In a nutshell, expensive housing and no free parking. Also, lots of exciting stuff to do.
F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.
Think in the UK we are quickly catching up.
There is a massive obesity problem now in the UK. Over 25% of adults are obese and this figure is growing. A third of UK children are classed as overweight by the time they are 11.
Very sad to see young kids so overweight.
I think the many reasons above all contribute to the issue.
It would also be interesting to see how expensive food itself is in the UK compared to the US. Over the last 40 years or so, the percentage of income devoted to food in the US has gone down by half - even while the amount consumed has risen. Back when people were thinner and better-dressed (), food was more expensive. Being obese was a bit more expensive!
As food in Europe gets cheaper, then, along with all the other factors mentioned, we might expect to see larger folks.
Insecurity/stress leading to comfort stuffing, long workdays without breaks ending in collapse in front of TV with pizza in hand, lack of vacations etc.
I have lived in Santa Barbara my whole life. It's a great place if you like the outdoors. The ocean and mountains are both 10 minutes away. It's easy to get around by bicycle, easy to get around on foot, great weather almost all the time. At one point I considered a move to Atlanta. I went to visit. If I were to ride a bicycle or walk in Atlanta I'd surely be killed by a car. There were no bike lanes and no sidewalks and despite not being afraid to "take the lane" when I ride a bike, I knew those drivers would kill me on purpose. We had to drive two hours to find mountains. I don't know where the ocean was. You couldn't walk from anyplace that had houses to anyplace that had grocery stores. I tried to pretend it would be okay, after all it was my boyfriend who was there being interviewed for a job and I wanted to be supportive, but I couldn't keep myself from bursting into tears. I just couldn't live there if I could never go outside and ride my bike or take a walk. I could never live my life so dependent upon my car. I think this is one of many reasons Americans are fat.
Female, 5'3", 48, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135.
Starting bench press: 30lbs. Current bench press: 77.5lbs.
“You may have thought you heard me say I wanted a lot of bacon and eggs, but what I said was: Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.” - Ron Swanson
Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?
But I think there are many pieces to the puzzle. Europeans have better healthcare and better access to primary care physicians (who will do the "I think you should lose some weight" talk), "convenience" vegetables are common in the supermarket (precut packages and salads) and people shop multiple times a week. They work less hours and take longer vacations. You know, all those terrible socialist things like that. They may pay more in taxes, but in general they have a higher standard of living, on average (at least, in Northern Europe, the southerners have their own peculiar ideas about life).