50 or Bust! is Project 20Teen’s national, livable calorie-reduction initiative.
Over the past few decades, the average weight gain in America has been about 1.7 pounds per year. Since 3500 calories = one pound, 3500/365 = 9.6 (rounded to 10) excess calories per day per person (beyond one’s caloric needs). Therefore, an average daily reduction of only about 17 calories will STOP the rise in the obesity epidemic! A reduction of ~34 will reverse the trend at the same pace at which it came upon us, and a reduction of ~50 will reverse the trend at twice the speed!
In other words, if Americans could reduce our average daily caloric intake (or increase expenditure) by only 50 calories, the rate of obesity would drop like a proverbial rock (OK, relatively, and livably, speaking).
50 calories is often the equivalent of a bite or two of food, or a single cookie, or a half glass of soda; or an extra few minutes of exercise! Making the decision to eat a fruit or vegetable instead of something less healthy will also likely accomplish this goal. Imagine exercising such discretions two, three, or four times per day! In other words, by very simple means, we could beat this thing.
One of the three Project 20Teen initiatives in which restaurants may help to Make Obesity History is by reducing the caloric content of their meals by 50 calories, after which they may identify or label such menu items with the 50 or Bust! logo above (right click to download). Visit the Restaurants page for more information.
An average caloric deficit of 50 calories per day will result in a loss of five pounds by the end of the year. A deficit of 100 will result in ten pounds lost. A deficit of 200 (four 50-calorie “decisions”) will result in a 20 pound loss at the end of one year! And did you know that the average overweight American is 40 pounds overweight?
In other words, if we Americans could reduce our average daily caloric intake (or increase our expenditure) by only 200 calories (four small 50-calorie “decisions”), we would eliminate HALF of our excess weight in one year!
We can do this! 50 or Bust!