Thursday, May 13, 2010

Obesity

190 Million Americans are Obese or Overweight. These are not the only staggering statistics. The number of obese children in the United States has tripled the past 30 years and currently three out of every four children are considered obese. However, obesity has not just affected humans in the United States, sadly 25% of dogs and cats are heavier than they should be.Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar medical burden every year. It is the cause of many deadly diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes heart disease and cancer. In fact, 75% of the diabetes cases in the United States are Type 2 Diabetes. Needless to say the obesity epidemic is to blame for a lot of these cases. According to the Surgeon General, and the Journal of the American Medical Association reported in March that poor diet and physical inactivity could soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
So what has led this country to become the heaviest in the world? The obvious answer is that we eat too much and do not exercise enough. It is not that Americans are not trying to lose the weight. Americans pour scores of billions of dollars every year into weight-loss products and gym memberships and liposuction and gastric bypass operation. Even with magic diet pills and some success stories on shows such as “The Biggest Loser” America just keeps getting fatter. Even though many blame the obscene number of fast food restaurants and bad habits, genetics and evolution may be a reason for obesity. Years ago food was for energy and survival, as the human race evolved and the environment changed food because more of a pleasure and available everywhere. Technology is also in the mix. With remote controls and video games movies on demand and commercials with unhealthy but enticing foods, technology has almost completely removed physical exercise from the day-to-day lives of most Americans.
I feel the only real way to prevent the number of obese individuals in the United States from rising is education. Teaching parents and young children about a healthy balanced diet where you do not have to refrain from eating sweets within limits is the key to healthy living. Government officials are taking some steps by ridding schools of vending machines and extending gym periods. However, in the short time it took for America to expand its weight, it will take much longer to make it healthier.

1 comment:

  1. I am the last person to decry anyone who has made food a pillar of their lives. I cook professionally. As a journalist, I cover food safety and sustainability. As a food writer, I write about cooking. Clearly, food is something about which I am passionate

    ReplyDelete