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Gym membership is up in the United States but so is obesity.
This seeming contradiction is theorized to be caused in part by inexpensive and convenient foods that are highly processed and full of sugar and salt. These cheap junk foods are intensely marketed, especially to children.
That is, we are exercising more but also eating more unhealthy foods. Although fresh fruits and vegetables are more available today than ever, and we eat more of them, we have not reduced our consumption of less healthy alternatives.
But these are not the only reasons that obesity is on the rise. Recent research has shown that contributing factors also include cheap prices and easy accessibility for high calorie foods, rise of electronic entertainment that keeps people sitting for hours on end, increased reliance on cars, shift away from physical jobs, and being more sedentary in general.
Researchers continue to monitor the purchasing and consumption habits of Americans in an effort to better understand the correlation between food choices, activity levels and obesity.