See What the Cheapest food in History Does to Every 3rd American
According to a new study led by Roland Strum, a senior economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization, Americans now have the cheapest food available in history, which is leading them to pack on the pounds.
The obesity epidemic is affecting all Americans, not just certain groups, according to the study, which was published online May 22 in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
Americans have access to cheapest food in history
According to Sturm and Ruopeng An, an assistant professor in the department of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Americans are spending a smaller share of their income (or corresponding amount of effort) on food than any other society in history or anywhere else in the world, yet get more for it.”
Americans are currently spending one-tenth of disposable income on food, but getting more bang for their buck. That number was one-quarter in the 1930s, and fell to the one-fifth in the ‘50s.
While the researchers noted that there are other factors contributing to the obesity epidemic – including large portion sizes, vending machines, fast food and snack products, as well as increased time in front of the TV or computer – cheap food has the strongest link to obesity.
Over one-third of Americans are obese
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 34.9 percent of adults are obese, while 17 percent of children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. While obesity itself is a concern, it can also lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
Sugar-sweetened beverages also contribute to obesity epidemic
Cheaper food isn’t the only thing contributing to the obesity epidemic in the United States. Recent research from The Obesity Society (TOS) found that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are also contributing to the epidemic, especially among children. TOS defined SSBs as sodas, sports drinks, and other beverages that are primarily made up of water and added sugar. These SSBs comprise 6 to 7 percent of Americans’ overall calorie intake.
A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that obesity causes 18 percent of all deaths in the United States, triple the amount previously estimated by the government. Obesity caused 20 percent of deaths among women and 15 percent of deaths among men.