What Contributes to Obesity in the U.S.?

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What Contributes to Obesity in the U.S.?

What can be directly linked to the current causes of our nation’s so called obesity crisis? Since 1990 the U.S. obesity rate has doubled and approximately 127 million adults are now over-weight and 60 million are obese (Engler 173). Many experiments have been taking place since the early 90’s trying to configure a direct link in the dramatic increase in our nations overall weight. Our society believes that being overweight is a cultural issue caused by the food we eat on a daily basis. Others believe our nation’s weight gain can be contributed to the abundance of advertisement schemes and convenience factors that are repeatedly exposed to us. Or could this be an issue that should be responsible by the individual indulging themselves in the unhealthy foods? These issues have been debated for years by numerous authors and can be looked at many different ways. What we do know is in 1994, diabetes in children was generally caused by a genetic disorder and only about 5 percent of childhood cases were obesity related. Today, Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 30 percent of all new childhood cases of diabetes in this country (Zinczenko 154). These are the different solutions each author suggest we go about fighting this obesity epidemic in the United States.

Our society believes that being overweight is a cultural issue caused by the food we eat on a daily basis. According to David Zinczenko, the author of Don’t Blame the Eater suggest could be an accurate suggestion as to why there is a McDonalds on every corner of most large cities. When someone’s daily dinner options consist of McDonalds, Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut they cannot consider themselves to be a healthy eater. Those food options were Zinczenko’s dinner choices when he was 15 years old. Also when Zinczenko was fifteen years old he was 212lbs on a 5-foot-10 frame. His parents were split up. He was considered a latchkey child who didn’t have an option to eat healthy because of the situation he was in with his parents. These same daily routines continued until he went to college and joined the Navy. Zinczenko blames the fast food industry for the growing rate in obesity and also believes that the U.S. government should regulate the restaurants and their food should be prepared under the Food and Drug Administration labeling laws. Currently, there is no U.S. policy that requires fast food restaurants to provide the nutritional information that is contained in the food item.

Paul Campos a law professor at the University of Colorado and author of the article Being Fat is Ok believes that being fat is ok. Campos believes that our culture puts too much emphasis on the image we want to portray to people and not enough on self-happiness. According to our federal government Body Mass Index (BMI) most people are technically overweight. Campos doesn’t think that being overweight should be an issue. If someone runs 35 to 40 miles per week and is 5-feet-8 and 165 does that make them obese? Campos believes that the BMI is just a flaw and judgment shouldn’t be taken seriously meaning that people shouldn’t judge themselves by this form of body measurement. Campos doesn’t believe that overweight individuals are necessarily any less healthy than an individual who meets the criteria of the BMI.

Another view on this topic comes from Susie Orbach, author of Fat as a Feminist Issue. Orbach is a professor in sociology at the London School of Economics. She he believes that fast food in now taken for granted in the United States. Fast food has not always been a normal dinner option for our families. Overtime it became an easy and convenient way of purchasing food. Orbach blames the food we eat on a regular basis to be the leading contributor to the negative stigma we have on women. Orbach believes that women are born with a social context that society is constantly examining or judging them. This contributes to women being very...
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