Study after study shows the longer that immigrants live in the US, the more likely they are to become overweight.
Why is America becoming an overwhelmingly overweight nation and infecting everyone that moves here? Or, why do countries that adopt our lifestyle also become fat?
I look at it this way: We live in a nation/society that surrounds us with every opportunity to become overweight.
The sad part is we must fight against it to stay healthy!
An Obesity Promoting Working World
In America, we put most of our focus on our jobs. We work all day and sometimes all night to succeed at our jobs. For many of us, we work so hard just for job security.
We are expected to put in extra time and push the limits. We don’t get to take extended afternoon breaks and sometimes we only get a few days vacation out of the whole year!
Since many work hard, this leaves less time to prepare meals and eat well from home. Many are in a rush to get food on the table and then get started with the next day’s work.
This also leaves less time for exercise.
Working Women More Prevalent in the West
The last century has brought women to the workforce and away from the home.
This has given us many opportunities for life fulfillment and general advancement as a nation. However, this has taken away from healthy home meal preparation.
Eating out and eating convenience foods quickly spikes our calorie intake.
Life in the Car
We spend sometimes 10% of the day in the car. Many have to commute to work, or get stuck in traffic.
Therefore, we use drive-thru’s and drive cars to run simple errands because we are pressed for time. There are fewer sidewalks, and fewer bike lanes than in other countries.
Even if there are sidewalks in some cities, they are used infrequently because the towns are more spread out.
What does this lead to? Less activity and fewer calories burned.
Ever-present Processed Convenience Foods
Many of us already try to avoid foods like chips, candy, soda, and cookies. However, there is still a huge presence of these types of foods in vending machines down the hall and at convenience stores. Cheap and accessible.
We have started to turn the corner on this one are seeing fruits, nuts, and unsweetened beverages in vending machines.
Convenience stores have begun to offer fruit, raw vegetables, and light sandwiches. But, the bad choices FAR outweigh the healthy ones!
These are not excuses for why so many are overweight, but rather spotlights on the hurdles we must overcome to get healthy.
Do you know people who have moved to America and have gained weight?