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Why are we so fat - Essay Example

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Obesity or over weight is one of the major health problems in many countries and America is also not an exception. In America, both children and adults are victims of overweight…
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Download file to see previous pages adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese” (U.S. Obesity Trends). Obesity is caused by excessive fat deposits in body. Lack of physical workouts, overeating, changing food habits, excessive fat contents in foods etc are some of the reasons for the increasing trends in obesity statistics. This paper tries to answer the question; why are we so fat? According to what’s known as the Expensive Tissue Hypothesis, early humans compensated for the energy used in their heads by cutting back on the energy used in their guts; as man’s cranium grew, his digestive tract shrank. This forced him to obtain more energy-dense foods than his fellow-primates were subsisting on, which put a premium on adding further brain power. The result of this self-reinforcing process was a strong taste for foods that are high in calories and easy to digest; just as it is natural for gorillas to love leaves, it is natural for people to love funnel cakes (Kolbert). One of the major reasons cited for the overweight related problems among Americans is the changes happening in the brain systems. It is a fact that brain is getting far more developed as time goes on. In other words, current generation has brain size much higher than that of the generations in the past. Thus brains of the current generation require more energy and for that purpose they consume more energetic foods. American medical association committed a serious blunder by asking the public to take only low fat food. “They failed to take into account that when people do that, they increase their carbohydrates. Slashing carbohydrates and sticking to protein (Why are We So Fat?). It should be noted that blocking of fatty foods not only prevented the ketosis process but also it caused increased hunger. Thus people started to eat more and more foods enriched with carbohydrates which resulted in overweight. Current Americans are consuming foods like pasta, potatoes, flour, cereal products, and bread more and more than the Americans in the past. These food items have low glucose contents and therefore a spike in insulin production may occur. Low blood sugar can increases hunger and appetite for food and the final outcome could be overweight. It is an accepted fact that Americans are enjoying the most lavish life styles in the world. Majority of the people in America may have their own vehicles and they use it for their traveling needs. In other words, Americans may not walk even a single kilometer if they wanted to go somewhere. Moreover, busy life styles prevented them from engaging in any physical work outs or playing some games. Majority of the leisure times are spent in front of the computers by the Americans. The increasing popularity of social networks and the availability of easy to use communication tools such as palmtop, laptop, tablet PCs, iPads, mobile phones etc are forcing the Americans to spend more time in front of the computer and internet. In short, mental or verbal exercises are increasing among Americans whereas physical exercises are decreasing. Thus, extra energy consumed through excessive foods may become deposited in the body rather than burning it out through physical exercises. The line between being in and out of energy balance is slight. Suppose you consume a mere 5 percent over a 2,000-calorie-a-day average. "That's just one hundred calories; it's a glass of apple juice," says Rudolph Leibel, head of molecular genetics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "But those few extra calories can mean a huge weight gain." Since one pound of body weight is roughly equivalent to 3,500 calories, that glass of juice adds up to an ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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