Why Are We Fat?
By Jo Ann LeQuang
In case you haven’t noticed, America is fat. One third of us (35.7%) can be classified as obese according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, keeper of health-related statistics for America. The CDC defines obese as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. You can Google and find BMI calculators online; yours should be right around 25 to be healthy. Researchers are trying to figure out why we have, as a nation, suddenly gone into sweat-pant mode. Watch some old movies or TV shows—from the 1950s and 1960s—and notice how incredibly thin people were then.
Marilyn Monroe’s weight was usually about 118 (she was 5’5”) and her film costumes were fitted for a 22-inch waist. Today’s stars have bigger waists: Queen Latifah and Oprah Winfrey both measure 36 inches around. “Tiny” Ellen DeGeneres has a waist size of 26 inches. And let’s not even talk about Kirstie Alley. So what has changed? Since scientific research has not been much use to us, let’s look at how culture has changed in the last 30 years.
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