(NaturalNews.com) - If you're one of the 13 million or so Americans out of work, chances are you're looking a job - any job. Even a job at McDonalds.
McDonalds held a National Hiring Day on Tuesday; with company officials saying they hoped to hire 50,000 new employees to fill positions at the company's 14,000 franchises around the country. And while some may hail the event as a giant step forward in lowering the nation's 8.8 percent jobless rate, there is this: It is also another blow to the nation's health.
Obesity rates in America have skyrocketed in recent years; about one-third of all Americans are considered obese. That trend is contributing to a rise in diabetes and other diseases and driving up health costs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates have been climbing steadily for more than 20 years, and that is particularly true among our youth.
"Obesity is a known risk factor for chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and some forms of cancer," says a summary by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the National Institutes of Health.
One of the most serious of obesity complications is diabetes. Obesity increases insulin resistance, which leads to higher blood glucose levels and aids in the development of diabetes. According to 2007 figures, diabetes costs grew to $174 billion, the American Diabetes Association said. In all, obesity cost the nation some $344 billion in 2010.
Moreover, research has shown that a big contributor to our ever-expanding waistlines is the fast food industry. That makes sense, considering the high content of fats, sugar, salt and calories contained in fast-food.
And we're even exporting our unhealthy eating habits. As more countries embrace American-style fast food and sedentary lifestyles, obesity rates have doubled overseas. And as obesity rates climb, life expectancy rates decline.
Without question, these are tough times and jobs are scarce. But we ought to be careful about anointing as an economic savior an industry that drains our health and wealth.