Obesity is one of today’s most blatantly visible but yet most neglected health issues in America causing an escalating global epidemic of overweight. Also known as “globesity” that is taking over the United States (Controlling the Global Obesity Epidemic). Although, obesity may not be the Black Death, it is still a severe health crisis that needs to be treated immediately (Griffin). Statistics show that two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children struggle with either being overweight or obese in the United States today (Abraham).
Obesity is a complex condition, one with serious social and psychological dimensions, that affects virtually all age and socioeconomic groups and threatens to overwhelm both developed and developing countries” (Controlling the Global Obesity Epidemic). Inactivity is the new normal. Over half of United States’ adults do not get the recommended amount of daily activity (Obesity Facts & Resources). A major culprit of obesity is the lack of exercise because many jobs today require a majority of Americans to sit throughout the workday.
In the old days, many Americans worked in the fields or factory floors unlike today. A study has concluded, that there is 30% less physical activity in jobs today than in 1960 (Abraham). Sudden decreases in exercise is not just in the workplace, but in one’s free time too. Research has concluded that from 1988 to 2010, the percentage of adults who reported exercising in their free time went from 81% to 48% in women, and from 89% to 57% in men, which could play a huge role in the increased obesity rates ranging from about 25% to 35% in women and 20% to 35% in men (Netburn).
The amount of food American’s intake today is sufficiently greater, than decades ago. About 20% more calories are consumed in 2015 than 1983. Also, American’s eat 195 lbs of meat every year, compared to 136lbs in the 1950’s (Abraham). The larger portions of food today as shown above compared to decades ago is an underlining reason for the increasing obesity rates. It is no secret American’s love their fast food. Calculations have concluded that about 11% of American’s daily diet consists of fast food, resulting in a rise of body mass index. Another bad food choice is our beloved soda and energy drinks.
Basically, it is not just about how much is eaten, but what we eat (Abraham). Inadequate sleep, prenatal and postnatal influences, chemical exposure, and stress can affect energy balance resulting in higher obesity risk (Obesity in the U. S. ). Adult obesity can be associated with many serious physiological, psychological and social consequences. Due to health and social consequences, one should not be surprised that obesity comes with serious economic consequences to (Obesity in the U. S. ). Predications have concluded that the annual cost related to obesity will change from $43 to $66 billion by 2030.
Centers of disease control, also found that medical expenses for an obese or overweight person are 42% more than a healthy weight person (Obesity Facts & Resources). Obesity is the second leading cause of deaths that could be prevented in the United States. Obesity affects every system in our body in negative ways causing an increasing risk for illness in about 30 serious medical conditions (Surgery in the Treatment of Obesity). Although, certain medical conditions and medications can promote or cause obesity, this is not a common factor.
Eating disorders such as binge eating or bulimia can also be associated with obesity (Surgery in the Treatment of Obesity). Unfortunately, obesity rates are remarkably high in the United States youth too. Many concerns have arisen pertaining to obesity during childhood. “Over the past thirty years, the rate of obesity has more than tripled for children aged six to eleven years old and more than doubled for adolescents aged twelve to nineteen years old” (Fornicola). An estimated 25 million kids aged two to nineteen are overweight or obese in the United States.
It is believed a lifestyle manifested during childhood will cause one to be overweight in adulthood as well (Obesity in the U. S. ). Studies have shown there is very little daily physical activity provided to children at school only 4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools, and 2% of high schools (Obesity Facts & Resources). Due to the fact, that 90% of the school day consists of sitting in a chair in a classroom learning. Physical activity is not just lacking at school but at home also.
Our youth is obsessed with electronics; they would rather watch t. , play video games, use cell phones, ipods, etc all day instead of engaging in physical activity. As time goes on technological advances will improve causing children to become more interested in them resulting in less exercise. Being overweight or obese as a child can have physiological consequences, but also social consequences such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor academic performance, behavior problems and many more things (Obesity in the U. S. ).
The physiological consequences that come with childhood overweight is serious too. Research has shown overweight/obese youths have a higher risk of chronic conditions such as asthma, hypertension (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, bone/joint problems, sleep apnea, and even certain types of cancer” (Fornicola). Studies have shown that today’s youth may even have a shorter life expectancy than their parents due to increasing numbers of obesity in our world today (Obesity in the U. S. ). Prevention of obesity can begin as young as infants, the longer babies are breastfed, the less likely they will become overweight as they grow older.
Research has concluded those who are breastfed for six months or longer, have a 20-40 percent less chance to becomes overweight (Obesity). A number of precautions should be made in order to help prevent and decrease obesity during childhood and adolescence. Families should focus on changing their everyday eating habits to healthier options and eliminating the fatty and sugary foods from their daily diets. For instance, parents should lead by example and be role models to their children. Basically, parents should practice what they preach therefore eat healthier food and be physically active too (Fornicola).
Instead of engaging with electronic devices children should be encouraged to go outside and play or just participate in some sort of physical activity (Obesity). Kids do not like a formal approach to exercise make it safe, fun with the child’s interest and abilities in order to keep them focused on the ultimate goal a healthier lifestyle (Fornicola). Parents should even try to teach their children some old fashioned games that were their favorite games as a child such as running bases, capture the flag, tag, jump rope, etc.
One would be surprised how interested children would be in them which would result in kids working on many skill sets such as running ability, conditioning, strength, competitive nature, and strategic thinking (Fornicola). Adults should also take steps in order to reduce their own obesity rates as well. The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is all about changing your lifestyle and sticking to it. A good place for people to start is by far with themselves and the individuals around them.
One should be aware of what they are eating, become more interested where their food is coming from and just keep in mind what is good and bad for their body (Hart). Making healthier food choices plays a vital role in decreasing obesity rates in the United States. One should start by taking baby steps to eating healthier. Instead, of eating chips with a sandwich at lunch replace it with a bannana. Also drink lots and lots of water so it can detox your body and take all of the toxins out. For many Americans, a typical day encourages a sedentary lifestyle, and becoming active takes some effort but this does not mean it can not be done.
Simple steps should be made to enforce more physical activity in one’s daily routine everyday, it does not have to be an intense workout just something to crack a little sweat (Obesity). Always remember every little bit of exercise helps. When all else fails and the eating healthier and an increased amount of exercise is not helping to lose weight the next step is going to a physician; although, anyone who struggles with obesity should have a primary care doctor who watches over them carefully and monitors them for possible health complications such as diabetes and hypertension (Surgery in the Treatment of obesity).
They also may provide such treatment that may include medication to treat health problems or therapy to address any eating disorders (obesity). There is also a surgical treatment to treat morbid obesity but in order to be considered they must have a BMI of 30 or more. This surgical treatment is known as bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for morbid obesity causing a durable and sustainable weight loss resulting in health improvements (Surgery in the Treatment of Obesity).
This may never be eradicated, but we can certainly make an effort to help control this current epidemic using some of the ideas recommended above” (Fornicola). The food industry can also play a role in helping reduce such high obesity rates. They can help promote healthier diets in many ways. One example is by reducing the fat, sugar, and salt content of processed food. Another thing they could do is make healthy and nutritious food choices more available and affordable to all consumers (Controlling the Global Obesity Epidemic).
Obesity is affecting all races, origins, genders, and ages all around America and it needs to be reduced immediately. Statistics have concluded that if nothing is done to help fix obesity by 2030, 51 percent of America’s population will be obese (Obesity Facts & Resources). Obesity is a largely preventable disease when a little bit of effort is put forth. Everyone should be put forth some sort of effort to ensure that younger generations and generations to come live a healthy fulfilled life. No one wants their future grandchildren or loved ones to not be able to experience life because of bad health issues.