March 27, 2012
Obesity in America
Obesity in America is an ever-growing problem each day. As of 2011, The United States of America has the highest obesity rate of any other country of the world. What is obesity? Obesity is defined as “a condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body” (Webster). Excess obesity usually begins to have negative affects on the body and often causes health complications. The obesity rate in America has been on the rise for many years and will continue to only get worse if Americans do not take action immediately. Jeff Levi, Ph.D., executive director of TFAH said “Today, the state with the lowest obesity rate would have had the highest rate in 1995.” This is a fact that is not easy to hear and even harder to disprove (Levi). Based on polls taken in 2008, more than 50% of 4,000 people that took part in a poll said that they would give up a year of their lives if it meant they would no longer be obese. The same poll also gathered researched that shows the increasing weight of passengers on planes. Airlines have had to spend almost three hundred million on extra fuel to compensate for the massive growth in weight and size of passengers (Heather).
Although obesity is a massive problem in the United States, not many people actually know what obesity is. There are millions of Americans that would be considered obese by doctors, and they do not even realize they fall into that category. Most doctors consider men obese when they contain more than 25% body fat and women obese that contain more than 30% body fat. Based on those criteria, nearly 62% of Americans are considered obese and could possibly struggle from health complications in the near future ("Centers for disease control and prevention"). Those criteria seem pretty strict to many people but that is not the case. The human body is built to only carry a specific amount of weight, and although that may vary from one person to another, each person has a specific limit. Once that limit is passed, the body slowly falls apart. A great percentage of Americans in this category do not even realize they are obese, and therefore do not take action to control it. One of the main reasons that have caused Americans to not realize they are obese is because the natural temptation to compare ourselves to others. When 62% of Americans are obese, there are not many healthy people to open our eyes to the serious conditions of our bodies. This country is consumed by downward spiral of the obesity rate and we do not even realize it. America is obligated to adapt to the growing size and weight of people each year. Child safety seats are constantly being made bigger for children because the average size of children is growing every year. Sadly, children are not the only ones becoming bigger and more overweight. In a span of 10 years, the average weight of Americans has grown by nearly 10 pounds. Once the eyes of America are opened and we realize the severity of this issue, more Americans will live longer and be healthier for generations to come (Heather). What makes Americans Obese? Americans have been trying to answer this question for decades. Is it the media? The food? The culture? The stress? The reason Americans are obese is most likely a combination of all four of those. The media in America has tremendous influence on the actions and decisions of the people. The lessons the media teaches to the citizens of America consist with making yourself better in every way. Most people would assume that this would force people to stay healthy and be a better version of them, but that is simply not the case for most Americans. Instead, the idea of being better forces individuals to give up or use artificial ways to make themselves skinnier or better looking. The Americans that feel the need to give up because they will never fit the mold the media is looking for lose all interest in...