Obesity in America

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In the United States today, obesity has become an enormous problem. In the last 3decades, the number of people overweight has increased dramatically. A study done by theCenters of Disease Control showed that since 1980, one third of our adult population has becomeoverweight. America is the richest but also the fattest nation in the world, and our obese backsides are the butt of jokes in every other country (Klein 28). The 1980s were a time whenAmericans suddenly started going crazy over dieting, jumping onto the treadmills, and buying prepackaged non-fat foods. However, while all of that was going on, the number of obeseAmericans began to increase. According to a report in the Journal of the American MedicalAssociation, 58 million people in our country weigh over 20 percent of their body’s ideal weight.The article “Fat Times” states, “If this were about tuberculosis, it would be called an epidemic”(Elmer-Dewit 58). The eating habits of society have steadily become more harmful and havestarted to produce gluttonous children, over-indulgent adults, and a food industry set too muchon satisfying our appetites.Obesity can begin at a very young age. Many children in our society are overweight,setting themselves up for serious health problems later in life. Type 2 diabetes, high bloodcholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart problems are just some of the risks. Children who areoverweight also tend to feel less secure, less happy, and be stressed more than normal weight children do. They get teased, criticized, and judged. In many cases, the problem is not the child’sfault. Being overweight may run in that child’s family, or their parents do not encourage them to be active and get enough exercise. Many children spend too much time indoors wasting away infront of the TV, playing video games, or spending time on the computer, and consuming high fatsnacks, soft drinks and candy at the same time (Weight Management). The CDC performed astudy in 1994 that was described in the book Fat Land; it showed that children who watched over four hours of television a day had higher body mass index (body fatness) numbers than thosewho watched less than one hour a day. In 1994, The Centers for Disease Control studied the TVviewing time, exercise patterns, and weight gain of 4063 children aged eight to fifteen. Theresults found that the less a child exercised and the more they watched TV, the more likely theywere to be obese or overweight. When they surveyed the parents, they discovered that theconcern about crime was a reason that the parents didn’t want their children outside being active.That is why they were not concerned about the harmful effect of sitting in front of the TV allday; they were just glad that their children were safe. Surveys, studies, and reports that came outin the 1990s began to show shocking results of how “socially disfranchised” children were becoming from being obese (Critser 73-74). Schools aren’t helping the children either;How can the school nutritionist compete against BigFoot pizzas and Super-Size fries?The $50,000 the U.S. government allots each state annually to teach kids to eat right islost next to the billions spent designing food and packaging that will ring the kids'Pavlovian bells…

the percentage of teens who are overweight, which held steady at about15% through the 1970s, rose to 21% by 1991. ‘The kids eat nothing but junk food’ saysLiam Hennessey, a special-ed teacher from San Francisco who watches students on school trips open the lunches their parents pack for them, gobble up the Oreos and Pop-Tarts and toss out the sandwiches” (Elmer-Dewitt).

A Harvard Health Report, “Weight Less, Live Longer,” discusses how many people donot realize that their appetite and diet can be closely related to many psychological factors. Any person who has ever binged on chips or cookies when they feel upset can understand this.Several studies have shown that people tend to eat more when they feel anxious, depressed, or...
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