For many Americans, healthier foods aren’t as available or affordable as unhealthier foods. When money is tight and two tacos cost less than two apples, sometimes the healthier option isn’t an option at all.
With schools cutting back on physical education and funding from sports programs, getting the right amount of exercise can be challenging if not impossible. It’s no surprise that less than 25% of children six years and older participate in 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
While there are very few obesity genes, there are thousands of genes, markers, and chromosomal regions associated with obesity. Children who are overweight before they enter school are five times as likely to have obesity in high school. And for the first time in history, this generation of children faces a shorter lifespan than their parents due to obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases.
Shamed, Stressed and Sleepless
Stress, weight stigma, and lack of sleep all contribute to obesity. Stress may promote struggles with a healthy lifestyle, increasing the risk of obesity. Weight stigma from health care providers often leads to suboptimal care, and fat-shaming by anyone can increase the odds of developing obesity by six-fold. The combination of stress and negative effects of fat-shaming can lead to health struggles, including sleep loss, which all contribute to poor health and increased weight.