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Americas Obesity Epidemic

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Topics: Obesity
Cheyenne Rogers
English IV
Senior Paper
America’s Obesity Epidemic Obesity is a chronic condition defined by an excess amount of body fat. Within eight years in the United States, the incidence of obesity has nearly doubled. People throughout America are slowly being affected by this national problem of obesity. The obesity epidemic is growing throughout each state in America, but now reasons for this epidemic are becoming clearer to individuals. Everyone wants to know a reason for the obesity epidemic, and now answers are appearing. Many reasons for this epidemic are due to present day generations, as well as American lifestyles. Fast food has not only come to dominate the American landscape, it has become the most visible American export around the globe (Down to Earth). Cheap and convenient food, busy work lives, and social lives, as well as a constant barrage from media sources have over-loaded Americans are all having a detrimental effect on people’s mental and physical health (Thompson). Due to busy lifestyles and laziness throughout America, people have found it easier to go through a drive-thru rather than take the time to go home and make a healthier meal for themselves. Weight gain and obesity are caused by consuming more calories than the body needs (“Obesity in America”). Genetic determinations, such as the way a body expends energy, hormones, which affect the way that calories are processed, and other organ systems in the body can all affect appetite (“Obesity in America”). Obesity is a disease that takes time to cure, but people will need to have determination to find a cure and also the understanding and knowing the cure will not come fast or easy. Thus, due to all these causes of obesity, America is in an epidemic that needs to be solved sooner than later.
A big contributor to the obesity epidemic is the influence of the environment, such as lifestyles people have created. Within the American environments, what a person eats and how active he or she is, is now considered a lifestyle behavior (“Genetic Obesity”). Lifestyles contribute to obesity, because not only do families share genes, but they also share their lifestyle habits with in another in each household (“Genetic Obesity”). In any environment, diets from home are followed and original lifestyles can be carried on throughout life and adds to the ongoing obesity problem. Body functions of humans haven’t changed over the past 50-100 years, yet in society there have been an increasing number of people that are obese over the years (“Obesity”). Obesity over the past 30 years is most likely due to the recent environmental changes (Brehm). The environmental changes caused the obesity rates to increase over the years instead of decrease. The environment needs to change in a positive way in order for people to live in a healthy society. The media is pressuring people into unhealthy eating habits and unhealthy lifestyles. People’s exposure to fast food ads have increased compared to 2003 (“Effective Summary”). McDonald’s web-based marketing starts with children as young as two years old using Ronald.com (“Effective Summary”). Exposure to fast food restaurants and ads for these restaurants at such a young age is a major contributor to obesity. Kids are being told at a young age that it is okay to eat junk food; not being told that it is unhealthy for them. Advanced technology is also a factor in media expanding their products. Nine restaurant Facebook pages had more than one million fans as of July 2010, and Starbucks boasted more than 11.3 million fans (“Effective Summary”). Smart phone apps were available for eight fast food chains, providing another opportunity to reach out to the young consumers anytime and anywhere (“Effective Summary”). In occurrence to the new technology, everyone has extra access to ads for all the unhealthy foods. The advanced technology has even gotten to the point where you can order food from your device. The media controls America by constantly pressuring people. The media advertising unhealthy foods it does not help to solve the obesity epidemic, and if this continues the epidemic will not be solved.
A big reason for American obesity is because of fast food markers, which tend to be very greedy. Eighty-four percent of parents reported to taking their child to a fast food restaurant at least once in the previous week (Effective Summary). Fast food businesses make it easy for parents to supply food for children at low costs. Parents of the elementary school aged children were more likely to order a combo meal or dollar/value menu item for their child than a kid’s meal for the child (Effective Summary). Each meal is getting smaller and less filling for children pushing to get a bigger meal, even more unhealthy. In this case not only are parents feeding their children unhealthy foods, but over feeding them as well. Health problems are a result of obesity most people do not know about, such as diseases being results in unhealthy eating for a long period of time. Children and adolescents who eat fast food consume more calories, fat, sugar, and sugar sweetened beverages (Effective Summary). Removal of the nutrients from the body causes extra eating of non-nutritional foods, as the body seeks to regulate the actual levels of the nutrients it truly needs. Removing nutrients from the body is neglect towards the body. In order to be a healthy person it is necessary to consume all nutrients needed. A Finnish study showed that for every one kilogram (2.2 pounds) increase in body weight, increases the risk of death from coronary artery disease by one percent (“Obesity”). Obesity is a risk for chronic disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer (“Genetic Obesity”). Continuing to eat junk food is increasing chances of death, which is no joking matter. Most importantly, people should come to realization how serious and controlling obesity can really be. The effects of obesity are not only being physical fitness, but psychological as well. Losing weight and keeping it off can come more of a challenge to some than it does to others (T. J. Clark). This is caused by physical and psychological challenges. Many people continue to ridicule, mock, and even abuse the obese (The Effect of Obesity). People trying to lose weight are extremely vulnerable and are already currently struggling. Therefore, they need others support, not discouraging attitudes. Obese individuals trying to better themselves need support, especially when others find it necessary to constantly degrade the obese on a daily basis. Obese people may have fewer social and romantic relationships compared to the non-obese (Tree). Given that, low self-esteem is common among the severely obese as it is (The Effect of Obesity). Obesity causes much insecurity that people have a difficult time overcoming. A main effect of obesity is people not being pleased with themselves in any way, and no one should feel uncomfortable in their own skin. If the obesity epidemic continues, America will be an unhealthy world to live in, literally. Scientists project that by the year 2015 the number of overweight people in the world will tip to 2.3 billion with more than 700 million people being obese (Green Life). The predictions have been made and at the rate America is going, these will be the obesity rates in three short years. Since 1995 diabetes rates have doubles in eight states within the United States (F as in Fat: How Obesity Threaten America’s Future 2011). Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate over 15 percent, but in today’s world there are two out of three states have obesity rates that are over 25 percent (F as in Fat: How Obesity Threaten America’s Future 2011). Thirty-eight states have high obesity rates, and the rates don’t just stop there... they keep increasing. Our future as Americans is a fat society. As a citizen, everyone should be concerned in helping to solve the ongoing problem, not only to better ourselves but to better our country!
This problem can be controlled with motivation to work out and exercise, dedication to better themselves, and cooperation to stop the obesity epidemic from growing, to better each individuals body in America. To start, time reduced from watching the television and in other similar sedentary behaviors (A Vision for the Future: The Obesity Epidemic). Two of the largest fast food advertisers to children have joined the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, CFBAI, pledging to advertise only “better for you” choices to all children (Effective Summary). Plans to solve this problem are starting to be formed; and people just need to react in a productive way and help out. Other ways to help solve the problem are to ensure that schools provide healthful food and beverages on school campuses (A Vision for the Future: The Obesity Epidemic). As the President of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, Phillip James, states “to change the food environment by requiring the companies label on soft drinks or fast food so that people are well informed, this is another way of helping reduce obesity” (Obesity Prevention Needs Change in Living Environment). Actions are taking place now, and soon America will have this problem solved with the help of the citizens from all over. America’s obesity epidemic has been an ongoing problem for the past 20 years. There has been questioning on what to do, how to fix the increasing epidemic, and how to react… but now, the answers are clearly coming out. With support from others, obesity will become one step closer to an epidemic being reduced. Given there are a lot obstacle to go through to stay healthy there are a lot of easy ways to do it as well. The media is always a pressure, but just think… save a life by not having any health issues throughout life. Avoid the effects of being obese and insecure. And take a step forward and become a part of help our future generations NOT be obese. Now, with the cooperation of fast food companies, you can still get food quickly in the drive through just choose the healthier entrée. American citizens created this problem and American citizens will get America a solution as well!

Works Cited
"A Vision for the Future: The Obesity Epidemic." Vision. Vision.org. , 31 Jul 2008. Web. 2 Mar 2012.
Brehm, Bonnie, and David D. "Impact of the Enviroment." EndoText. EndoText Inc., 24 Nov 2010. Web. 2 Mar 2012. .
"Executive Summary ." Fast Food f.a.c.t.s.. Rudd Center. Web. 1 Mar 2012.
"F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America 's Future 2011." Trust for Americas Health . 2012 Trust for America 's Health, Jul 2011. Web. 2 Mar 2012.
T. J. Clark. "Genetic Obesity ." T. J. Clark & Company, 2008. Web. 1 Mar 2012.
"Green Life." Obesity and the Enviroment . Green Life, 06 Mar 2011. Web. 2 Mar 2012.
"Obesity ." Medicine Net. MedicineNet, Inc, 2012. Web. 2 Mar 2012.
" Obesity in America." Down to Earth . Down to Earth ALL VEGETARIAN Organic & Natural, 16 Sep 2011. Web. 2 Mar 2012.
"Obesity Prevention Needs Change in Living Environment: Experts." The Star: Online. Star Publications, 16 Jul 2010. Web. 2 Mar 2012.
"Obesity Prevention Needs Change in Living Environment: experts." English News. 2012 Xinhua, english.news.cn., 16 Jul 2010. Web. 1 Mar 2012.
"The Effect of Obesity ." Tree.com, Inc., 02 Jun 2010. Web. 2 Mar 2012.
Thompson, Dennis . "Too Much Work, Food, Media May Be Hurting Health." News Health . U.S.News & World Report LP, 06 Jun 2011. Web. 2 Mar 2012.
"Understanding Obesity ." Obesity In America . 2012 Copyright - Obesity in America, 2004. Web. 2 Mar 2012.

Cited: T. J. Clark. "Genetic Obesity ." T. J. Clark & Company, 2008. Web. 1 Mar 2012. "Green Life." Obesity and the Enviroment "Obesity ." Medicine Net. MedicineNet, Inc, 2012. Web. 2 Mar 2012. " Obesity in America." Down to Earth "Understanding Obesity ." Obesity In America . 2012 Copyright - Obesity in America, 2004. Web. 2 Mar 2012.

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