The obesity epidemic is taking its toll on society.  Although North Americans make up a relatively small proportion of the world’s population (6%), they make up an embarrassing 34% of the world’s weight (according to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)!  This affects not only America’s health care costs and our standard of living, but also the environment and national security as well!

1.  Standard of Living

Obesity-related illnesses (such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease) are the second most popular causes of death. Employment opportunities are also lower for the obese.  Believe it or not, you may be discriminated against because employers will fear you’ll be out more for sick days if you are severely overweight.

2.  National Security

According to Rear Admiral James Barnett, Jr., only 25% of Americans age 17-24 fulfill military requirements.  In fact, 21% of recruits were rejected due to obesity in 2008!!  You may not be ready to drop everything and join the Air Force, but knowing that most if America’s youth physically can’t is a scary thought.

3.  Environment

With Americans eating more food than ever, the population has taken its toll on agricultural sustainability.  Bigger bodies pose an even bigger environmental problem than overpopulation – the obese need more energy to function, which means more food must be produced and consumed.  With no change to eating habits combined with the limited resources available, the obesity epidemic will send us into a food crisis.

What to do?

All of these impacts can be completely avoided with a few life changes. Here at Hitch Fit, we know it’s important to adjust for society’s tendency toward a sedentary lifestyle – the world is less active than ever before.  Workout 30-90 minutes a day, especially if you have a desk job!  Move as much as possible – swap the elevator for the stairs and pick parking spots that are further away from your destination.  Try to get up and walk around two minutes for every hour of sitting.  Don’t forget that eating right is just as healthy as exercise – trade out that soda for water and sugary treats for vegetables.  This is too big of a problem to ignore – it’s time to get Hitch Fit!