Health and Obesity

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Public Awareness and Human Disease
Axia College of University of Phoenix

Are you aware that one out of every five (5) children in the United States considered either overweight or obese (BusinessWeek, 2005)? Alternatively, those on average of one in every three adults are also considered obese (Mayo Clinic, 1998-2009)? Obesity has risen dramatically and at an alarming rate within the past few decades, almost tripling since the 1960’s. An average of 25 to 30% of children are affected by obesity and overweight each year and yet, this condition remains to be under diagnosed and untreated (Moran, 1999). In order to reverse this devastating epidemic one must better understand the causes, affects, and the ways of preventing obesity before it is too late. Obesity can and should be prevented to better the lives of our, children and, ourselves; obesity not only affects ones health but mental and physical well-being as well. Obesity

Obesity, a condition that caused by an excess accumulation of body fat is currently affecting 19% of children 6 to 11 and 17% of children 12 to 19 years of age (Science Daily, 1995-2009). Obesity has no discrimination against age, gender, and cultural backgrounds although, it does affect different ethnicity groups and genders differently. The United States currently has the highest rates of obesity among other countries with rates doubling amongst adults and tripling amongst children since the 1980’s. Obesity in children has become a growing concern in America and without proper measures; will become a trend that will only continue to get worse instead of better.

Causes of Obesity

There are many causes of obesity and while genetics tend to play a role in obesity, there is no denying that environmental and psychological factors are also to blame. A lack of exercise and the overly excessive availability of junk food are two of the main factors contributing to obesity in both today’s youth and adults. With more families strapped for time, fast food restaurants have become the next best thing to a home cooked meal. Over the last two decades portion sizes at fast food restaurants have more than doubled, now including large and king-sized meals on the menu it has become easier for Americans to over eat. Now with more children choosing to stay inside playing video games and watching hours upon hours of television the amount of physical activity amongst the youth has also decreased dramatically within the past few decades. According to Kids Health (1995-2006), “Kids younger than 8 spend an average of 2.5 hours watching TV or playing video games, and kids 8 and up spend 4.5 hours plopped in front of the TV or wriggling a joystick” (¶13). Although environmental factors play a big part in obesity, one must not forget that genetic and psychological factors are also to blame.

The chances of a child becoming obese are greatest among children who have obese parents. This is mainly due to parental modeling of both eating and exercise behaviors. Psychological factors also can influence both a child’s and an adults eating habits. Many people eat when they are feeling sad, angry or bored which; can cause them to become overweight or even obese. Illnesses such as hypothyroidism (a deficient activity of the thyroid gland) Cushing’s disease (a glandular disorder caused by excessive ACTH resulting in greater than normal functioning of the adrenal gland) and Prader Willie Syndrome (an eating disorder of the 15th chromosome) are also psychological factors that can contribute to obesity. There are many causes of obesity in the adults and youth of today’s world yet the health issues associated with obesity are enough to make any person think twice about what he or, she are doing to one’s children and ones, self.

Health and Obesity

Approximately 300,000 deaths in the United States each year are...
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