Carbohydrates Caused America’s Obesity Epidemic


America’s Obesity Epidemic

Over the past 30+ years, America has developed a bit of a weight problem.

And during that time, just about every doctor, scientist and snake oil salesman “discovered” the cause of and the cure for America’s obesity epidemic.

If it wasn’t too many calories, it was too much fat or too many carbs.

So…who was right?

Carbohydrates and the Obesity Epidemic

According to this examination of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we can officially blame America’s obesity problem on our increased consumption of calories from carbohydrates.

As you can see above, American levels of obesity skyrocketed during the years between 1975 and 2006.

What you don’t see is why. For the why…look below.

Carb-Centric Diets

As you can see in these graphs, the past few decades have seen a dramatic shift in the way that America eats.

Our macronutrient ratios have shifted to create an increasingly carb-centric diet.

Even as our total calories increased, we somehow managed to eat a growing percentage of those calories as carbs:

And as we know from previous research, sugar drives insulin and insulin drives obesity.

And if we don’t want to see American obesity levels rise even higher, perhaps we should pay attention to the science and:

  1. Decrease overall caloric intake…while specifically…
  2. Limiting our consumption of carbohydrates



Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

4 thoughts on “Carbohydrates Caused America’s Obesity Epidemic

  • February 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I agree, many of my trainees just cut out suger, wheat, grains, milk products and all refined foods and they lose weigth without being hungry or counting calories.

  • February 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    And, our reliance on spell-checker has increased, as well!

  • February 16, 2011 at 9:47 am

    The #s do not lie bu neither does the picture of the kid sitting in front of the TV. America has grown accustomed to the fast paste life style and convenience of processed foods. I feel the biggest difference is pretty much the laziness of people not making the right food choices.

  • February 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Hi Doug,

    The consumption of processed foods have really increased. Not to mention that most processed foods are loaded with carbohydrates specifically refined carbs.

    Good info!



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