Social structure drives Obesity- American Heart Association 

A broad range of policy and environmental initiatives at the local, state and federal levels aimed at increasing physical activity and healthful eating is needed to reduce rates of obesity in the United States, according to an American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement in the Association's journal Circulation, published recently.

In an AHA-issued press release, Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika, chair of the working group that wrote the scientific statement "Population-Based Prevention of Obesity," noted that "almost all of our current eating or activity patterns are those that promote weight gain -- using the least possible amount of energy or maximizing quantity rather than quality in terms of food."

Kumanyika added, " People haven't just made the decision to eat more and move less; the social structure has played into people's tendencies to go for convenience foods and labor-saving devices."

So, then, you are not simply what you eat. You are what the "sorrounding environment " makes you eat. --

Key areas to explore to effect change, according to Kumanyika and colleagues, include modifying the environment in which people live, like creating more walkable neighborhoods with sidewalks and areas for physical activities; decreasing restaurant portion sizes; and making sweetened drinks, high-fat foods and low-fiber foods less readily available.