Obesity is increasingly becoming an problem around the world. It is particularly high in developed countries compared to developing countries. In the U.S., the obesity epidemic adds billions of dollars in healthcare costs. Relatively very cheap food prices, lethargic lifestyle, high dependence on automobile for transport, high consumption of genetically modified foods, high amounts of all types of chemicals added to food products, high meat consumption, etc. are some of the causes of obesity among Americans. For the privilege of being able to eat $0.99 burgers to dead cheap prices for sugar to unlimited refills for soft drinks in restaurants Americans pay a heavy price in terms of medical expenses and of course the pain and suffering that goes with ailments.
The chart below shows the percentage of adult population that are obese for select countries:
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Source: Sugar – Consumption at a crossroads, Credit Suisse
The number of calories needed for the average male is 2500 according to UK’s National Health Service (NHS). The U.S. government recommends 2700 calories. The actual consumption is much higher in virtually all countries. It peaks at 3700 calories per adult per day in the US according to the Credit Suisse report.
The report also noted that while sugar alone is not the cause of the obesity epidemic it is one of the major contributors.