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4 Reasons Why Obesity and Prediabetes is on the Rise in America

May 01, 2023
4  Reasons Why Obesity and Prediabetes is on the Rise in America

4 Reasons Why Obesity and Prediabetes is on the Rise in America

Obesity and prediabetes have risen in America since the 1990s, but it has exploded in severity in the last two decades. Labeled an "obesity epidemic," several main reasons have helped contribute to it. One in three Americans has prediabetes.

At STL Medical Weight Loss, our experienced team provides the following information about the leading causes behind the rise of obesity and prediabetes and how you can take steps to prevent it.

What is insulin resistance?

If you have prediabetes, your doctor will monitor your blood sugar (hemoglobin A1C) to recognize if you've developed diabetes. Insulin resistance is when your fat, liver, and muscle cells don't respond well to insulin and can't use the glucose from your bloodstream. As a result, your pancreas creates more insulin to add glucose to your cells, causing high blood sugar levels.

Common diabetes symptoms include:

  • Feeling hungry even after eating
  • Increased urination
  • Extreme thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Tingling sensations in hands and feet
  • Frequent infections
  • Fatigue

Causes for increased obesity and prediabetes

There are four main reasons that people in America experience increasing rates of obesity and prediabetes:

1. Lack of activity

One of the most significant reasons behind the increase in obesity and prediabetes in the United States is a shift toward a sedentary and inactive lifestyle. Many people work office jobs and do not get any form of exercise throughout the week. 

While the CDC recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week, most adults get less than 2 hours each week on average. 

Not only does that increase the risk of multiple health problems like heart disease, but it also leads to increased body fat as the body uses little energy. 

2. Changes in diet

The second most significant cause of the rise in obesity and prediabetes in the United States is a change in the general diet of many Americans. Instead of eating healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, many diets consist of prepackaged and fast food. 

However, it’s crucial to note that people living in poverty do have a higher risk of obesity and prediabetes as they may not have the resources necessary to have a healthy diet. So while prepackaged and fast food is unhealthy, it is often the only option for many individuals and families, making losing weight more difficult. 

Exercise and small changes in diet can make a difference, but policy changes are required to fight the obesity and prediabetic epidemic occurring. 

3. Testing and diagnosis requirements have changed

How doctors test for diabetes and prediabetes has also changed over the last decade. Due to a new test called HbA1C, diabetes can be diagnosed without fasting. Thanks to this faster form of testing, and a better understanding of the signs of prediabetes, more people are being diagnosed with those diseases. 

4. Advertising and uninformative food labels

Advertising and food labels also play a role in increasing obesity and prediabetes, especially in younger children. Many food labels do not show how the product can affect the body, and advertisers do everything they can to influence buyers to make unhealthy purchases. 

How obesity and diabetes are treated

Many people with prediabetes, diabetes, or obesity can benefit from lifestyle changes combined with Tirzepatide, a medication that reduces glycemic levels and improves insulin sensitivity. Sold under the brand name Mounjaro, people tend to lose about 20% of their body weight and show improved lipid metabolism. We invite you to ask us about our feel-good add-ons that we offer here at STL Medical Weight Loss.

We know how difficult it can be to lose weight at STL Medical Weight Loss in Chesterfield, Missouri. If you want to improve your health and lower obesity-related illnesses, contact us today, or schedule an appointment online.