Obese Millennials Jeopardize America’s Future
A new study from the New England Journal of Medicine indicates the current obesity epidemic trends in the United States are much worse than thought. The study was published on Wednesday and already has demographers, government officials, and scientist alarmed. The sobering report finds 57.3% of the nation’s children and teens will be obese by the age of 35 if the model continues. America’s empire is now cracking under the weight of the millennial and the homeland generations’ poor eating habits.
This study is unique and goes beyond any previous research suggesting unhealthy childhood weights leading to adult obesity, exclaimed USA Today. Further, the article suggests the millennial and homeland generation children may have just ushered in a “world where obesity could soon be the new normal”.
Here is how the scientist calculated these scary findings,
We pooled height and weight data from five nationally representative longitudinal studies totaling 176,720 observations from 41,567 children and adults. We simulated growth trajectories across the life course and adjusted for secular trends. We created 1000 virtual populations of 1 million children through the age of 19 years that were representative of the 2016 population of the United States and projected their trajectories in height and weight up to the age of 35 years. Severe obesity was defined as a body-mass index (BMI, the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) of 35 or higher in adults and 120% or more of the 95th percentile in children.
Zachary Ward, a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who was the lead author of the study, offered a sobering remark for the need to increase prevention efforts from infancy through young adulthood. He said, “study is the first to make precise predictions for today’s generation of children.” And so far, the health of America’s future generations has never looked more bleak.
Models from the study predict that a majority of today’s children (57.3%; 95% uncertainly interval [UI], 55.2 to 60.0) will be obese at the age of 35 years. Full results below,
Given the current level of childhood obesity, the models predicted that a majority of today’s children (57.3%; 95% uncertainly interval [UI], 55.2 to 60.0) will be obese at the age of 35 years, and roughly half of the projected prevalence will occur during childhood. Our simulations indicated that the relative risk of adult obesity increased with age and BMI, from 1.17 (95% UI, 1.09 to 1.29) for overweight 2-year-olds to 3.10 (95% UI, 2.43 to 3.65) for 19-year-olds with severe obesity. For children with severe obesity, the chance they will no longer be obese at the age of 35 years fell from 21.0% (95% UI, 7.3 to 47.3) at the age of 2 years to 6.1% (95% UI, 2.1 to 9.9) at the age of 19 years.
Overall half of the people who will be obese at 35 already are obese at 20, Ward said.
And of course, scientist blame the obesity crisis ravaging America’s younger generations on “profound changes in physical activity and diet”. Millennials are sitting in their parent’s basements too broke to afford avocado and toast, while binge watching Netflix. Nevertheless, their unconscious minds are too clouded with show Mindhunter (Netflix) or Alias Grace (Netflix) that they miss the point their well-being is critical for the overall survivability of the nation.
The study is based on “a sophisticated statistical analysis technique that relies on certain assumptions, and those assumptions can be challenged,” said Stephen Daniels, chairman of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “But I think the assumptions are pretty reasonable and their conclusions are pretty reasonable and, unfortunately, pretty scary.”
Daniels, who was not involved in the study, said the findings reflect “profound changes in physical activity and diet” that are hard to address. We live in a world, he said, where it’s easier for kids and parents to choose “high calorie, low-nutrient” foods and drinks than healthy ones. Meanwhile, he said, kids are often glued to screens that keep them immobile for many hours a day.
Potentially helpful policy changes, such as taxes on sugary drinks, need more research, he said. Beverage makers dispute any possible link between obesity rates and soda consumption.
“We have to figure out how to change our environments,” Daniels said. “We spend a lot of time talking to parents about changes we want them to make, but it’s an uphill climb for them.”
The study concludes and offers a grim outlook on the health of the United States all thanks to the millennials’ eating problem. Nevertheless, the study fails to mention the other can of worms plaguing millennials such as opioids epidemic, students loans, and wealth inequality.
On the basis of our simulation models, childhood obesity and overweight will continue to be a major health problem in the United States. Early development of obesity predicted obesity in adulthood, especially for children who were severely obese.
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So which states are harboring the largest Americans? As it turns out, the fried delicacies of the American South aren’t so great for the waistline…