Jan 12, 2018 in Medicine

Obesity as a Growing Epidemic in America

The rates of obesity or overweight people in developed countries have risen radically since 1980. Statistics designate that approximately each fourth person has obesity problem proved by medical professionals in the United States. Over the past three decades, numerous countries aside from the United States have also been faced with substantial increase in rates of obesity. Obesity is usually characterized by a mass index of body that is higher than 30. Additionally, an excess amount of fat in the body is called obesity. It is usually more common in women that men in most countries. This is because women have fewer muscles as compared to men. The prevalence of obesity is increasing at an alarming rate in the last twenty years due to numerous reasons. This paper explores several issues related to obesity as a growing epidemic globally.  

Effects of Obesity on the Population

Many people believe that adults are the only people likely to suffer from obesity. However, children also suffer from this problem and the trend of kids’ obesity is growing at an alarming rate. “Since 1980, the rate of obese children aged between 6 and 18 years skyrocketed by roughly 20% in the year 2000” (Marcus, 2002). Nevertheless, being overweight is a common problem for American children. Obesity has numerous negative effects on both adults and children. It puts one at risk for many health issues and diseases. Some of the illnesses that obesity puts one at the risk of having include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart diseases, osteoarthritis, respiratory issues, stroke, among others. It is estimated that most obese people are unlikely to live for more than ten years than non-obese people. A high obesity rate in the population of a country increases health care costs significantly (Marcus, 2002).

The effects of obesity are diverse and include greater risk such as mental health problems and interrelated health issues. Many overweight people suffer from low self-esteem, since they are out-rightly discriminated against and bullied. Obese people are also unlikely to have more social and romantic relationships as compared to non-obese. In accordance to a research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007), childhood obesity rates have significantly skyrocketed since the 1980s. “Approximately 20 percent of U.S. children suffer from obesity” (Marcus, 2002). The effects of obesity on children include early-onset hypertension and heart diseases, which contribute to other resulting health problems. A kid suffering from obesity is not likely to associate well with other children since they are usually avoided.  

Causes of Obesity

In the United States, there are numerous reasons for obesity, which are also common in other countries. One major cause of obesity is the general diet and nutritional value of food intake. In most cases the choices of lifestyle of people in each country also contributes to major cases of obesity. According to an article published in August 2004 by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, there is a clear indication that the nature of the community, lack of physical activity accompanied by high levels of driving evidently affects the obesity rates. This is because numerous American cities and towns have the architecture that was influenced during the era of the heavy automobile use. This makes many people prefer using cars instead of walking to work or to school. Communities in the U.S. use vehicles more heavily than any other nations in the world, and that is why other states have lower obesity rates, which include Italy and France (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007).

Why America Obesity Rates is higher than Other Countries

Communities in the U.S. use vehicles more often than any other nations in the world and that is why other countries experience lower obesity rates. Some of such countries include Italy and France. For instance, analyzing Michael Pollan’s novel titled “Omnivore’s Dilemma”, it is apparent that Pollan highlights the process of food production, from which numerous American meals originate. According to Pollan, the industrialized food chains fundamentally are based on corn. Some are processed into substances or compounds like glucose, livestock feeds, and are eaten directly by human beings. In exploring this point, the author discusses the manner in which corn plant has gradually grown in the industrialized food sector to dominate the United States’ diet via political, cultural and genetic factors. He explains how corn depends on human for its survival, more so through human fostering. The author also affirms that everyone should agree with him that the beginning of the food chain in the United States is the corn. This is because corn feeds animals, people eat their meat, and byproducts, like eggs or milk. In addition, the author also highlights the role that oil or juice produced from the plants contributes greatly to other factors like crop growing and haulage of the food delivery to American markets.

Secondly, the author effectively uses the fast food meal to illustrate or explain the final product of the industrialized food manufacturing. He further argues that long ago, farmers used their cultural know-how, however, presently most farmers use “intelligence and local knowledge” (Pollan, 2007). This is a move that has leaves farmers with little options since most of their products are taken to the laboratories, which according to Pollan, is an unenthusiastic development. He further advices that localized agriculture can act as a remedy to environmental and health issues, which are caused by contemporary farming methods. These are some of the factors that accounts to why America obesity rates is higher than in other countries.

What Challenges Do Obese People (Adults and Aids) Face?

Adult and childhood obesity epidemic in America is a nationwide physical condition disaster. The life-threatening health problem of obesity requires a quick and a remedial measure since it causes death of roughly 112,000 individuals yearly in the United States. Along with the effects of health problems, childhood obesity imposes considerable economic costs. Parents incur a lot in medical expenses on obese kids to help reduce their weight. In terms of military readiness, childhood obesity poses greater implications. “Americans aged 17-24 are usually unqualified for military services because they are overweight” (Robert, 2007). This clearly indicates that obesity causes numerous problems in various aspects of people’s lives. Socially, the obese people are unlikely to socialize with others in the society due to their low self-esteem.

Solutions to the Obesity Problem

The present problem of obesity in the United States requires a population health approach for adults and children. This program must embark on fostering effective weight reduction efforts for individuals who are severely overweight (Robert, 2007). This involves checking the environment where people live, creating conditions that contribute to healthier eating habits and frequent exercise. The government must also ensure that unhealthy foodstuffs and beverages are prohibited or have limited availability. All in all, people must evaluate what they eat, since they have the fundamental right to choose to eat what they want and actively engage in exercise.  

Conclusion

Obesity is a growing epidemic globally and it does not signify good health and opulence. Obesity is a problem that must be addressed to decrease the rates of severely overweight people and obesity-related issues. Communities in the United States use vehicles more frequently than any other nations in the world, which is the reason why other countries have lower obesity rates. There are numerous causes, effects, challenges and finally solutions to the obesity problem.

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