Americans are fat and getting fatter by the year. Recent data reported in medical journal Lancet showed that BMI (Body Mass Index), a recognized measurement of obesity, is higher on average in America than in any other nation.
The obesity problem, however, is international. The report in Lancet states that "In 2008, 9.8 percent of the world's male population were obese, as were 13.8 percent of women. In 1980, these rates were 4.8 percent and 7.9 percent." US eating habits and diets have been exported, many experts say. Nations which before had relatively lean diets which were high in grains and fruits now consume many more soft drinks and hamburgers.
This trend toward poorer diets has caused obesity to be the most written-about health problem in the United States. Fat Americans are more likely to have diabetes, coronary artery disease, strokes, and certain forms of cancer. Less well reported are links between obesity and dementia, obesity and postmenopausal estrogen receptors, and obesity and social status. Thin people, apparently, are more likely to be chief executives and billionaires. The problem of obesity is so acute that the number of studies about its causes and solutions grows by the day. The journal Health Affairs reported last year that overall obesity-related health spending reaches $147 billion in the US, about double what it was a decade earlier.