ATLANTA, GA - A discouraging study from the CDC reports that American obesity rates are at an all time high. Now 30.4% of the population is considered obese, up from 29.9% the year before. As the obesity rate continues to creep up like numbers on the scale, a lot of people can't help but relate some good news reported in the same study: cigarette smoking has plummeted.
Americans have been kicking the habit because it's well known that smoking kills. It's the leading cause of preventable illness in the U.S with more than 480,000 deaths every year.
But it's also well known that smoking is an appetite suppressant, and quitters have a tendency to gain weight. Experts don't think quitting smoking caused the obesity epidemic, but they do acknowledge it may have played a small part.
To be clear, no one is recommending that Americans start smoking to lose weight. There are many other factors that lead to weight gain and lung cancer and heart disease are also down, which is a huge win.
But Americans do need to find healthier alternatives to too much food- or smoking- when it comes to satisfying our cravings.
As to what that might be, we're all still looking for that solution.