We have an obesity problem in this country, and studies show it’s only going to get worse as our nation’s children morph into gigantic couch potatoes.


A new study tells us that 57% of today’s children will be obese by the time they are 35. And if a child is obese when they are young, chances are overwhelming that they will stay that way.

Obesity is a real problem in our country, not just for adults but also for children. There are many reasons for this. For lots of families, it has to do with economics: healthier foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, are more expensive than processed, unhealthy foods.

That last part is a lie.

Vegetables are not more costly than processed foods.

Let me give you an example:

One head of cauliflower costs about 2.00. You can yield about 4-6 cups of florets from the average head and could easily feed a family of four as a healthy side dish.

Compare that to the cost of a bag of (name brand) tater tots for 4.00 that will feed a family of four.

And don’t get me started on how cheap (and healthy) frozen vegetables are…

The reason many people skip past “healthy food” isn’t because it costs so much more, it’s because it’s more work to prepare, and for most, cauliflower doesn’t taste as good as crispy, delicious tater tots dipped in ranch dressing.

And when you’re addicted to high-carb processed foods, a single serving of cauliflower won’t give you that same “overly full” feeling that you’re used to.

But something’s gotta give – the excuses need to stop because research shows that by the year 2030, nearly half of Americans will be obese.

LA Times:

A tidal wave of fat, and the ailments that come with it, now appears virtually inevitable in the United States.

New research finds that by 2030, nearly half of American adults — 49.2% to be exact — will be obese. In every single state, no fewer than 35% of adults will have a body mass index of at least 30, the threshold that defines obesity.

However, it’s not just the high-fat/high-calorie/high-carb processed foods that are to blame. Yes, they’re one of the main culprits of the obesity epidemic in this country, but they’re not the only cause.

There’s much more to this sad story than meets the eye.

One of those “sad” parts of the story is the outrageous portions many people are eating these days.

If Americans were able control themselves and eat sensible portions we’d have a lot fewer morbidly obese people in medical peril right now.

The term “everything in moderation” has seemingly fallen by the wayside.

Perhaps the idea of “everything” in moderation is a bit too outlandish for some, but when you take that old adage and use it in the proper context it’s a great way to add balance to your life.

For example, if you love Wendy’s double cheeseburgers, treat yourself to one every few months, or split one with a friend every now and again.

Everything in moderation.

Double cheeseburgers shouldn’t become a staple of your diet, but for many people, they are.

And as crazy as this might sound, Americans have turned into a twisted version of Henry the VIII – gorging on overflowing platters of decadent food day in and day out.

All that’s missing are beheadings and court jesters.

The Tudor Travel Guide:

While an average Tudor family would have lived on a diet of stewed vegetables, pulses, grains, bacon and some dairy products, Henry himself was offered a tempting array of at least 13 freshly cooked dishes at every meal.

Every day, he would choose from a huge buffet, sampling whatever took his fancy. Recipes for Henry VIII included a variety of pies, game, roasted meats, pottages and sweet dishes such as custards, fritters and jellies.

Sadly, this is the “last supper” mindset many Americans have when they eat – shoveling food in, as if they won’t live to see another meal.

Quantity over quality.

More, more, more.

Many of us grew up with parents who were card-carrying members of the “Clean Plate Club,” and as children, we sat at the kitchen table for hours, refusing to finish what was on our plates. However, many of those same people are now gleefully licking their plates clean and then asking for seconds and maybe even thirds.

Fourths? Could be…

Portions are absolutely out of control in this country.. and the bigger the meal, the more it’s celebrated and touted.

Free side of beef, with every kid’s meal!!!

I exaggerate, but it really is getting ridiculous out there.

Let me give you some examples of just how absurd many “middle class” chain restaurants have gotten with their portions.

A bowl of spaghetti and meatballs at Olive Garden is a whopping 10 ounces of cooked pasta and 3 meatballs at 2 ounces each.

According to the Olive Garden nutritional information, the calories for the meatballs alone are 432.

The pasta and the sauce is roughly 500 calories. So, for one “spaghetti and meatball plate” you’re close to 1000 calories, and that’s not including the extras.

Let’s put together a typical Olive Garden meal with the extras:

Two 8 oz glasses soda (300), one bowl gnocchi soup (250), two bread sticks (280), and tiramisu (250).

Once you add all that up with your spaghetti and meatball plate, you’re now looking at around 2,000 calories, give or take a few, for dinner.

That’s too much food for your average Joe and Jane Blow.

And if you think people aren’t eating that much food, guess again.

They are.

That’s why obesity is such a huge problem – pun intended.

According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, morbidly obese individuals consume 22 calories for every kilogram they weigh to maintain their weight.

But truthfully, it’s not that simple, because so many factors come into play, like height, age, gender etc. So, it’s challenging to get “specific” with this type of information.

According to Live Strong, if you’re a 30-year-old woman who is 5 feet, 6 inches, you’ll need approximately 2,520 calories to maintain your current weight of 300 pounds.

However, an adult 350 pound male will eat roughly 4,000 calories a day to maintain his weight. 

Now, this is just maintenance and not taking into consideration those who are gaining weight. 

So, now you can see how those absurdly oversized portions are fitting very nicely into the new “American diet” right?

As it stands now in America the average 5 feet 6 inch, 20 year old woman weighs 170 pounds.

In 1976-1980, the average weight of a US adult female was 144 pounds. And those numbers will keep getting higher and higher.

So, we know what a huge part of the problem is, but what’s the solution?

The solution starts with educating Americans about what a “single serving” actually looks like. At this point, many don’t have a clue what an actual serving size is.

For example, that heaping 10 ounce bowl of pasta being served at Olive Garden should actually be 2 ounces. And instead of 6 ounces of meatballs, a serving should be around 4 ounces.

This is what a single serving of cooked pasta looks like.

This is what 4 ounces of meat looks like:

Drink water, not soda, and have one breadstick, not two, or three, or four, and split the soup, and desert with your dinner buddy.

Here’s a rough idea of what that dinner would look like calorie wise:

2 ounces cooked pasta: 75 calories.

Half cup marinara: 167 calories.

Two meatballs: 288 calories.

One bread stick: 140 calories.

Half bowl of soup: 125 calories.

Half Tiramisu: 125 calories.

The rough total for that scaled down portion-controlled meal would be: 780 calories.

Still high in carbs, sodium, fat, and sugar, but for this experiment in portion control, it’s a marked difference in terms of calories.

Now, if you prepare that same exact meal at home, it’s even healthier and lower in calories, sodium, fat, sugar, and just better for your body in almost every way imaginable, not to mention your pocketbook.

The bottom line is this – we simply can’t go on this way, eating as if were King Henry, every night of the week.

It’s time for Americans to get focused on not only what they’re putting into their mouths, but how much of it they shoveling in as well.