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Published: Thursday 31st of October 2013
The obesity epidemic has raised public worries for nearly the past five decades in the United States of America. It causes fatal health problems over time, yet, it can be easily be prevented. Unfortunately, many people are less concerned and take minimal efforts towards preventive measures. In advance of a digital generation and overflow of food in various outlets are inclining majority of people with sudden and unproportionate weight gain. However, many people are quick to raise fingers over their supposedly 24/7 routine timeline as an excuse for an unexpected addition of weight.
Urgent measures ought to be taken by everyone to stop the unwanted creeping visitor in our society: Obesity. Over 66 % of adults in the United States have Obesity. It is paramount for everyone to know the consequences and preventive measures of Obesity to come to terms with the raising nationwide Obesity epidemic in America. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has realized challenges when researching on this growing problem in the U.S. These difficulties consist of economic status, sex and the locality where one is coming from.
Currently, obesity in America has made headlines and created jitters to most people unlike in the past. It is a general feeling of everyone in the world that with the advanced health care programmes, medication, facilities and many recreational centers in the country, one would confidently conclude that the United States is the benchmark of health excellence but contrary to this, obesity is catching up with most citizens rapidly. Many predisposing factors are leading to weight gain. These include the many unhealthy product varieties and many innovations that give alternatives to food preparation.
Many parents are taking junk food and engage in less physical activities setting unpleasant examples to their children who follow suit while most schools nowadays are geared to full-time theoretical classes allocating minimal time to extra-curriculum activities. In addition to this, most cafes and restaurants are offering oily foods to their customers and many food industries, factories and organization are coming up with inventions that are very unpopular to healthy living in America.
Many Americans are busy intoxicating their bodies with eating themselves silly without realizing the real danger that the creeping obesity is likely to cause to them. The genetics of an individual has also been found to play a very critical role in creating obesity once the person becomes exposed to the other causes. It now explains why close families and first degree relatives having a gene related towards obesity are all likely to be affected. Obesity is now becoming significantly increased in a majority of individuals than any other disease. This possesses a risk of overwhelming containment to such an epidemic.
The United States government is fully aware of these developing concerns and has banked on creating public awareness, giving warnings concerning the effects of obesity and coming up with many other ways to put a stop to this epidemic before it spirals out of control, and causes an increasing number of deaths that could have been prevented. Still, many options cause dilemmas to numerous Americans, whether to abstain from the tasty fried chickens and pizzas from the many outlets and opt for other healthy foods that to them are unpopular and tasteless. Children and adolescents grow in an environment where fast foods are the order of the day. Vegetables and fruits, which are the major players in healthy eating, become very unpopular with them at a very early age. They grow up knowing that the junk and fast foods are healthy, this becomes part of their system with less physical activity.
If the trend continues this way, then the United States is treading on a path that is very deadly with no room to return to normal. If the state government does not increase their containment measures, then America will undoubtedly become a nation dying from obesity.
Obesity has numerous causes with lifestyle being one of the leading reasons. Healthy living is one of the simplest ways of preventing Obesity. Studies carried out in America point to the environment to be a good avenue seeding Obesity. There are many accessory food outlets, many social conferences, festivals and assemblies that encourage unplanned fast food consumption, many restaurants and cafes that offer junk foods and a largescale apathy towards physical activities. Obesity has become the number one leading cause of death displacing smoking that initially was in this position.
American Obesity Association has now come to terms with the increasing number of insurance companies readily assuring obesity; this now correlates with a massive obesity epidemic. Cancer, high LDL cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, low HDL cholesterol, coronary heart disease, high levels of triglycerides, stroke, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and sleep apnea are some of the leading effects of Obesity. Unlike before where type 1 diabetes was found in few children below the age of 10 years, type 2 diabetes has become increasingly documented now in many of these children.
Obesity can be assessed by measuring an individual’s body mass index. This is calculated by considering weight, height and waist size of an individual. Average body mass index for an adult falls between 18.5% and 24.5%. Between 25 % and 29.8 %, body mass index indicates that the person is overweight while individuals above 30 % are probably obese. Children’s body mass index is calculated differently from adults. The primary criterion used is the weight of the child. If the importance of the child is between 84% and 94 %, the child is considered to have gained excess weight. If the body mass index is above 94%, then the child is obese.
The center for disease control has found leading facts about obesity. Close to one-third of adults living in the United States are obese. Out of this, the figure is high in adults between the ages of 39 years and 58 years. Low-income women have higher chances of being overweight than the high-income women. The impact on medical costs in the United States has also risen over the years. The states of West Virginia, Mississippi, and Arkansas have recorded highest numbers of obesity in the recent years than other States in the entire country. These rates are above 35% obesity levels.
The states of Colorado, District of Columbia and Hawaii have the lowest prices, recording percentages as low as 21% levels of obesity. According to sex and ethnicity, women are more likely to have obesity than men. Hispanic Blacks are more likely to be obese than white women. African-American women are twice as likely to get it as White-American women. These statistics show that very close studies on sex and ethnicity need to be seriously followed as the essential give details on an obese epidemic. These factors will undoubtedly give strong clues on how to overcome obesity.
Worldwide figures show a steady decline in obesity levels. Still, the United States shows a worrying incline, going against the odds. It is always the country with one of the highest obesity levels. Unlike in our country where females are highly predisposed to obesity; Mexican women are advantaged compared to their male counterparts. India, Indonesia, China, Japan, and Korea are some of the countries privileged to record low obesity levels. Nations that are showing almost similar trends in obesity levels compared to the United States are the likes of Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, and Mexico.
The socioeconomic states worldwide have also been indicated to predispose people to Obesity. People in countries facing financial crises are likely to make drastic changes in food budget by cutting expenses on vegetables and fruits which are slightly expensive and focus on buying unhealthy foodstuffs which are ever cheap in the food outlets. A perfect example was witnessed in 2008 when the world economy faced a severe financial deficit never seen before. Most families that were most affected displayed this typical scenario. Studies have also shown that even a slight loss of weight reduces the risk factors of obesity significantly. Imagine a loss of between 5% and 10 % of the total body weight to obese individuals, decreases substantially most of the complications that obesity is likely to bring.
America should not give up in the fight to eradicate Obesity. It is common knowledge that children imitate more of their parent’s actions than words. Parents should, therefore, practice and develop an attitude of eating healthy food products like vegetables and fruits and get rid of much of junk foods and high cholesterol food products from their freezers. They should also input the routine of regular exercise in the homestead. These expose their children to learn and get used to healthy living habits at a very early age. As they grow, they can get rid of junk foods and eat sugary food products less frequently. The schools should also develop preventive measures by restricting junk foods and high cholesterol products in school meals.
Schools ought to be the number one amenity creating awareness by teaching children on what obesity is and the effects that come with it. Students should be allocated more time in physical education, rather than the education facilities engaging in practices that encourage unhealthy diet and living. The government must make that hard decision sooner or later, whether to allow food organizations, restaurants and cafes to flood the market with lots of junk and high cholesterol foods or limit their production and curb the overflow. The government must ensure that the routine of knowing the citizen’s body mass index is put in place.
It must condition every social amenity including state departments and agencies to buy body mass index equipment for the mandatory calculation of one’s body mass index. Those found falling above the 25% range should be advised and monitored till the risk is controlled. It is very encouraging to see the federal government has adopted and implemented the federal nutrition program in schools seeking to provide rescue to the obesity debate.
These guidelines help many students, specifically those from families facing financial constraints, to have healthy eating habits. These guidelines include incorporation of fresh vegetables and fruits in breakfast and lunch programs, giving free or subsidized healthy food products to those affected, and playing a pivotal role in early childhood developments by coming up with criteria and addressing the deficits in children needs as far as their nutrition is concerned. The federal government has also offered guidelines for the adults, pregnant women and the elderly. These include free access to healthcare facilities to examine risk factors posing obesity, and implementing food assistance services to the needy and those who need healthier foods.
Despite the challenges posed by the public domain questioning who should pay for these services to be enabled, the federal government ought to sensitize the public on the positive outcomes of these initiatives. Food organizations majoring on unhealthy food products should also decide whether they want to sell their products to customers facing death in the long-run with no customers at the end, or do good to the society by spearheading to take the initiative to spread the message of good and healthy living habits.
Obesity is a deadly and a life-threatening condition owing to the effects it causes, yet, it can be easily be prevented from occurring. It requires discipline and sacrifice to routine one’s mind to practice healthy living and take healthy diets. The many inconveniences brought by Obesity like creating a public scene where everyone looks at you because of the massive weight gain, inability to fit in general amenities like theatre and school seats will be no more if the guidelines for healthy living and regular exercise are followed. Health problems like high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, stroke and type 2 diabetes caused by Obesity impacts heavily on social and financial capabilities of both those affected and unaffected. It is saddening to note that Obesity worst hits America today like never before and if unattended, none will be able to come out of this mess created by ourselves in America. It is everyone’s responsibility and the government to fight day and night to curb this epidemic and lessen the jitters caused by the skyrocketing numbers of those affected by diabetes.
We exist in a world where the land offers plenty of healthy food products. Governments, companies, organizations, and individuals should desist from initiatives that harm healthwise in the long run to people and make use of the plenty opportunities the lands are offering to produce sound, sufficient and healthy food products. The world should know that fighting obesity is not uncomplicated and requires collective measures to combat it effectively.