Obesity in America - Essay Example

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The issues regarding the ever-increasing obesity rate among Americans have been causing serious health concerns for several years in the United States of America. The obesity rate amongst adults is at 69%, which consists of 79 million Americans, according to the National Heart and Lung Association (NHLA)…
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Obesity in America The issues regarding the ever-increasing obesity rate among Americans have been causing serious health concerns for several years in the United States of America. The obesity rate amongst adults is at 69%, which consists of 79 million Americans, according to the National Heart and Lung Association (NHLA). In addition to NHLA reports of adult obesity, child obesity is also a major problem within the United States for the past 30 years or so. My purpose for researching and writing about Obesity in America is to gain a better understanding of how we have increased our obesity rate throughout time and how we are going to fix this issue which seems to expand every year. The first approach is to provide a legible and supportive answer as to what this society considers and defines as being “obese”. It can be defined on the basis of military expectations, which may cause controversy amongst obesity rates examined. In addition to examining its definition, I would like to examine and compare the issues at hand; focusing on whether the definition supports the legible concept of obesity. Secondly, the effects of obesity on the people of America will be considered as well. For example, a person in the military may be considered “obese” according to military standards. Since the military is stricter with their weight standards, there arise two important questions: 1) is that person necessarily obese; and 2) Would they be at risk as compared to those who are actually going through medical issues. I would also like to discuss the kind of people who are being affected focusing primarily on children in order to make suggestions on how this issue can be alleviated.  Finally, I would like to get the global perspective on the issue of obesity which provides a better outlook on defining obesity as well as offers outside solutions that may aid in solving this particular issue. As stated earlier, obesity becomes a major issue when it increases on yearly basis. Our biggest concern should not only be the provision of better food, but the complete understanding and knowledge of the term obesity are also required in order to solve this on-going issue, especially when it comes to the present youth of the United States of America.  "Obesity is when someone is so overweight that it is a threat to their health" (Shah). Obesity is mostly the result of activities like over-eating, consuming unhealthy food and lack of adequate amount of exercise. Moreover, the consumption of fast or junk food is increasing with the passage of time. Other factors which contribute to the increasing obesity rate include inactive lifestyle, increasing urbanization and the availability of more comfortable modes of transportation. However, the definition of obesity varies from country to country under different circumstances (Shah). Furthermore, obesity in childhood can lead to severe health concerns for the rest of life. As far as the as the adults are concerned, obesity can be a probable cause of heart disease, type two diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and other fatal, chronic diseases. Data obtained from NHANES survey indicates that approximately 13% of the adult population in the United States of America suffer from diabetes due to obesity. A recent national study showed that 58% of children suffering from diabetes type two were overweight ("Why Obesity Is a Health Problem"). The U.S. military weight standards are somewhat stricter than the normal weight standards observed around the world. In order to determine the percentage of young adults who meet the current weight standards of the U.S military, a survey was conducted. The results showed that the percentage of young adults whose weight surpassed the military weight standards ranged from 13 to 18 percent for men and 17 to 43 percent for women. It is evident from the results that an enormous number of young adult American population surpasses U.S. military weight standards, thereby indicating the disproportion regarding weight among the people of the United States of America. In addition to that, it is interesting to note that the large number of young adult population from which U.S. volunteer military is selected, exceeds the military weight standards. (Nolte, Franckowiak, Crespo and Anderson, 487). Additionally, one’s self esteem and control over one’s weight are correlated. According to an article published in the American Journal of Medicine, obesity is often caused by low self-esteem issues and other personality shortcomings. Some people assume that they have no control over their weight. Consequently, they tend to devalue their will power by holding themselves to an idealistically high standard. This negative attitude varies with gender, body mass, environment etc. Women are more likely to fall a victim of such unconstructive attitudes regarding the ability to control their own body weight (Klaczynski, Goold, and Mudry, 315 ). As far as addressing the obesity at global level is concerned, the world health organization is the key institution in this regard. It formulates global strategy that focuses mainly on food development and agricultural policies in order to aid the promotion of public health all around the world. Moreover, a joint program by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization works to highlight the challenges regarding obesity at international level. However, at the same time, challenges and barriers persist, thereby creating an imbalance between the goals of international health institutions (Shah). It is estimated that if Americans stick to their current eating habits, half of the U.S. population will be overweight by the year 2030. The obesity rates in every state of America are expected to reach at least 44% over the course of next 17 years (Begley). In order to deal with all the problems and inequalities, in obesity, mentioned above, firm actions grounded in health equality are required. For this purpose, suitable national policies with appropriate domestic subsidies need to be implemented that aim at healthier food production around the country. Furthermore, a systematic evaluation of all the initiatives meant to reduce obesity, a cultural as well as mental shift in attitude towards the problem at hand and the development of sustainable food distribution programs are required (Shah). The level of physical activity should be increased. Additionally, with the combined efforts of the entire community, the quality of food served in schools, hotels and other places can be changed altogether (Begley). In short, it is pertinent to say that the issues encompassing obesity problems in the United States of America pose serious health concerns for the adults in general and the child population in particular. Therefore, they need to be dealt with as soon as possible by making healthy food choices meant for healthy lifestyles. For this purpose, the entire community ranging from children to adults need to participate actively in health related programs and activities in collaboration with the local as well as international health organizations. Works Cited Begley, Sharon. "Fat and Getting Fatter: U.S. Obesity Rates to Soar by 2030." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 18 Sept. 2012. Web. 8 Aug. 2013. . Klaczynski, P. A., Goold, K.W, and Mudry, J.J. "Culture, Obesity Stereotypes, Self-Esteem, and the "Thin Ideal": A Social Identity Perspective". Journal of Youth and Adolescence 33.4 (2004): 307-317. Print. Nolte, R., Shawn C. Franckowiak, Carlos J. Crespo, and R. E. Anderson. "U.S. Military Weight Standards: What Percentage of U.S. Young Adults Meet the Current Standards?" American Journal of Medicine 113.6 (2002): 486-90. Print. Shah, Anup. "Obesity." Obesity- Global Issues. N.p., 21 Nov. 2010. Web. 12 Aug. 2013. . "Why Obesity Is a Health Problem." Obesity Health Problem, Healthy Weight Basics, NHLBI, NIH. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 13 Feb. 2013. Web. 8 Aug. 2013. . Read More
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