Obesity in America

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Obesity in America

ABS200: Introduction to Applied Behavioral Sciences
(COB1310B)

April 8, 2013

Obesity in America
Controversy over obesity increases as rapidly as the increase of the number of obese in America. At the rate of obesity health related issues surging through the country also comes along with the price to handle the growing cases. The debate of whether obesity is a disease or not is a major debate that effects not only the obese but those individuals in proximity. My question is obesity a disease because it is caused by genetics, biological factors, and illness that cause weight gain; opposing that it is not a disease because of the environment, eating habits, or lifestyle an individual may be accustomed to living. Conferring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010), one-third of American adults suffer from obesity, a chronic condition characterized by excess body fat. This paper will discuss obesity and what it is. Also focusing on the causes of obesity and the health issues linked with obesity. As well as incorporating who is responsible for obesity and identifying how obesity can be treated or prevented. What is Obesity? According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is defined as "the condition of an excessively high amount of body fat or adipose tissue in relation to lean body mass." A more commonly-known definition of obesity is that of an individual's weight being 30% or more above what is considered normal as defined by a standardly-accepted height/weight chart. (CDC, 2012) Obesity is a difficult problem that scientists are still battling to understand. In some cases, heredities seem accountable; in others, various groupings of hormonal, metabolic, and behavioral factors appear to be a factor. But in most cases, it's hard to determine the exact cause of obesity. Many friends of mine consider themselves fat or are always discussing dieting never taking into account of their BMI (Body Mass Index) to find out if they are actually suffering from obesity or overweight. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women; it helps guide your body weight. Many people think they are overweight and are actually obese. In order to calculate to see whether or not an individual is obese one must complete the following: BMI Categories:

•Underweight = <18.5
•Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
•Overweight = 25–29.9
•Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater (Calculate Your Body Mass Index, 2013) After measuring your BMI you can discover whether you are at a healthy weight and if not decided what needs to take place to get to that point of a healthy weight or narrow down the cause of the morbid weight gain. Just looking at this scale and your measurements determines if you are obese.

Obesity can be caused by a vast amount of factors; however, it is to my belief that changes in the nature of work, leisure time activity. Obesity can have different factors leading to its epidemic genetics, biological factors, and illness. Science shows that genetics plays a role in obesity. Genes can directly cause obesity in disorders such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome (Guyenet & Schwartz, 2012). Nevertheless, inheritable factor do not always predict how your future stand as for as health, one’s behavior may also play a role in a person’s overweightness. In some cases multiple genes may increase one’s vulnerability for obesity and require outside factors; such as a plentiful food resource or little to no physical activity.

Changes in what and how much we eat are the most significant contributing factors to the explosion of obesity in America. Poor eating habits, changes in lifestyles, environment and stress can be other evolving causes of obesity. As an easy fix to needing to eat or feeding our families dinner on the go, because of our busy lifestyle we may choose to dine in a fast food restaurant or pickup...
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