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Most Americans Overweight by 2020

Written by PETA | September 27, 2010

According to a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, three out of four Americans will be overweight by 2020, causing disease rates and health care costs to expand almost as quickly as Americans’ waistlines. Also this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study concluding that only 26 percent of U.S. adults eat vegetables three or more times a day.

Coincidence? Not likely. Meat, cheese, eggs, milk, and other animal-derived products are loaded with saturated fat, calories, and artery-clogging cholesterol. Veggies, fruits, grains, and beans (aka “vegan food”) tend to be low in fat, so they fill us up without filling us out. That could be why meat-eaters have three times the obesity rate of vegetarians and nine times the obesity rate of vegans.

Maybe this will be the wake-up call that convinces many Americans to take charge of their health by trading in beef for beans and going vegan.

Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post

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  • ocean17 says:

    people are obese for many reasons, but i do believe that inadequate nutrition, lack of research and knowledge, slick industry propaganda and the SAD are the main reasons for this obesity epidemic. what michelle said, anyone can get all the protein they need from a plant based diet. that “top of the food chain” argument is too silly for words.

  • C says:

    Michele, while no human *needs* to consume animal products, they are not as big of a detriment as over-consumption in general. There is such a thing as good cholesterol, which is something the body needs, and is contained in meats. Humans are omnivores much like most species of animals. Even Chimpanzees, Baboons and animals once thought to be herbivores have been found to eat meat. Eating and cooking meats contributed to the growth in our brain size and our abilities in tool making. Cooking food boosted humanity by great leaps alone, by lessening how long it took to digest and making vital nutrients process into our systems faster. Meat does not rot in your digestive system. Any credible doctor will tell you this. Many raw vegetables pass through our systems undigested, as we do not have the same digestive ability of true herbivores. Our digestion is far to quick to proper digest most raw foods. Many foods we eat aren’t even digestible in the slightest, like corn and some kinds of lettuce. Our jaws are shrinking and humans are simply not developing their late adult molars known as wisdom teeth. Our teeth are changing to adapt to current human life, in which we don’t have to rip flesh from bone or fight for dominance by gnashing fangs or biting each other. The foods we eat are softer, easier to chew, and require less effort, so our jaws are changing to comply with that. We have developed a different social order in which physical violence for dominance is abhorred and distasteful. Our lifestyle, our over indulgence, the human condition as of now, is more of a cause in the rise of disease than diet alone. Place the blame where it needs to be, not where it suits your interests.

  • Michele says:

    No human needs protein from milk, meat, cheese or eggs. These all have cholesterol that is harmful to humans. They also cause your bones to leach calcium, to counteract the acidity of animal protein. Humans are naturally herbivores (this is a fact of our physiology, not just something I think). Our jaw structure, our teeth (and NO, those “canines” that we have are not true canines like those of carnivores that can tear through raw flesh), our stomach acid, and the length of our intestine are all those of a herbivore. We get colon cancer because our intestines are very long and the meat simply rots there. Carnivores and omnivores have a short intestine so the meat passes through very quickly. Humans in developed countries eat WAY too much protein with the “Standard American Diet”. You can get all of your protein needs met with a plant-based diet. There is protein in just about everything, even pasta.

  • C says:

    Emily, It isn’t just the meat in ones diet, but how much, how it’s prepared and what is eaten with it. Anything slathered in butter, gravy or sauces is likely to bump the calorie count you get into your body. Soda’s, candy, prepackaged juices, snack cakes, chips, and general junk food has more calories per serving than many meats by themselves, i.e. a plain 3-6 ounce chicken breast without being fried, sauteed, breaded, or covered in cheese, gravy or a sauce. The average recommended serving size of any meat is 3-6 ounces. Most restaurants don’t serve anything smaller than 8 ounces. Many people eat 2-4 times that amount in one meal. If you control the portions you eat in, you can control your weight. Most people don’t understand portion control, so most people don’t take into consideration how much they actually eat.

  • Emily says:

    All these people on the comments are saying meat doesnt make you gain weight like sodas or candy but it does as soon as i cut meat and milk and eggs out of my diet i instantly lost weight its amazing how much you gain from just meat itself.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    If you eat too much of anything and don’t move or excercise, you are going to get fat.

  • C says:

    You can be overweight and vegan. The higher your calorie intake and lower your activity levels, the fatter you get. If you eat in relation to how active you are you can maintain a decent body weight. There are a lot of factors that play into what makes someone obese; What you eat, when you eat, how much you eat, when you work out, how long you work out, your metabolism, and other health factors.

    The natural fats and cholesterol in meats and eggs is typically healthy in proper portions, without anything added. There is a difference between good fats and bad fats. Eggs have plenty of good fats and when they come from properly raised chickens they can have similar nutritional value to breast milk. Frying them in butter or oil and topping them with cheese, or other garnishes changes that nutritional value. Baked chicken is better for you than Fried because of how it’s prepared.

    Overly processed foods, sugar packed foods, preservatives, artificial additives and other tampering with otherwise natural foods is a true detriment to everyone’s health and heightens the risk for obesity. Linked to that is the sedentary lifestyle many people have gotten into, either having little time to work out in between work, chores and daily life, or out of sheer laziness that modern life has allowed us to develop.

  • Jacky says:

    Umm… sorry if this sounds stupid and ignorant but… there are overweight vegans??? (“9 times obesity rate of vegans”) I somehow thought that being both vegan and obese was humanly impossible @_@

  • Hanny says:

    Not ALL non-vegans are overweight. Candy and other sweets are the reason 92% obese people are the way they are. Athletes need protein from eggs and meat to help build up their muscles. We don’t stop animals from eating other animals because it’s the foos chain and the circle of life. Fortunetly, we are on top of the food chain and as long as we are killing the animals humanely, such is life.

  • MH says:

    Something tells me that the upsurge of incredibly-processed foods and soft drinks are doing much more to increase obesity rates than meat ever could.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    My husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes.  He immediately took steps to improve his health.  He eliminated his favorite things, ice cream, Mountain Dew, licorice, and sugary gum and candy, from his diet, and uses strict portion control in his meals.  He has already had to have his pants taken in and his belly is disappearing before our very eyes.  His blood sugar is still a little high, but it is going down.  Eventually I am hoping we will both be able to give up meat and dairy (I can live without meat and most dairy but I am still a cheese addict).  I have been able to use soymilk in recepies as long as my husband does not see me adding it (I use it in mashed potatoes).  He loves vegetables and fruit so that is no problem.  He looks healthier and he says he already feels better.  Now if I could just get him to try Tofurky for Thanksgiving dinner….

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