Obesity In The United States
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November 28 2011.
Obesity in the United States.
Obesity is rising at an astronomical rate in the United States; in fact it is considered one of the highest rising medical conditions in America. Almost, half of the entire American population is overweight. Given this high statistic, the question might arise, what is obesity? Who has it, or who is suffering from it? How did we get to this point and what can we do about this problem affecting most Americans? Obesity is a disease that cuts through every work or life regardless of socioeconomically status.
Obesity by medical definition refers to a medical condition in which an excess body fat has accumulated to the degree that it may have an undesirable effect on individuals health. It can also relate to an individuals body mass index being greater than normal compared to height and weight. Obesity like many other medical conditions could also result from genetics or even environmental factors.
Obesity problem has been a major health issue in United States and has been a leading setback which has been talked about for years now. If Americans have such a huge problem with their weight, why dont they do something about it? In its “Where America Stands” series, CBS News looked at a broad spectrum of issues facing this country in the new decades. As reported by CBS News, “two out of three Americans or more than 190 millions Americans are obese making a percentage of 67”. It is compelling to see that the society we live in is filled with a lot of obese people who deny the fact that they have a problem. Of course, many will probably disagree with the declaration that obesity is huge problem facing America today. In order words, when people do not own up to understand that there is really a problem, there would be no solution to it.
There are several factors that can contribute to the birth of obesity. The fundamental cause is the consumption of more calories than what is burned by the body. The body accumulates any calories not utilize as fats. It can be as a consequence of not getting enough exercise or physical activities, consumption of too much alcoholic drinks, and an increase intake of food that are high in fats, sugar, corn syrup or salt but less ingestion of food that are rich in minerals and vitamins.
According to Essentials of Pathophysiology textbook, “interaction of genotype and environmental factors, including diet and physical activity are thought to guide to the development of overweight and obesity. The composition of the diet also may cause a causal factor, and the percentage of dietary fat independent of total calorie intake may play a part in the development of obesity. Obesity is known to run in families, signifying a hereditary component” (231). Parents who are obese are more likely to have children that are obese as well. Psychological factors include using food as compensation, relieve, or means of getting attention. Eating may be a way to cope with nervousness, anxiety, and mental fatigue. Certain drug such antidepressants and antipsychotic medications may also contribute to obesity.
When we talk about being obese in the society, there are certain things we should put into consideration. There are other factors that also contribute to this problem which include but not limited to individuals household income whether high or low, people who were former smokers, individuals diagnosed of mental illness and disabled, and also who live sedentary lifestyle. Children who are known to spend a lot of their time viewing television have the tendency to become obese because of their involvement in less or no physical activity.
Obesity can result to numerous medical conditions. These medical conditions can range from having Type 1 or 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease, sleep apnea obstruction and other sleep disorders, breast and colon cancers, depression to even osteoarthritis. A gradual decrease in the level of oxygen in the blood system, a condition referred to as hypoxemia can be a result of extreme obesity. These can cause individuals to feel sleepy during the day and also can lead to high blood pressure and pulmonary hypertension which is due to lack of physical activity. If this condition is left unattended, it could have an end result to heart failure and even at the end of the day, death.
If we take a look years back during the time of our forefathers, we would notice there was little or no incidence of obesity then, there were few fast food restaurants at every corner. But in our society today, every corner in America has a fast food restaurants like McDonald, Burger King, Wendys, KFC, Rallys, to mention but a few, which are like a tradition for people that do not do regular cooking in their homes, to go in and have a five minutes prepared food filled with a lot of calories and saturated fats. Because of lack of time and the stressful environment in our society, nobody has time to eat right, exercise or even take a vacation. All we care about is make money and be on the move all the time not caring about our health which is the most important thing in our life. These fast food restaurants serve as a better place to grab a quick bite that is filled with a lot of sugars, and salts which are contributory factors to development of obesity.
Not only does the society filled with fast food restaurants, a lot of junk foods such as sugar cookies, salty potatoes chips, candies and so many others are consumed in a large amount which contain a lot of sugar and corn syrup, as a replacement for fruits and vegetables. Children, mostly in low or middle income families are probably affected due to inadequate infant and young childrens nutrition. These children are exposed to high-sugar, corn-syrup, high-fat, high-salt, poor nutritional foods which mostly have a lower cost values that the nutritional ones. These high calorie foods, in conjunction with no physical activity or exercise, and even dieting can result in increased childhood obesity.
I know for a fact that if we, as a society can come together and fight obesity, it would worth every penny of it. Although it may seem trivial, it is in fact crucial in terms of todays concern over the consequences for the societys action on preventing or finding a solution to the problem. Obesity mostly is due to lots of stress due to work overload, break-ups and divorces, depression. If we continually organize supportive environments and communities which can reach out to people and shape their choices in making healthier choices on food and with regular exercise, there is a tendency that obesity will be reduced.
Obesity can be prevented if individuals