Sometimes it feels like the world is conspiring to make us pack on the pounds — we sit at desks all day, grab fast food on the run, and spend our evenings Netflixing on the couch. America is heavier than it’s ever been. In 2017, the CDC found that 40 percent of Americans deal with obesity, and health problems related to weight gain are on the rise. On this episode of The Pulse, we looks at some of the ways that excess weight affects our health, our wallets and our lives.
Also heard this week:
- Reporter Alan Yu explores the biology behind our love for sugar, and why it’s so hard to quit. Plus, he visits the Culinary Institute of America in New York to meet some of the foodie experts experimenting with alternatives.
- In recent years, a growing number of countries have begun exploring taxes on junk food as a way of improving public health. UNC Nutrition Professor Shu Wen Ng explains how that’s playing out in Mexico, which passed a soda tax back in 2014.
- Obesity medicine physician Fatima Cody Stanford explains why weight is a lot more complex than lifestyle, and the importance of clinicians not judging their patients.
- Nurse practitioner Barrie Levin in Bethel, Alaska talks about how her own weight issues have helped her treat patients dealing with the same thing.
- Mimi Dexter-El says intermittent fasting changed her life. Elana Gordon dives into the science and potential benefits.