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Obesity and Physical Activity - Essay Example

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Although this may not seem like such a huge problem, it has become a rising concern within the United States. Levels of obesity are sky high and there seems to be nothing we can do. Obesity is a leading cause of heart disease and heart failure, and has contributed to the vast increase in deaths associated with said diseases…
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Obesity and Physical Activity
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Obesity and Physical Activity Although this may not seem like such a huge problem, it has become a rising concern within the United s. Levels of obesity are sky high and there seems to be nothing we can do. Obesity is a leading cause of heart disease and heart failure, and has contributed to the vast increase in deaths associated with said diseases. But while the rest of the country seems to be having a major problem with Obesity and its associated problems (in particular heart disease), the Twin Cities have been experiencing fairly low rates of heart disease and associated deaths.
In fact, of a recent study done on city ranking, which ranks some of the largest metro areas against each-other, the Twin Cities ranked 46 out of 46 for levels of deaths associated with Heart Disease. The actual count comes down to 109 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to the number 1 city (which is Detroit) having 236.4 heart disease deaths per 100,000 people 2. There are multiple reasons why the levels are so low, but probably one of the largest reasons has to be the low levels of air pollution and the emphasis on physical activity within the Metro Area.
Many schools across the metro have been cracking down on teaching students about physical activity, and often there is not much else to do in the winter time anyway. A lot of people love to take walks early in the morning to get used to the cold so that it doesn't bother them throughout the rest of the day.
Not only that, but the community has become strongly involved in the spread of information about obesity and physical activity. In fact, there is a number you can call to hook up with Health Partners in the Twin Cities and speak about obesity as well as request several documents and fliers to hand out to people. Health Partners also offers educational training courses and public announcements as well through this hot-line.
Also, in the University of Minnesota, many studies are done year round about the health of their students, and being as they have over 50,000 students 3 it has become difficult to not ignore them. The studies focus on demographics and statistics of students, and apparently technology has played a part in the increase of exercise among U of M students. In many of the exercise facilities, televisions and computer screens can be found along the exercise machine to keep students focused and entertained while exercising. Although seemingly ironic at first, since television is one of the leading factors in obesity, it has helped many students to be motivated more to exercise.
There are, however, plenty of things which can be done to improve the physical lifestyle of people among the Twin Cities. More free exercise clinics could be offered, since I myself have found some of the health club membership rates to be a bit excessive (some over $50 per month) would probably entice more people to work out regularly. More advertisements for exercise and physical activity could be implemented. More rewarding activities during physical education classes could be implemented to get un-interested students interested. More public articles and speeches could be written about the importance of physical activity. And most importantly, publicly organized activities could be implemented, like community field days.
However, the Twin Cities perform rather well in this department when compared to many cities across the United States. The rates of heart disease deaths are even lower than in some other developed countries across the world. But there is always room for improvement.

References
1 City Rank Minneapolis, (1997)
A document containing many statistics and percentages about health relations, and in this reference, was used to show how Minneapolis ranks in the top 50% overall for health issues.
2 City Rank Minneapolis, (1997)
A section on heart disease was referenced, and I pulled the statistic about how Detroit ranks number one for heart disease deaths and Minneapolis has one of the lowest rates
3 Wikipedia, University of Minnesota System, (viewed November 27, 2005)
This document provided statistics about the demographical make-up and general
history of the University of Minnesota, and how over 50,000 students are currently
enrolled within it. Retrieved from the web at http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/University_of_Minnesota_system
4 Ashley Logan, personal interview and conversation
Using parts of a past interview, I talked about the tobacco ban and its effects on patrons
within the metro area. She commented on seeing less patrons around many places since they no longer allow smoking.
5 Boynton Health Services, U of M Tobacco Brochure (2004)
A brochure showing charts and graphs of tobacco use and its link to alcohol and drug use, also where I garnered the fact that regular U of M smokers are more than 6 times more likely to use Marijuana than non-smokers (Back page of brochure)
6 Capitol Roundup, Article of Prostitution in the Twin Cities
The location of where I came up with my 14 year old prostitute statistic and where I
received the numbers of underage prostitutes. Retrieved from http://www. hometownsource.com/capitol/1999/november/1104teens.html. Read More
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