Name Obesity The human race has moved ahead from the era of Stone Age to a period of progress and development. This journey of mankind has brought with it new problems for the human beings which need to be understood and tackled…
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Increased consumption of food and reduced physical activity provides for an imbalance of energy and hence an individual becomes obese (Verdiun et al 2595). Obesity is a matter of concern due to the rise in the number of Americans suffering from this issue and this problem can be solved with the coordination and cooperation of the government, the health care authorities, the food industry and the media by creating awareness and education amongst the masses. The BMI is used as a predictor of the normal weight of an individual and people with a BMI ranging from 25 to 29.9 are labeled as overweight whereas those with a BMI of above 30 are marked to be obese. There has been an increase of 34 percent in the obese individuals since the year 1960 in the United States (Begley). According to statistics of the year 2009, greater than 65 percent of the residents of the United States had weight above the normal limits. Furthermore, in the last three decades, the number of children who are overweight has increased almost thrice. This increase amongst children as well as adults has raised the morbidity and mortality associated with the medical issues that arise owing to obesity. The young children do not have a good quality of life and have a susceptibility of becoming obese when they become adults. The adults are at greater risks of developing pathological conditions that are associated with obesity. Obese individuals have a greater susceptibility than the normal individuals to develop diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular conditions as well as hypertension. The probability of a few carcinomas is also increased with obesity. The mortality that has been linked with obesity and its associated pathologies is approximately 400,000 on an annual basis in the United States. Thus, there has been an increase in the number of people suffering from obesity and this has led to a subsequent rise in the pathologies associated with it (Huber; Verduin et al 259). Obesity not only affects the individual on a personal level but its effects on the economy of the United States have also been revealed. It has been assessed that obesity has been linked with alarming increases in the healthcare costs incurred upon the government. A burden of 190 billion dollars on the annual national healthcare cost has resulted owing to obesity. This cost is greater than the spending of the government on smoking which is also an important public health issue. The health care costs of obese males are 1,152 dollars greater than the normal weight men and the costs of obese females are 3,613 dollars greater than the non-obese females on an annual basis. The healthcare costs of an obese individual are more than six times greater in comparison to a person having normal weight. Healthcare researchers have also cited the fact that in comparison to smokers, obese people pose a greater burden on the healthcare spending even in the long run. This is because most of them live up to the normal age of life expectancy unlike the smokers and hence the spending on their nursing homes and old age issues is also increased (Begley; Ungar). Costs other than the healthcare expenditures have also increased owing to obesity. These include the increase in the costs of fuel. Owing to increased weight, greater energy is required by the vehicles and this accounts for greater fuel used. An additional cost of 4 billion annually has been accounted due to this. There has been increased spending on
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