The above chart uses the same scale, and uses BMI as the means by which people are defined as obese. Now, lots of people like to shit on BMI. And it’s true, that if you are muscular and ripped, your muscle mass will cause you to be unfairly labeled as fat. And if you are one of those people, then go ahead and pat yourself on the back. But the number of people who have that issue is clearly not enough to throw off the scale for an entire population. We are getting fatter, and BMI is a rough but useful metric for looking at a large population, as illustrated above.
So, why are we getting fatter? I’ll throw out a few ideas. Many of these will be related or interdependent:
– We exercise less now than we used to.
– We eat more processed foods, which are higher in caloric density.
– The median age of the population is shifting, and older people are always fatter.
– Fewer Americans smoke, and nicotine is an appetite depressant.
– We are subsidizing foods in such a way that worse foods now cost less and fresh produce costs more.
– Because of technology, we are getting lazier. We will order something online instead of going out to buy it, for example.
– Actually, we are working harder. We work more hours per week than Europeans, and for a lot of us that means sitting at a desk or computer for extended hours.
Anyone else have any ideas? Am I right? Wrong? Missing something? Is it all of the above? Or, is the above chart misleading and we aren’t actually getting fatter at all?