The United States has become a nation of fatties, and our state is no exception, with 30 percent of adults in Maine classified as obese – nearly three times as many as three decades ago. Americans spend billions annually on diet programs and weight loss supplements, yet obesity levels continue to climb.

There are an assortment of reasons for why people may be obese. Some will point to bad genes, saying they can’t lose weight no matter what they do. Others may blame the supersizing of our diets, the portions of meals at restaurants that at times can pack a full day’s calories onto a single plate. Or perhaps people may say they can’t afford to eat healthy – that budgetary constraints force them to eat cheaper, less nutrituous food. And then there is technology, with many people chaining themselves to smartphones, bingewatching TV, and surfing the internet – and doing nothing but sitting on their butts all day.

Regardless of the reason, studies have indicated that Americans have had a precipitous decline in physical activity over the past few decades and an increase in their Body Mass Index – and supersized or not, caloric intake levels have remained virtually unchanged during that same time period. It’s not the food causing the problem (although it doesn’t exactly help in many cases) – it’s all the time spent being inactive.

People need to change the do-nothing mentality, and nothing is so simple to start with as walking; even just a half hour a day is a good start, and it can be done in ten minute increments if you don’t have the time all at once or the stamina to start with. Gradually work your way up, and don’t make excuses that you don’t have the time – people always can find time to do the things we want; people need to realize that living more active lives is something that they they should want if they want to stay as healthy as possible. Get up, and get moving.

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