America’s Obesity Epidemic
Obesity is a chronic condition defined by an excess amount of body fat. Within eight years in the United States, the incidence of obesity has nearly doubled. People throughout America are slowly being affected by this national problem of obesity. The obesity epidemic is growing throughout each state in America, but now reasons for this epidemic are becoming clearer to individuals.
Everyone wants to know a reason for the obesity epidemic, and now answers are appearing. Many reasons for this epidemic are due to present day generations, as well as American lifestyles. Fast food has not only come to dominate the American landscape, it has become the most visible American export around the globe (Down to Earth). Cheap and convenient food, busy work lives, and social lives, as well as a constant barrage from media sources have over-loaded Americans are all having a detrimental effect on people’s mental and physical health (Thompson). Due to busy lifestyles and laziness throughout America, people have found it easier to go through a drive-thru rather than take the time to go home and make a healthier meal for themselves. Weight gain and obesity are caused by consuming more calories than the body needs (“Obesity in America”). Genetic determinations, such as the way a body expends energy, hormones, which affect the way that calories are processed, and other organ systems in the body can all affect appetite (“Obesity in America”). Obesity is a disease that takes time to cure, but people will need to have determination to find a cure and also the understanding and knowing the cure will not come fast or easy. Thus, due to all these causes of obesity, America is in an epidemic that needs to be solved sooner than later. A big contributor to the obesity epidemic is the influence of the environment, such as lifestyles people have created. Within the American environments, what a person eats and how active he or she is, is now considered a lifestyle behavior (“Genetic Obesity”). Lifestyles contribute to obesity, because not only do families share genes, but they also share their lifestyle habits with in another in each household (“Genetic Obesity”). In any environment, diets from home are followed and original lifestyles can be carried on throughout life and adds to the ongoing obesity problem. Body functions of humans haven’t changed over the past 50-100 years, yet in society there have been an increasing number of people that are obese over the years (“Obesity”). Obesity over the past 30 years is most likely due to the recent environmental changes (Brehm). The environmental changes caused the obesity rates to increase over the years instead of decrease. The environment needs to change in a positive way in order for people to live in a healthy society.
The media is pressuring people into unhealthy eating habits and unhealthy lifestyles. People’s exposure to fast food ads have increased compared to 2003 (“Effective Summary”). McDonald’s web-based marketing starts with children as young as two years old using Ronald.com (“Effective Summary”). Exposure to fast food restaurants and ads for these restaurants at such a young age is a major contributor to obesity. Kids are being told at a young age that it is okay to eat junk food; not being told that it is unhealthy for them. Advanced technology is also a factor in media expanding their products. Nine restaurant Facebook pages had more than one million fans as of July 2010, and Starbucks boasted more than 11.3 million fans (“Effective Summary”). Smart phone apps were available for eight fast food chains, providing another opportunity to reach out to the young consumers anytime and anywhere (“Effective Summary”). In occurrence to the new technology, everyone has extra access to ads for all the unhealthy foods. The advanced technology has even gotten to the point where you can order food from your device. The media...