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The Big Weight Dilemma - Term Paper Example

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The Big Weight Dilemma Recently, obesity has been increasingly gaining attention as an American public health problem. When the United states First Lady Michelle Obama took it as her cause and advocacy, the interest has further gained traction with the significant gain in public awareness in the process…
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The Big Weight Dilemma
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Download file to see previous pages A person is considered obese when the BMI measurement is 30 or more (Solomon, Berg and Martin, 2004, p. 892). Obesity is an acute case of malnutrition. And that it occurs when there is an increase in the size of fat cells or when there is an increase in the number of fat cells, or both. (Salomon, Berg and Martin, p. 892) There are numerous scholarly work and medical research that explain the causes and dynamics behind the problem. For instance, some studies suggest how obesity can be genetically inherited. However, the most widely recognized cause is primarily overeating and the sheer amount of fatty food intake that accumulates during childhood and in many cases until the adult life. There are also experts who point to the role played by social and lifestyle factors because of the patterns of food consumption and the physical activity level prevalent in a particular society. (Mooney, Knox and Schacht, 2010, p. 41). This is the reason why obesity is most pronounced in affluent countries. In lower income countries, the incidence of obesity is concentrated in urban areas and in people belonging to higher class (UK 2004, p. 48). Health Risk Obesity is a health problem and it is a cause of concern. This is because this health condition increases the risk for several illnesses such as diabetes, several types of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, asthma and other health problems. The World Health Organization reported that it is included in the top 19 health problems and that it contributes to about 300,000 deaths annually in the United States alone (Salomon, Berg and Martin, p. 892). A recent study suggested that obesity will shorten the average life expectancy of people by at least two to five years over the next fifty years, reversing the mostly steady increase in life expectancy that has occurred over the past two centuries (Money, Knox and Schacht, p. 40). Now these are disturbing because statistics depict an increasing trend in America. The latest figures released by the government show that more than 66 percent of American adults age 20 and older are overweight and 32 percent are obese (Hoeger and Hoeger, 2009, p. 149). From 2007 to 2008, it was revealed that at least 17 percent of the US children and adolescents are obese, which is roughly 12.5 million: 10.4 percent of 2-5 year-olds, 19.6 percent of 6-11 year-olds and 18.1 of 12-19 year-olds (O’Dea and Eriksen, 2010, p. 86). In addition to the health risk factors, obesity can also take its toll on the healthcare spending in the United States. By 2018, it is estimated that the medical cost associated with obesity will rise to about $344 billion or about 22 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States. This variable is particularly important especially that the overall cost of health care today is increasingly becoming less accessible to people. Conclusion Having, clearly identified the cause for the high incidence of obesity in America, one could say that it is easy to design interventions and solutions in order to deal with the problem. However, experts do not see the trend getting reversed anytime soon. I thin this is because solutions entail lifestyle changes, which is difficult for people to undertake. Also, obesity is widely seen as merely an indirect precursor to many health problems that is why people are taking ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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