Obesity - Research Paper Example

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“I’m Still Going to Eat it!” Going out to eat is suicide. Still, individuals in the United States prefer fast food to healthy food prepared at home with healthy ingredients. In fact, Americans eat one third of their calories from restaurants and studies show that eating out is directly related to obesity (Mantel 804)…
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“I’m Still Going to Eat it!” Going out to eat is suicide. Still, individuals in the United s prefer fast food to healthy food prepared at home with healthy ingredients. In fact, Americans eat one third of their calories from restaurants and studies show that eating out is directly related to obesity (Mantel 804). Whenever anyone chooses to eat out and does not make any effort to know what is in the food, he or she is slowly killing themselves. Too many people are making bad food choices. Many are making these bad food choices because they do not have time to cook at home and eat a nutritious meal. Those who are working prefer to eat out and when they do, they order food that contains too much fat, salt and sugar. Americans are dying because they do not think before they eat. Obesity in the United States is a huge problem that will continue to be a physical, social and economic threat unless the American public stops over nutrition, increases physical activity, and makes better food choices. In accordance with the Economist, Americans consume 150 hamburgers a year. On average, every American citizen eats three hamburgers a week (As hamburgers go, so goes America? 1997). This quantity of junk food is an evidence of the fact that the contemporary Americans are dealing with a challenging problem: either to satisfy their stomachs or to develop a new culture of nutrition without hamburgers. Obesity is a huge problem in America that will continue unless Americans stop over eating. Children especially are not eating healthy meals. In “Washington D.C., school breakfast used to look like Apple Jacks cereal, topped with strawberry flavored milk, a Pop-Tart, a pack of Goldfish and a carton of orange juice. Altogether children as young as 5 routinely were consuming the equivalent of 15 teaspoons of sugar before class even started” (Mantel 811). In the past, young kids at school were forced to consume nothing but sugary foods. The unhealthy breakfast choices led to dangerous weight gain. Although schools in Washington DC are currently offering healthier breakfast foods, too many young people in the United States are already obese. Americans are responsible for the obesity among young children. Instead of encouraging kids to stay away from empty calories in unhealthy foods that will help them stay healthy, many parents still buy fast foods. Because of being very busy, many Americans choose to have quick and easy meals which are most often very unhealthy foods (Kind). For example, it is very useful for the modern busy parents to prepare meals high in salt, sugar and fat; these food items are easy to make in the morning. When parents chose quick and easy foods over good foods for their children, their children will become overweight. Those overweight children will then grow up to be overweight adults. Until Americans stop overeating, the rate of obesity in Americans will arise. Overeating comes from making poor food choices. Making poor food choices comes from lack of information about the ingredients present in foods. In fact, poor menu labeling is one of the other main reasons that lead to obesity. It is hard to tell if the chicken salad has mayonnaise in it which include a lot of fat, and it might be shameful for some people to ask this kind of information (Mantel 804). Many people do not know what ingredients are in the food that they eat. Many do not want to know because if they do know what kinds of ingredients are in the foods that they eat, especially those they order at a restaurant, they will not be able to enjoy their eating experience. This attitude is wrong. Correct menu labeling can help Americans to avoid fattening foods. In this way, Americans will be able to make smarter food choices because the fat content of the food they are eating is not a mystery anymore. Many Americans continue to eat unhealthy because they do not know any better way of eating properly. It should be noted that poor families and more often African Americans or Asian Americans experience a problem of obesity (Kimm, 202). Those who do not have much money do not have the opportunity to eat healthy. Therefore, it is the local, state and federal government’s responsibility to assist poor families and help them to make healthy foods more affordable. Menu labeling at all places that serve food can help Americans avoid unhealthy lives. A Stanford University researcher found out that New York City Starbucks customers reduced their calories by 6% after the store began the menu labeling (Mantel 805). Many are regularly eating food without knowing what’s in the food which is going to cause them to be overweight. Many chose to consume fewer calories after they read the menu that labeled all the ingredients of each dish. Therefore, the spread of appropriate information about healthy food is one of the most important factors that can exert the necessary change in society. Change in society will not be realized until Americans increase their physical activity. “Increase opportunities for physical activity will also help families lead a more achieve lifestyle and help prevent and control illness and disease” (Kind). Since medical service is expensive, having an active life will not only help an individual’s health, it will also help economically. U.S. companies pay over expenses ranging up to $13 billion per year for medical-care costs directed on obesity-related diseases, decreased levels of productivity, and non-attendance (The Economics, 2007). Obesity in the United States is a huge problem that will continue to be a threat unless more is done to promote the necessity of good health. For example, something that would help teenagers become more active is sponsoring free, after school activities that will teach them the importance of regular exercise. Tennessee law requires building more side walks and bike lanes (Adams). In Tennessee, more side walks and bike lanes leads to more people walking and riding bikes which will motivate them to stay fit. This is something that every state should follow to promote a more active life style in their communities. Frequent physical activity maintains the body for years and allows everyone the chance to experience a longer, better and happier life style. To overcome the threat of obesity, everyone at the local level, within the community or within a family must take action. Although obesity has augmented in recent years, at some level, individuals realize the importance of exercising, but still, choose to do little. “There are now more thoughts of building safe place for children to play, safe routes for them to travel to school, and more facilities for physical activity in communities” (Kind). These new infrastructures are being made with the purpose of promoting citizens to walk, and exercise instead of just riding a vehicle to get to a destination. It is a project that should be prioritized by states and enforced in counties to find a way of reducing the sedentary life style that current communities have. The new generation really does worry about their inabilities to deal with the problem of obesity. Further, they are looking for possible ways out of this problem. The problem is that not everyone in all of the country chooses to take action to stop the spread of obesity. Americans often do not make time in their lives to exercise, even if they want to do so. “More than half of the parents (52%) surveyed said their children had expressed a desire to exercise more, and 30% said their children wanted to lose weight” (Public). While there is an interest to participate in more sport activities, and find the proper information about eating healthy foods, most people still gain too much weight. “Obesity in children has increases the more hours they watch television” (American). Instead of going outside and being active, most Americans, especially young kids, prefer to stay inside and use technology. Computer games and a new life in the virtual world make up a child’s daily life. When they are absorbed in the magical worlds of cyber reality or TV shows, they consume large quantities of food; often they choose foods high in fat. Moreover, the parents do not restrict access to unhealthy foods and also do make healthy foods more available at home. In the end, the child who is left alone watching television and eating chips becomes an obese adult who has no place to go but home because of his or her weight. CONCLUSION Therefore, to fight with obesity, there is a need to implement a complex approach to this challenging problem. On the one hand, it is desirable to go in for sports, to buy healthy food etc, but on the other hand, there is a need to cultivate a culture of nutrition in the society, where food is not for filling our stomachs, but also for accompanying our communication with people around us. On the example of the modern studies and researches it is claimed that obesity is a social problem with cultural, social and economic implications, which may destroy the American society. Therefore, let us put our efforts together in order to prevent the growing levels of obesity among children, who should be sound members of the society. Works Cited “As hamburgers go, so goes America?”Aug 21st 1997 from the print edition of the Economist. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. Adams, Rebecca. “Advocacy Group Study: Anti-Obesity Programs Can Improve Americans’ Health.” CQ Health Beat 01 Nov. 2011. Gale. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. American Psychological Association. “Fast Food Advertising Is Linked to Rising Childhood and Teen Obesity.” How Does Impact Teen Behavior? Ed. Roman Espejo. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. Kimm, S., Glynn, N.W., Kriska, A.M., et al. “Decline in physical activity in African-American girls and white girls during adolescence”. NEJM, 347 (2002): 709–15. Kind, Ron. “Education is key in battle against obesity epidemic: American should be taught how to better their health through exercise and better food choices.” The Hill 17.46 (2010): 29. Gale. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. Mantel, Barbara. “Preventing Obesity.” CQ Researcher 20.34 (2010): 797-820. CQ Researcher Online. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. "Public Opinion and Action about Diet, Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity." Weight In America: Obesity, Eating Disorders, and Other Health Risks. Ed. Barbara Wexler. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 13 Dec. 2011. “The Economics of Overweight and Obesity.” Weight In America: Obesity, Eating Disorders, and Other Health Risks. Ed. Barbara Wexler. 2007 ed. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. Read More
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