1. Myth: Obesity epidemic caused by Americans being more inactive and less likely to burn calories
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There's no compelling evidence that people are less active now than they were 30 years ago, according to Nestle and Nesheim. Some evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even suggests that people are slightly more active. The CDC studies looked at self-reported activity and inactivity levels, so either way, it's difficult to assess the reliability of that information.
Then what's fueling America's obesity problem? Plenty of evidence indicates that people are eating more than ever before. Larger portions contain more calories. Just look at muffins, for example. They used to be the size of what are now considered mini-muffins. Those were about 200 calories a piece, but typical muffins today can be three times larger and contain up to 600 calories.(Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)