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Obesity

Page 1 of 3
John Cosgrove
Causal Analysis

It’s sweeping the nation, it’s affecting over 60% of U.S. adults, and it’s even labeled as a disease: its obesity. Obesity has become one of the most prevalent issues in American society and is related to many leading causes of death such as heart disease and diabetes. The reason it has become such a ubiquitous problem is because the rate of obese Americans has more than doubled since the 1980’s. But what else has significantly changed since the 1980’s, the food market industry. The food market industry is a key element of obesity but not 100% of the problem. I think the root of obesity can be traced back to three main components: unhealthy food, lack of exercise and the marketing of the unhealthy food.

To begin with, the main cause of obesity is the unhealthy food available to the average American. Unhealthy food does not only include fast food but also junk food and snacks that are readily available at any school and supermarket. All these junk foods consist of is mainly fat, sugar and salt and not much else. Fat is the leading component for obesity and heart disease and sugar leads to diabetes and addiction. Yes, that’s right, addiction. Studies are beginning to come out that are linking the high levels of sugar in junk food to addiction. “There are brain-imaging studies in humans and a variety of animal studies showing that sugar acts on the brain very much like morphine, alcohol and nicotine” (Brownell). The effect of sugar obviously is not as strong as any drug but the underlying idea remains the same. There are reward pathways in the brain that are activated by the release of dopamine when something pleasurable is done such as drinking a sugar filled beverage or eating candy. Did you ever think maybe the reason you wanted that Coke over water is because the Coke actually pleased you more? So besides the fact that fast food and junk food is detrimental to your health it is also difficult to stop eating...