months ago, that they are closing starbucks all over the U.S. I told my wife – "that's funny, I wonder why they are Building them here" ? Here's what amazes me more, Jack, You have to wait in Line, to get served, most of the time.

    Larry in Houston

    January 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  28. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    In our rush to be politically correct in parenting, we removed gym classes and equipment from schools. We stop teaching exercise and intramural sports for the general student population and focus only on those athletes and sports which which would likely pursue professional sports. Then to make matters worst, the U.S designed and developed games which served as an incentive for our youth to sit in front of a computer or T V screen for hours at a time. Finally, the U.S has created a culture of immediate gratification which equates into having fast and quick food that is not the healthiest thing for us. Blend all of these behaviors and you have a ever increasing obesity problem. When Michelle Obama tried to do something about it the politicians told her to butt out.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  29. Rick McDaniel

    Because no one wants to tell people what to do, when it comes to how they eat, nor do they want to regulate the restaurant industry, which is the largest contributor to the problem.

    Fast food was the initiator of the problem, with the general restaurant industry being second, in the busy world where people eat out, much more, than in decades past.

    Restaurants have super-sized, and increased the caloric content, of their menus, to the point where entire daily calories are being offered in a single dish, much less a meal.

    Add to that, a computerized work world, where people sit at desks for 8 hours a day, and you have a formula for health disaster, and obesity is just the beginning.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  30. rex in portland, oregon

    Obvious: there is profit to be made by selling fatty foods and sugary drinks.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  31. Bill of New Mexico

    101 new diet plans making money each year!

    Real old people remember–
    depression people were thin–very thin.

    Watch out! Congress is about to succeed in something–
    in making people very thin.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  32. MNResident

    Jack, we are talking about individuals' bodies here. When some people make efforts to get into some parts of that body (like the womb or on assisted suicide), the scream is: "It"s my body, and i can do with it what I want!" My question is: Why is the government allowed to interfere with individuals' bodies in some cases (such as in fighting their obesity) , but not in other cases? Answer that question, Jack, and you may have the question to your question.......

    January 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  33. bud rupert

    For some children – it's a genetic problem but for people that become grossly overweight over time due to poor eating habits and not taking care of themselves there is no excuse. We should levy a tax or something – to motivate them to lose weight. There are lot's of reasons why our health care system is so expensive – "with fee for service" at the top of list and until we get a handle on that nothing will change regardless. BUT, obesity adds to our troubles and should be addressed with some strong medicine – no pun intended.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  34. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    Because we are not prone to self discipline.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  35. PJ Fleming

    As long as people keep going to fast food places or having pizzas delivered to their homes, obesity will continue to be a problem in this country. I get so tired of hearing people say they don't have time to cook real food when the real reason is they don't WANT to cook real food!!!!! Fast food is easier and you don't have to do the dishes!!!!

    January 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  36. David in Tampa

    Jack. We have too many fat-heads running things in this country anyway. Mostly because they think with another over-bloated part of their person. It's called EGO. They just can't feed that black hole enough to satiate it. Excess stars and planets are stored in their galactic bulge. No way to prevent this.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  37. Karl in Flint

    It's the same laziness that made us obese. Fast food instead of real food and, with children, parents that have more important things to do then monitor their children's diets. Here's 5 bucks, go eat something. On the other side of the coin, with more and more people unemployed and underemployed it is cheaper to go for the cheaper fattening foods because the healthier food costs more in most cases.I could stand to lose 40 pounds but am I working at it? Not really, I'm being lazy.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  38. dave in nashville

    Ever met a skinny chef? Over eating can only result in over weight. And cut out the sugar!

    January 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  39. Kelly Ontario, Canada

    I would think its because the one person who's trying to make it a priority to make people more aware of it is Mrs. Obama and apparently all of a sudden a first lady who takes up a cause is somehow trying to control people. With that kind of thinking its more about hating the messenger, than receiving the message!!

    January 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  40. Ann from Charleston SC

    We won't make any more progress in fighting obesity than we did with the "Just Say No' anti drug campaign. Drugs, alcohol and food are all addictive, and as those of us who have experienced addtction know, the person has to want to give up the lifestyle that is keeping him/her addicted. It has to come within the one who is addicted – outside forces can only offer support and encouragement. Somewhere along the line we need to realize that we have no control over what other people do or how they live their lives.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  41. Jenna Roseville CA

    Why can't the U.S. make any progress in the fight against obesity?

    Simply because the government isn't interested in ensuring that American children get the proper nutrician that they need. Just look at school lunches.. Ketchup is a veggie to the government. Its cheaper to buy crap than real food in our nations grocery stores.

    Roseville CA

    January 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  42. Robby Barbarian

    Because America is the land of plenty and people here love to eat,Jack. Duh!!!

    January 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  43. Nancy, Tennessee

    The fast paced society that we live in is the reason we get and stay fat. Most of the fatty food we eat doesn't come from the kitchen cooked up using Paula Deen's recipes. It comes in a box grabbed in a drive thru line or delivered to our door. They don't put baked chicken and broccoli in a box and deliver it 30 minutes after you call.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  44. Dan5404

    Jack, I think it is partly the pace of life nowadays as well as a couple of generations of living off the "fat of the land' so to speak. Families don't have meals together at appointed times and they don't have time or make time to prepare vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Many have been raised by parents that also grew up on fast foods, so they weren't taught any better. Also, blame the food manufacturers who praise the vitamins in their foods and drinks, but don;t mention that many are loaded with sugar., which turns to fat.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  45. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Progress against obesity is impossible while we subsidize the industries that profit from it, most especially corn growers and big agriculture who make the high fructose corn syrup that goes into the soda and snacks that make us fat. As long as America is addicted to this garbage and Congress is addicted to the money from selling it, we will get fatter and sicker.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  46. Linda from Kentucky

    One word to begin with – Monsanto. Our food has no nutritional value anymore. We're being forced to eat genetically modified crap by a huge conglomerate who has every politician in our country in their pocket. The friuts and vegetables our grandparents ate had 4 times the amount of nutrients than what we're eating. We need to get on board with other countries and stop the growth of GMO's and focus more on organic farming. We're ruining our soil and ourselves. We need to make real, whole, nutritional foods more affordable. If you look around here in Kentucky, it seems the poorer you are, the fatter and less healthy you are. It's simply less expensive to eat off the dollar menu at some fast food giant than it is to buy good food. I'm not poor by any means, but I find myself having to compromise when selecting between organic and non-organic foods. I simply can't afford to eat the way I really want to. It's not "let them eat cake" anymore, it's "let them eat GMO's, pesticide laden fruits & vegetables, and hormone & steroid injected meats".

    January 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  47. Michael DeGrande

    The reason that there is not much headway in the fight against obesity is because of the fact that these foods are the most cheap and inexpensive. I am a college student and some of the cheapest and most cost effective foods are the ones that are the worst for me. Ramen noodles, for example, have more sodium than any person should eat in a given day, let alone a meal time. Also frozen foods which are full of tons of preservatives and other unnatural for us. If the government used some of the millions that they waste on useless parts of our government for the subsidies of more healthy and natural foods for people, than maybe those people who can't always afford those foods would be able to. In short, the cost of the good foods is too high compared to the cheap price of food bad for your health.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  48. Jk from Minnesota

    KLet's see, we've had the First Lady out there promoting healthier eating and exercise and being criticized severly from the right. I'm sure there are also lobbyists ffor the various food industries that do not want people to eat responsibly. And let's face it, many Americans want to live to excess until it affects their health. Add in the fact that it cost a lot more to eat healthier foods and given the lower incomes many Americans are faced with in this era of corporate greed and it's the perfect sotrm for unchecked obesity.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  49. Sylvia from San Diego

    Quite simple.... We have removed phys ed out of the school program. All kids starting in K through highschool should be required to take phys ed every day for at least 1 hour.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm |

    Here's why, Jack: "What would you like to drink with your dinner, sir? What kind of appetizer would you like tonight? Now, what kind of HUGE entree will you be having? And now, which one of our wonderful desserts will you be having even though I know you must be as stuffed as a Thanksgiving turkey?" That's why, Jack.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  51. Randy

    Why? Because I passed a mcdonalds who was selling mcnuggets 20 for $5, when I checked out at publix that same night with 2 red bell peppers they cost me $5.95. You would figure with all the free trading (outsourcing) and farm subsidies we give away, our healthy food would be a lot cheaper.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  52. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    it's called "fast food", Jack. people LOVE all the salt and fat. it tastes GOOD.

    AND most people trying to stretch a food budget get a lot more "bang for their buck" with filling high fat and carb foods than with fresh produce and other healthy alternatives. it's a prescription for "porking on the pounds"

    January 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  53. Rick, Medina, OH


    Too many people never really learn to cook; they live on fast food and snacks, and when they do spend a few minutes in the kitchen, it's to brown some meat and mix in the contents of a box or can. Read the labels on that stuff ... loaded with sugar, salt, and chemicals most of us can't even pronounce. Healthy eating begins with healthy food preparation.

    Medina, OH

    January 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  54. Dee, New York

    There are lots of reasons why America is losing the battle in the fight against obesity. Our whole culture has changed. With working moms, there is a tendency to grab high calorie food from the many fast food chains. With the advent of computers and video games, we tend to be more sedentary. Kids don't seem to play outside as much as they used to. If a kid starts out heavier, it doesn't get any easier to lose the weight as he gets older. Junk food is all too accessible. We guzzle down hundreds of empty calories in the form of soda drinks. Portion size has increased over the years. We are bombarded continually with food ads on tv. In our rushed lifestyle, we don't pay attention to what and how much we are eating and sometimes we are eating for all the wrong reasons. Even foods that appear to be healthier with "low fat" on their label, have had their fat replaced by sugar calories. We need to slow down, read labels, and pay attention to what we are feeding ourselves and our families.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  55. Tina Tx

    Gee Jack apparently you have not eaten at a place that is all you can eat & then you will see why people do not loose weight. They eat like there is no tomorrow and if the place runs out of food they will gnaw off the legs on the table.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  56. Michael DeGrande

    Forgot to put my city/state. Saginaw, Michigan.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  57. Nate NC

    America has no limiting factor or sense of restraint. We constantly consume, not just food, but things that we want. Society caters to give each individual what they want rather than what they need. Therefore, with no limiting factor, why would anyone want to work to lose weight when they can still buy (consume) a shake that supposedly cures unwanted weight-gain even after eating fatty foods and not exercising.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  58. Gigi Oregon

    Can you imagine how many jobs would be lost if the government tried to meddle in the food industry. Why don't we put gym classes back in the schools to help children exercise some of that fat off. And one parent learn to stay home and prepare healthy meals. Instead of coming home after school to a dark house with a donut over the top of a bottle of pop for an afternoon snack before dinner. And don't forget that sack of burgers or chicken from the fast food restaurant for supper...

    January 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  59. Loren

    Healthy food costs more. Exercise programs have a price tag. And bad habits are hard to break.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  60. toni from OK

    Obseity is a known factor for a less healthy long life and higher health care cost. We have people in our family who struggle with this too. Not me but relatives.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  61. Charles - San Antonio

    It's this new fangled technology innovations. Just think about it. When I was a kid, I would get up to chnage the television channel. Now we have remote controls. We had to get up to answer the phone. Now we just pull iphones out of our pockets. When we went surfing, we went to the ocean and got on our boards. Now we just turn on the computer. Yea, it technology.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  62. Ed from MD

    Ask somebody what fasting means and it means going to Mc D's.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  63. andyz Lynn, MA

    Jack, we're not making any progress against land whales, a.k.a. obese people, because we are looking at the result, not the cause. Let's be smart and treat this like cigarettes. Let's tax burgers, fries etc at a high rate. If a burger costs $15 – 20.00, People that continue to eat this heart sludge can probably afford health insurance.Caveat emptor – Let the buyer beware!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  64. wayne, va beach, va

    If Americans weren't fat, OMAR, the tent maker would starve.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  65. David Doherty

    Jack the reason we can't make any progress is because of all the lobbyist the junk food inc. have pushing thier crap!
    When congress comes to realize that the health of our nation is more important than money, this is when we'll make some progress, so in other words, never.
    Dave from NH.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  66. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Because we're the land of plenty?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  67. Josh from New Jersey

    Plain n simple..."It's the economy Stupid!" it's less expensive and much easier to be obese. Fast food is cheaper and quicker than ever to get. While healthy food comes at a much more expensive and slower rate. Many people try to lose weight and quickly realize that they will lose a lot of money trying to lose a couple pounds. The truth is the powers that be don't want a skinny America, a fat America provides them with a more comfortable ride!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  68. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    People are lazy today and enjoy fast food and fatty foods. Since cheap food for many Americans is free, ie food stamps then it stands to reason that we'll take the easier softer way and just eat. We won't change until there is no food to eat and at the rate our country is going that won't be too much longer. Have a piece of chocolate cake and two or three soft drinks for supper Jack.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  69. Bubba

    Oh for crying out loud!! What's the government got to do with it? Just what we need more government bureaucracy and interference with our lives. Oh wait what's that I hear? Is it the sound of more legislation and new taxes on what they deem 'fat' food? Unless I'm way off base, no body forces anyone to open their mouths, chew or swallow anything they don't want to. Maybe we should quit thing 'government' as a fix to our problems and instead think 'personal responsibility'. You're old enough to remember when that concept was part of everyday life, aren't you Jack?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  70. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    First I am glad the U.S. did not declare war on obesity, there is not a lot of success in wars, including, drugs, cancer, diabetes or whatever. Anyway, people do not pay attention to the policy of "do as I say, not as I do" ! Congress is fat, the Senate is fat, the budget is obese and already is ordering dessert. Lots o luck......pot luck, that is.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  71. Thom Richer

    Corporate profits based on make a buck no matter what it takes. Bottom line guides America today. No concern for the individual is accepted corporate policy and attitude. Same goes for those who make the laws ...Congress. No common sense or decency in business today. Prey on the weak and the money will roll in.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    January 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  72. Pete/Ark

    Jack it's got nothing to do with the U.S. It is about individuals. Some are not prone to obesity,some are...some will fight it,some won't. The impact may have some national implications,but a solution cannot be forced, or legislated. "Fat" is the last bastion of individual freedom.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  73. Pat in Michigan

    we cannot make any progress in obesity when the govt. aids in promoting the disease by tasking our corporations to poison us with food additives that target the poor and minorities in this country.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  74. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    It's an individual choice, not a goverment one. Everyone has their own agency and can decide for themselves how to eat. Never mind what Michele Obama says. That's what adults can do in a "semi-free" country.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  75. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    It's because people hate the idea of being what they can and can't eat. I eat alot of fatty foods, and yet I've only gained 2 lbs..I'm at an unhealthy 122 lbs, which for my age is considered too thin. Now, while I don't gorge myself on fatty foods, I would be really angry if the government tried to tell me what I can and can't eat...or tried to tax the foods I eat because of their fat content.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  76. Virginia Atlanta

    Snake oil diets. Most diets don't work and if they do work it is very hard to maintain the weight loss. contributing factors include: advertising, depression, poverty ( cheap filling foods usually have more calories than healthy foods) education about food ( Michele Obama is working on this aspect). It is expensive to buy fresh vegetables, preparing food from scratch is time consuming and prepared meals have more fat and preservatives. Working folks lack time and energy to prepare food correctly even if they know how to do do.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  77. Chip Vogel

    Look on the bright side, we've hit peak fat

    January 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  78. marybeth, massachusetts


    There's no easy answer to this question. It isn't a matter of laziness, or gluttony or not being able to push yourself away from the table. Some of it is genetic; some of it is lifestyle; some of it is environmental; some of it is social class (wealthy vs poor); some of it is what is in our food; a lot of it is cost. Many poor people are obese because good food (healthy food, such as fresh fruits and vegetables) are very costly. It is cheaper to buy junk food to feed your family than it is to buy healthy food. When you have to make your grocery money stretch, you buy the cheap, processed (and fatty) foods. Many poor people live in communities that aren't safe (kids can't play outside) and they don't have sidewalks and parks where you can walk for exercise.

    Technology has also contributed to obesity–kids and adults spend more time in front of screens (tv, computer) today than they did 20 or 30 years ago. Schools, under pressure from parents, administrators, states, etc., have cut out recess and phys ed and added more study time so kids can pass those standardized tests (thanks NCLB).

    And lastly, there will always be people who, even though they know that being obese isn't good for their health, will continue to eat themselves to 500 pounds because they don't want anyone, especially their doctor or their spouse or their kids, telling them what to do.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  79. Mark in Houston

    Moved to Texas in 86 and learned pretty quickly that the men here didn't consider themselves fat till they reached 300 lbs...any thing under that and you're..."just big". And last month I was told that pizza was a vegetable.

    With that kind of mind set what does one expect the results to be.


    January 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  80. Olga O. Pina

    this country is addicted to sugar, fat and carbs. Diabetes runs in my family and obesity is a key factor that I have worked on all my life. I am on medication and take care of my condition.

    The love for sugar, fat and carbs in this country is an epidemic. It affects everyone. It impacts the cost of health care, the health care industry by blocking care for others with major illnesses. PREVENTIVE CARE is a key to avoid this catastrophic illness. I call this an illness of choice, and the consequences are terrible!

    Thank you for bringing this up on your show!

    Austin, Texas

    January 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  81. Ed from California

    It's simple lazyness on all participants, parents and children alike. It's easier to graze at Mickey D's, than make something healthy in the kitchen. Yes, food prices are sky high, but, cooking is a lot cheaper than having it, "your way", on a nightly bases.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  82. Claudia in Buffalo

    Because every time someone tries to do something about it people scream that we're living in a nanny state. How much did the GOP support the First Lady with her efforts to reduce childhood obesity? The country is far too partisan to look out for their own best interest since all issues are divided along political lines. Let's face it, nothing positive can happen in a country where sides are so polorized that even good ideas are buried under a mountain of demagoguery.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  83. Jeff in Minnesota

    this is a personal responsibility issue Jack. the government has nothing to do about it. until people own up to their responsibility, the problem will be a problem. it's an example of the age old adage, " you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink."

    January 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  84. Will Idaho

    Just ask Paula Deen.... there is your answer.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  85. Travis

    Pretty simple. Parents are getting lazier, kids are getting lazier and the quality of food has gone way down. Pair all three together and you've got a pretty sizable obesity epidemic.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  86. Martha Campbell

    People have free will, they are lazy, have access to fast foods and pre-prepared food, and don't want to bother cooking at home anymore. It is very easy to make healthy meals at home...but we have become a society who eats fast food at every turn. It's too much trouble to steam some broccoli and throw a baked potato in the oven. Whatever.


    January 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  87. Sarah A

    We are approaching it with treatment rather than prevention. We aren't focusing enough the built environment and how it influences health and obesity. We must approach it at the root of the problem as opposed to working backwards and expecting results.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  88. Ed Fern

    Jack, I'll comment on your question in just a few minutes, as soon as I finish my pie.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  89. david

    They have tied obesity to stress do we have any of that around in our lives today!

    January 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  90. Jonathan

    It's not America's fault that we're fat. Obama didn't come to my house and point a gun to my head and say "Eat a Big Mac." No, we know what's good and what's bad, and we always have good ole diet and exercise to make us fit and healthy. So if the US can't make any progress, it's because US citizens aren't making any progress.

    Oh Jack, by the way, I love the way you say diabetes. Diabitis.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  91. Hamid

    As long as pizza is recognized as vegetable by our "leaders"....case closed

    January 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  92. Jim Ervin

    Good day,
    I am a cook myself and when Paula Deen came out recently ..... 3 years after her diagnosis of type 2 diabetes,...... I tweeted her saying Bravo...... and Kudo's ! Just like any true recipe.... you prepare, test, and then serve it.
    She is serving what she knows..... cut her some slack... you will see some good changes, including a thinner young america, once we all get it. Thank You. J

    January 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  93. Jon from Tempe, Az

    It is the society we live in. We have so much unhealthy, fast food readily available. Countries that do not have as bad a rate of obesity do not have near as much access to unhealthy fast food. I think that perhaps a tax on unhealthy foods, sort of like we have taxes on tobacco products, would help a great deal to help curb it. It would cut our health costs for medicaid and medicare and it would make us more healthy.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  94. Anna

    Because lobbyists representing fast food chains influence government and politicians to not take serious action towards eating healthy like changing what is served in school cafeterias. The majority of congress agreed that ketchup is a vegetable for gosh sakes!

    January 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  95. frank dileo

    we live in a fast food society. instant gratification and a lack of self control. it is not the governments fault or even the childs fault they are obese. they do not know any better. parents are failing their children by being too lazy to cook a good meal since its easier to go through the drive thru and stuff a big mac in their mouth. the information is out there they choose to ignore it.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  96. Vince Hugh Atlanta

    Jack, we can stop the obesity problem, but its actually a plot initiated by Bush and other white folks to shorten the lifespan of minorities. (I would say that many of your liberal kool-aid drinking viewers probably actually believe that).

    January 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  97. Mark from Naperville

    The entire topic is full of hypocracy. CNN reports on this epidemic, right after McDonals's commericals.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  98. Ed in southern Alabama

    I can sum it up in three words, Jack. Fast food restaurants. They do the most damage to the obesity of our country.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  99. Donna from Texas

    Many of these children are fed by their schools, in the free breakfast/lunch program, getting two-thirds of their daily calories from government-sactioned foods and menues. Surely there is a correlation?

    January 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  100. Omar

    Because they are not true believers in both a higher power from the outside world, and believers in any person within us as a true leader, or someone who is a mentor that inspire us. It has nothing to do with religion, neither prophets. it is a personal thing, and it took me 27 years to get to this conclusion. Once i did, i lost weight, and i am fully satisfied with the way i look. I am on no diet, and i do not even go to the gym. Hope that helped.


    January 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  101. pad

    Jack the jobs are gone for ever and the fat is here till the food stamps are stopped.Just the way it goes.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  102. Bob, in Florida

    Ha, ha, ha. You made me laugh, with this question, Jack. Simplicity dictates that oral pleasure and MONEY govern our weight. We gorge, corporations swallow huge profits. It is a wonder that the pharmasceutical industry does not own the snack food sector.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  103. Dale from VA

    Easy answer.. MONEY! All you need to do is look at how much the pharmaceutical industry makes from all the diseases that branch from obesity. Who would want to give up that much profit?

    January 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  104. Jane in CA

    Come on, Jack. The people with money have a vested interest in highly processed, high fat, high levels of additives, high calorie and low nutrient foods. How many ads do you see for asparagus and oranges. Without sauce, or in juice form? Lunchables should be called "Eat Now, Die Early". Look at kids menus – hot dogs or grilled cheese, with fries. If there is something healthy on the menu, how many kids turn up their nose or say "Yuk"? Pepperoni pizza, but not one with all Veggies. Mac and Cheese, from a box or microwave please. And please coat the carrot sticks with 200 calories of ranch dressing. And the cost of fresh foods? Just try pricing 1000 calories of fresh vegetables. You could eat for days off a fast food "value menu" for the same price. Less nutrition, but lots more calories. The number of reasons is comparable to the ad budget of the food industry.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  105. Tom Kerr

    The government SHOULDN'T be tring to fight obesity! It is not the governments job to tell us how to live – up to and including how to eat. Besides giving schools more money to allow for recess and gym class, leave my fat *butt* alone. Remember what former host on a competing network said: Nudge...Push...SHOVE!

    January 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  106. billy

    Because Pizza is a vegetable

    January 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  107. Mike from Maryland

    I was just in Walmart and saw a girl no older than 17 or 18 riding around in one of those electric shopping carts simply because she was fat. She walked in store and got on cart. She probably had handicap parking tag and parked in one of the dozens of handicap spots close to the store. Stop issuing handicap tags for obese people, stop letting them use the electric carts they need to walk for it is the only exercise they might get.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  108. Andrew

    Some people acquire the genes that make it hard on them to lose weight. I know people who are living a healthy life style, exercising and sleeping seven hours a day and yet it gets nothing but worse for them. Maybe we should start considering the fat suction surgeries for those people who have given up on losing weight?

    January 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  109. Heather

    To ask this country to heal people is to ask business to pick people over money. There is no money in healthy individuals. This why there is no regulation to manufactured foods offered through out the entire food system! To truly fix this process society is looking at completely reverting back to pre "fast food & pre made" food days. Let's be honest-where is the money in that?

    January 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  110. Susan from Idaho

    Fluffy folks make the point that fatty foods are cheaper. Then after they get more weight on than their joints can handle they make the point it hurts to walk.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  111. Zahra

    Instead of government control, how about some SELF control? Do you really want the government telling you what you can and cannot eat? Food for thought.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  112. Flyingwolf from Manchester, NH

    The reason why the US can't make any progress against obesity: Most americans feel that their right to eat greasy fatty comfort foods is next to their right to have guns and to praise Jesus. When Barack Obama referred to those hopeless people who relied on bullets and Bibles, he should have added burgers as well.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  113. Danny K.

    (Long Island) Jericho, NY

    I think some blame goes to the fast food industry. While these new "healthy" menus seem to be popping up everywhere, many of them are actually just as fattening compared to other menu choices. But most of all, I think public education is the most important. We see clean coal commercials, reusable energy advertisements, and the torturing GOP attacks. But do we see any commercials trying to educate the public about unhealthy food habits? I haven't.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  114. Sean

    Peoppe are lazy and McDonalds has buy one get one free BigMacs -___-

    January 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  115. Natalie

    The answer to this question is multifaceted but let me just hit on a couple quick "socio-economic and historical facts" for consideration.

    During this nation's Great Migration – (look it up people) many minorities moving north from the south tended to settle in and around major metropolitan areas in hopes of finding work close to home so that their commute would be shortened.

    Gentrification occurred, but inner cities and the residents there were left with mom and pop corner grocers, liquor stores and hair care stores owned many times by indian and asian immigrants offering very little options for healthy foods. Instead these entrepreneurs who were often granted loans Blacks could not get, specialized in bleeding the Blacks dry of the lessened incomes offering starchy carbs and snack foods, alcohol and hair products.

    Fast forward to today, this is why Michelle Obama started the move to create innter city gardens hoping to offer innre city dwellers healthier food fare and affordably.

    End of this American story! next?

    January 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  116. Zeno

    Jack. Unfortunately the U.S. can't do diddly squat for African-American women in reducing their obesity rate. I'm African American and I have obese women in my family and they admit that they do not work-out because they do not want to sweat out their hair after paying good money to have it done more than once a month. Plus, it doesn't help that there are only liquor stores, corner stores with junk food, and fast food establishments in black communities.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  117. Annie, Atlanta

    Tony from Southport just went militant, Jack. You can usually tell when they use all caps. He must want his double whopper with extra mayo.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  118. Jim from NH

    Obesity will never be resolved in this country until the schools start investing in physical education again. when i was a kid i had PE at least 3 times a week. My son is lucky if he gets PE in his school 1 time every other week.

    Also don't you think all the Mcdonalds, Wendys, Burger Kings etc... have something to do with this epidemic? its their fault for not providing heathier foods. Why dont we start having them chip in for obesity related health issues like the tobacco industry does?

    January 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  119. Clay Wild

    Jack it's because the one entity that has more power to affect childhood obesity than any other, the government, is too focused on minutae and petty differences to deal with the issue. Not to mention that when someone in the government does try and confront the issue, say Michelle Obama, the fear-mongerers get up in arms and cry government takeover. If this country really wants to reduce childhood obesity, then it is time to let the government do one of the only things it can do right, which is promote public health and make sure parents are doing their job.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  120. Selah Davenport

    Are you telling me that the French or Italian don't have a love of sugar, fat or carbs!? Yet they don't have the same health issues Americans do? Could it be that they don't have all the crappy snack food? In my opinion, the power of marketing and big business has a part to play in this...all the commercials for chips, pop, cereal, and fast food has done exactly what those companies have wanted them to do...put money in the bank!

    January 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  121. tommi stephenson

    I I believe that the obesity epidemic is due to lifestyle. Parents don't have time to cook and rely too heavily on fast food. The reason they don't cook is that they don't have time. They don't have time because they work too much. They work too much because they don't have money. They don't have money and can't afford to buy healthy food. If you can buy a bunch of broccoli for the price of a 2 liter of soda, it would help!

    January 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  122. sun city walt

    It's called entitlements. We've been taught via commercials, via menus in restaurants, via fast food places on every street corner, via school menus, via overflowing plate servings whenever we eat out, via school food subsidies to stuff ourselves with bad food choices. The you deserve it mentality has been promoted in every aspect of our modern culture.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  123. Jason

    I was going to post an answer but I just agree above with Thom Richer from MI.
    BC, Canada

    January 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  124. Jeff

    I wish people would get off of Paula Dean case about her cooking. My Grandparents my parents and myself and sisters all grew up eating fatty food deep fried foods and none of us are fat and all in good heath. People need to get off their asses and do something other then sit in front of a TV or computer and move around a little. I love my deep fried foods but I also know how to deal with it I work out.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  125. Michaelfrom Lynbrook, NY

    Hey Jack,

    I am a chef by trade and a teacher of culinary arts by profession. The U.S.A is a capitalistic society and it will sell anything to anyone in order to make a profit. Companies are not so much willing to promote healthy eating as much as they are willing to create foods at a low cost, are addictive and will make them rich.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  126. Jay Monson

    I'm a chef. People are obese because our society lives on a convenience basis. It's whatever is easiest. It's either we are too busy to feed ourselves properly or we are too LAZY to do it. I think the there is a mix of both. Alot of why people are obese is the overflooding of commercials and media, basically telling us it's ok. "Go ahead, eat all you want."

    January 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  127. Yuri from florida

    Jack, it all starts during childhood. It is no longer ok to walk up to a child and call him or her fat. People in this country have strayed away from simplicity for fear that calling a child fat can incite some sort of developmental disability down the road. An overweight child grows up to be an overweight adult who has overweight children thus perpetuating endless circle of passing the "fat gene" down the gene pool.

    I say we need to start calling people fat and not just behind the curtain but to their face and start making decisions for people since they can't make that decision themselves. A child is fat... it should be school's priority to put that child through rigorous exercise program daily, if adult is fat then we need to increase their medical expenses 3 fold until they get in shape. We also need to stop catering to fat people. Make plane seats smaller, make fat people pay double if they cant fit into 1 seat. Entice people to want to lose weight and give them a goal. For example: if you are fat and lose 75% of your weight through diet and exercise then you get tax breaks, lower insurance rates, other benefits and financial incentives for 1 year.

    The day we start alienating fat people is the day they get in shape. Look at Africans in Africa-they are all skinny. Look at Latinos in South America... they are almost never obese. Look at Asia... skinny asians... but not in America.

    Biggest problem in this country with obesity is not the fact that so many people are obese but because it is not ok for 75% of population to tell fat people that they are indeed fat. Since when did that happen?

    January 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  128. Devo

    David Kessler, former head of the FDA, while on an episode of Charlie Rose, revealed that the combination of fat, sugar & salt was more addicting than nicotine...now to put this in some perspective that most of your viewers will revile endlessly, nicotine has been scientifically proven to be six times more addicting than any of the illicit drugs, as per Norman Ornstein, Phd, the brilliant brain research scientist....I'm certainly not suggesting a "War on Food" here, mostly since seemingly all of the other wars have been such dismal failures.

    That is why the grocery stores are loaded to the gills with the stuff, to supply those strung out on fat, sugar & salt their endless need for a fix.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  129. Loren Helmuth

    I am a Surgeon, and everytime I see an obese person come into my, I groan inwardly, because of the much higher risk in taking care of them. It seems like no amount of pleadiing is effective in getting people to lose weight. There are many reasons – well, no there is just one really: putting more calories in than are burned. Bad eating habits, low level exercise, lack of discipline. Gov't and insurances should not pay for the extra care these require, since it comes from the pockets also of we who are not obese.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  130. Natalie

    Heres my question which seems a bit ironic: Anybody been to Walmart recently and looked at their food stuffs particularly seafood? Hells bells every last bit of it is shipped here from CHINA...A country who is continually in the news for poisoning its own people and babies while cutting financial corners. Could it be a bit of unexpected karma from those left to fend for themselves in our big inner cities suffering from takeover by self absorbed money making entrepreneurs killing the inner city dwellers with their starchy high priced carb offerings....take that suburbanite walmart China supporters!hahaha

    January 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  131. Shawn

    You can't legislate laziness

    January 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  132. Bender, South Africa

    Its Simple Jack. Close the doors of every McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell and KFC. No wait... i like KFC, in moderation. That's the Key Word here... Moderation. You close those doors and the doors of all the other filth that passes for food in America and the problem is solved.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  133. Omar

    All the reasons mentioned above and below my comment are related to believing.. believing in something, and in someone.. cause again, once you do, you will know what is right and what is wrong, and you will do what is right, and will not do what is wrong. You will also allow what is right, and stand up to what is wrong, and speak the truth. So whether if it was a lifestyle, or what how media influences the public with what they wish, or the government, or who ever, again, its a personal thing... a thing for each and everyone of us to become good looking or otherwise...

    Omar – Montreal

    January 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  134. J Bieber, Kansas

    It's pretty simple. It doesn't matter what you eat, if you don't exercise you won't lose weight. Too many Americans are just lazy. With so many unhealthy foods (in ridiculously large portions) at their disposal, people choose to stuff their faces for a dollar rather than taking the initiative to live a healthy life. Instant gratification is a far worse problem that we face in this country.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  135. Joe in Massachusetts

    Jack, A big reason we cannot make any progress on obesity, is that the top officials at the Agriculture Dept, who publishes the food pyramid, etc, come from the Beef Industry, Dairy Association, etc. Switching to a plant based diet, as proposed by Dr Caldwell Essylstyn, Cleveland Cliniv, and Dr Colin Cambell who wrote Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, and The China Study respectively, have proved beyond doubt that most desease can be prevented, and wight loss achieved by swithing to a plant based diet, If there are any doubters, watch the documentary called Forks Over Knives. Sanjay Gupta is aware of this in his show he did.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  136. Travis Braden

    Because of the over availability of processed foods, and cost of fresh produce and meats. Inflation and gas prices have driven my food costs up over 30% in the last two years. Also because of the financial situations modern families are currently facing. Americans are over worked, over stressed, and as a result or health as a nation suffers.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  137. Eren from NY

    I think that the US can't make much progress on the fight of obesity because of all of the things happening around the globe. It's almost as if it seems this topic is invisible. Everything from the middle east to the Republican Debate to new news and problems, happening everyday, people think that there is no time to get this fixed. But there is . It just seems that Michelle Obama is the only person on Earth, who really cares about this. As a 13 year old I too don't want to be fat, and I have to look at what I eat, I also don't want America to become any fatter as well. We as a nation can fix this problem, if we just take a deep look at this specific problem and figure out answers, and new ways. Oh, by the way I'm not your average teenager, I love CNN and politics, and I always will!

    January 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  138. Mike from Maryland

    Walmart Jack it is Walmart. They sell gigantic packages of junk food at dirt cheap prices that feeds the addiction of obese people and their kids. I get furious when I see an obese mom with a couple of obese kids with a cart load of candy and cookies and ice cream and sodas. It is child abuse to feed kids so much of that junk. Some of these people can barely walk, they waddle and have trouble breathing and knowing how bad they feel they still give the kids that same diet of fat and junk.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  139. Rainer

    Big corporate conglomerates dominate our culture's view of food in America. They make the biggest profits by pushing cheap and highly processed junk food on people. In fact, these companies count on consumers not to make healthy choices in order to sell their products in the mass quantities they currently produce. Of course, many people might blame the obesity levels on the consumers, but when our media and stores are over saturated with misleading labels and food packaging, the influence that these big companies have on consumers can't be ignored. We need to set serious limits and guidelines on food companies in this country and we need to do so efficiently.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  140. Dr Begun

    Its very simple. Too many poeple make money off of getting people fat, including but not limited to fast food restaurants, junk food and processed food manufacturers, soda drink makers, etc.
    The government needs to step it up and limit unhealthy food options. It is a free country, but selling detrimental and unhealthy foods should be restricted.
    As an MD and part of the medical community, we see the downstream effects, and they're not pretty. I encourage anyone to see (and smell) a diabetic gangrenous foot!

    January 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  141. halie

    Maybe if people got off their computers and went outside once in a while and walked around- we wouldn't have this problem. No one is forcing people to overeat- Americans are just lazy-over-eaters who sit on their butts all day and shovel food down their throats.

    You don't see this problem in other countries- they to live- not live to eat.

    The kids in this country are being babysat by the tv and internet- when I was a kid- you were made to go outside and play no matter what was on tv- you actually PLAYED. Imagine that- kids nowadays- PLAYING ! OMG_ What an idea- can you imagine a day you bring your kids to Mac Donalds and they don't supersize thier meals? Pay for only the kids meal and if they don't eat it- they don't get more. Time to go old school on America and get up off your butts !

    January 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  142. Bill B

    No one seems to look at what has changed in our worid..Additives in our water and food is the answer..but they are gov't mandated.. Our bodies aren't working like normal

    January 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  143. Angelo from Florida

    Tearing just another strip from our dwindling freedoms.. Does it stop here?

    January 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  144. kaitlin bezuyen

    The public is entitled to their fattening food! Why would anyone believe that the food they eat is a major contributing factor to their weight? It tastes too good and it would not be fair if what they love negatively affected them so they choose to neglect the facts.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  145. Horacio Bonetti

    Fat is not the problem, is sugar, corn syrup carbohydrate, the Republican candidates, congress and Barac Obama

    January 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  146. Erina from NY

    As a 10 year, I am very passionate about this topic. Most local schools don't help with the progression of obese children because they would sell sweets such as lollipops, and other foods with large amounts of sugar and fat. Since the percentage of obese people are already very barbaric I believe that this problem will only get better.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  147. Shahida- Vancouver, Canada

    Cooking together, eating as a family was and still is in some households a way of life. I am a mother of three boys, have always worked full time, taken my boys for soccer, hockey, etc.
    Why have we become so lazy? I have seen people grab prepared/frozen foods instead of fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. Somehow the commenter 'Toronto' seems to think the prepared foods are cheaper. I can challenge anyone I can cook for less than the 'manufactures' of food.
    I like you Jack. You are good.


    January 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  148. Lost

    People just don't like being lectured, and told that they have to change anything in their lives. Even if it's for their own good.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  149. Danny

    Danny from California, Jack I'm afraid it by design,schools cut physical education classes for more instruction time churning out student that can hardly read.im sure there's drugs out there can put a stop to almost and health risk we face but where's the profit in that drug when they have so many others the can give you long term and make loads of money and the money lost just in health care visits would put all doctors out of work,kind of like a one sheet tax form would do to the accountants,or clear laws that would collapse the legal system,imagine a world with out governments no war machine jack I'm really not a conspiracy guy but sometimes they make more sence than the powers that rule.theres answers to all the worlds problems and most very uncostly and simple but then why would we have to pay these idiots to fight each other over both parties ineffectivness

    January 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  150. Katie Nuzum

    Jack, it is due to a combination of reasons and environmental causes. It's difficult to narrow it down to one. However, I would like to point out that it is MUCH more expensive to purchase organic or wholesome health foods. It is MUCH cheaper to purchase processed foods with artificial fillers, sweeteners, and God knows what else is put in them to cut costs. It's no wonder why the ethnic groups are suffering more! Get the fillers, high fructose corn syrup, dyes, ect. out of American food if we have any hope for a healthy weight. Americans live in a fast paced economy and the food options for that lifestyle are atrocious. If I am out and needing a bite to eat, I am forced to SEARCH for a decent bite with fast food options screaming at me on every corner.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  151. Mattie

    No progress on weight loss: 1. Fat and starchy foods cheaper and we are poorer right now. 2. Comfort foods are high calorie and the USA is stressed about many things right now. 3. French fries, cake, macaroni & cheese, and sweets are hooked to cultural behaviors and traditions. 4. Even our school nutrition is fatty and sweet and fast food like, how can they be different?

    January 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  152. baz

    She is one of the worst cook in T and she cooks and eat foods, which will cause heart attack and diabetic for most people earlier than late age. Food TV does not advertise or show program that harmful for the people. Most americans are illiterate about health and food and big stomach. They think that they eat best food in the world, but the world is larger than america and americans must take lesson from Japan and other countries who's people are healthy. 99% diseases come from FOODs and Life styles

    January 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  153. Mike from southen MD

    I reject the good food is to expensive argument. Go into any grocery store any day and you can find at leat one or two fruits that are in season and at good price. I bought a two pint of blueberries for 2.99 yesterday that is the same as a box of cookies and is enough for 3-4 people to have a nice snack that is good for them It is all about choices, I see kids who think fruit names are just candy flavors, it is sad that some parents make it that way or allow it to happen that way. Give the kid a banana mom instead of a box of cookies.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  154. Megan

    Obesity is linked to genetics, culture and poverty. We can't change genetics, but we can challenge the acceptance of obesity as normal in specific cultures and regions. We can't eliminate poverty, but we can work to replace the cheap and too easily available fatty/carb loaded and over-processed foods (which provide so little REAL nutrients that the body craves more food, leading to over-eating) with community gardens that provide access to fresh, nutrient rich foods AND a change in cultural norms for that community. Growing your own fruits and vegis helps your health, your spirit and the environment, and it's easier than people think.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  155. Ken in MD

    Because we can't get Americans out of "instant gratification" mode. I want what I want, and I want it now. I don't care about the future.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  156. Chris from Mississippi

    One reason is because of the food that is available. People do not realize it, but there is a hidden genocide in America. A lot of Black communities have fast food restaurants, and it is very hard to eat healthy. The price of eating healthy is much higher than eating in general. People are already struggling to make it, so there is not much extra money in the budget for healthy food. Why spend $50 on a healthy meal, when you can feed the same people with $15 at McDonald's? You do need to eat every day.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  157. Rick - Toronto

    High fructose corn syrup is to blame which has been used as a replacement for sugar since the embargo with Cuba. Fructose is metabolized differently then glucose and some say is the cause for Metabolic X syndrome (Obesity and Type II Diabetes) which is on the rise in USA. This is not occuring in Europe which has a quota for amount of high fructose corn syrup used in the EU.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  158. Dustin - Mississippi

    It cost so much more to cook a healthy meal at home than it does to buy a 99 cent cheeseburger and fries or a 5 dollar pizza! As a single unemployed father of two the cheaper route is sometimes the only way I can feed my children!

    January 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  159. Gus, in SE Michigan

    Unless obesity is caused by a medical conditiion, obesity is a personal issue/lifestyle choice. Self-control is the "cure." We certainly do not need the federal government making any more laws or implementing any new regulations that will take away our freeedom to pig out!

    January 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  160. Natalie

    Lets as Newt Gingrich...he's obese, fat, white and wealthy...maybe he knows the answer

    January 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  161. deemarie in sweet home oregon

    This is where the Consumption tax comes in Jack

    January 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  162. Megan

    As long as nutrient-poor, fatty, over-processed, flavor enhanced and high carb food choices remain significantly less expensive than healthier options; as long as certain cultures, such as African-American, Hispanic, Southern and poor cultures accept obesity as normal; as long as playing video games and sitting in front of a computer replace physical activity as the favorite hobby of so many – the best we can hope for is keeping the rate of obesity from growing.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  163. Mary from Tesuque

    Advertising, Agribusiness, processed food, pharmaceutical companies (i.e. Paula Deen!).
    We need to emphasize a whole foods approach to food (eat that which is NOT advertised on TV) and help people to reconnect with they're body's natural cravings. The stuff people are consuming is destroying the body's' signals so that people continue to consume attempting to satiate, with food that lacks in real nutrients.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  164. KATHRYN

    We are a profit economy, not preventative. The pharmaceutical and insurance industry is banking on the fast food and poor grade school dieting. As long as these companies make money off medications and mortality, we will not see our shoes blocked by our waistlines again!

    January 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  165. Mark N

    I love how everyone blames someone else for their obesity

    January 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm |