Morbid Obesity in America

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Over the last century, our society has changed and evolved in many ways- though not always for the better. One example of this is our country's attitude towards healthy eating. Fast food restaurants are becoming more and more popular, portions in restaurants have become unnecessarily large, and sedentary activities like watching television are our primary source of entertainment. As a result, we have seen a steady rise in obesity rates. This is a frightening trend, especially when obesity turns into morbid obesity. Morbid obesity is a serious condition affecting a growing number of Americans.

Obesity has been on the rise in America for some time- due in large part to our country’s lack of focus on the importance of healthy diet and exercise. In the last 20 years, obesity rates have increased from 15.0 percent to 32.9 percent (Department of Health and Human Services- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008). When obesity reaches extreme levels, it is referred to as Morbid Obesity; meaning, the person or persons have reached a weight that is potentially fatal. There are many health conditions associated with Morbid Obesity, such as sleep apnea, hypertension, fatty liver disease, gout, diabetes, or gynecological problems in women. Someone who is morbidly obese is much more likely to develop some or all of these conditions. Take for example patient A, a young woman who was an average weight throughout most of her life. This patient gained approximately 100 pounds during a pregnancy, and has “yo-yoed" up and down since then, ending up more than 140 pounds above her ideal weight. Since the weight gain, this patient has been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and gallbladder disease, and has suffered reproductive challenges as well. Although it is possible that the sleep apnea was a pre-existing condition, it is certain that her weight has not helped the situation.

Along with serious health conditions, morbid obesity can also have a negative...
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