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Why Weight for Change?

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Why Weight for Change?

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  • December 2005
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Is our nation getting too fat? We all hear the news reports on obesity rates, and we all have taken a second look at ourselves in the mirror. More the half American adults are overweight, and about half of the overweight are obese (Koplan and Dietz 473). The numbers seem shocking to some, and to others it is not a surprise. But whether we have noticed excessive weight on ourselves, or others, have we noticed the growing trend? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of obese Americans has increased by 74% from 1991 to 2001; with a 5.6% increase from just 2000 to 2001 (480). At this high rate of increase, what are we to expect five years from now? What about ten years from now? What about our children's future? Will the increase in obesity lead to a society where very few people will be within the weight range that we view as ideal today? If actions are not taken now, we may be too late. A typical scale to determine weight compared to your height is calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI), which is one's weight in kilograms divided by their height in meters, squared. Being overweight is having a BMI of 25 or more, while being obese is having a BMI of 30 or more (Koplan and Dietz 473). Bearing excess weight can hurt someone's self-esteem, along with their health. Looking at some of the possible health risks, "80% of obese adults have diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, gallbladder disease, or osteoarthritis" (Koplan and Dietz 473). Obesity related health risks are not only relevant in adults, but also in children. Hyperlipidemia, elevated blood pressure, and increased insulin levels are also some possible health risks of those who are overweight. Sadly, 60 % of overweight children, ages 5 to 10, have one of these health risks, while 25% have at least two (Koplan and Dietz 473). What are the possible causes of these detrimental trends of weight gain and health...

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