"Diet Detective" Platkin creates visually-stimulating "Fat Clock"
Obesity has become way too comfortable a condition in the United States these days and one man is seeking to do something drastic to increase the awareness of just how bad the weight problem has gotten. It's none other than the "Diet Detective" himself, syndicated columnist and health advocate Charles Stuart Platkin, JD, MPH.
Platkin was kind enough to interview me for his web site recently and allowed me the opportunity to interview him as well. While we don't necessarily see eye-to-eye on the viability of livin' la vida low-carb as a healthy lifestyle, I definitely admire what he is doing with his latest project--A REAL-TIME "FAT CLOCK!"
That's right, Platkin has decided the time has come to show Americans how much weight they are gaining every tenth of a second on average as an aggregate number and it will literally shock you. Click here and look in the upper right-hand corner of the web page to see the current total of OVER 39 BILLION POUNDS...and steadily rising!
"The impact of the obesity epidemic is staggering and is a major public health crisis," said Platkin. "Obesity increases the risk for many diseases and health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, Hypertension, Osteoarthritis, Sleep apnea, respiratory problems, and even some cancers."
The "Fat Clock" will certainly get your attention and will hopefully get people to begin taking action about doing something regarding their own weight problem. That is something I support Platkin on 100 percent and I would like to publicly express my appreciation to him for doing this.
So, how did he come up with the "Fat Clock" numbers anyway? It's a fairly interesting formula that professors at Florida International University helped Platkin develop. Using American adults ages 20 and older, statistics from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention as well as the U.S. Census were used to determine the weight change of the average American from 1994 to 2002.
Platkin found that most Americans gained an average of 1.15 pounds annually over that nine-year period with the average weight growing from 167.2 pounds in 1994 up to 176.4 pounds in 2002. Using that 1.15 pounds per year average weight gain since 2002, Platkin added that to the 2002 total for an average weight at the beginning of 2006 of 179.85 pounds.
The population at the beginning of 2006 was approximately 297,534,032 Americans with a net gain of about 1 person per every 10 seconds, or .01 people per tenth of a second, with 72.42 percent of the population ages 20 years and older, according to the U.S. Census data.
Still with me on this?
So using the information, Platkin came up with this formula for his "Fat Clock" calculations:
.7242 = percentage of population 20 and older
297,534,032 = total estimated number of Americans on January 1, 2006
.01 = net person increase per tenth of a second
X1 = number of tenths of seconds elapsed since January 1, 2006
179.85 = average estimated weight of adult Americans in 2006
1.15 = average estimated weight gain per year per adult
315569260 = tenths of a second per year
While this isn't an exact science since population number fluctuate, it is a close estimation. When the "Fat Clock" commenced on August 15, 2006, the starting weight was 39,161,685,285 pounds. Whoa, that's a lot of weight! What is sad is to see that number rapidly rising by the second and it makes you wanna scream STOP!!! But it just keeps on ticking.
Visitors to DietDetective.com will get to see this "Fat Clock" adding up the pounds as Americans continue to ignore their obesity problem. This "Fat Clock" should appear on every computer, television screen, electronic billboard, cell phone, PDA and anywhere else people will come into daily contact with it as a constant reminder of the drastic work that must be done to do something constructive about our weight.
Close to 127 million Americans are overweight, 60 million are obese and an alarming 9 million are morbidly obese according to the latest statistics from the American Obesity Association. We are in a crisis and something as visual as a "Fat Clock" may be just the thing to get the message across to people who need to lose weight now before their health is endangered.
That doesn't mean more diet gimmicks, magic weight loss pills, or silly fad diets. What we need now more than ever is for people to take an interest in their own health like never before and choose a nutritional approach they can get on and stay on for the rest of their life. For me, the low-carb lifestyle was my godsend and helped me shed 180 pounds off of my former 410-pound frame.
The tick-tock on the "Fat Clock" will continue tracking the rising obesity rates until people decide to get serious about their weight problem once and for all. It's not impossible if we all chip in and do our part to get our own weight and health under control and then lend a helping hand to others who need our assistance. WE CAN DO THIS and make that "Fat Clock" obsolete!