Causes of American Obesity

Topics: Obesity, Physical exercise, United States Pages: 6 (1963 words) Published: April 5, 2013
Causes of American Obesity


Obesity is a medical condition in human beings, in which the body overproduces body fats, to such an extent that the excess body fats which usually accumulates within the body, can lead to other health problems like increase in body size or the thickening of blood vessels, which may eventually lead to heart attack or high blood pressure. Obesity is a global health issue, but it’s mostly common in the west, due to the kind of life style the people live. Obese people are usually stigmatized by the society due to their health status, meaning they are viewed as being in trouble. Whether obesity is a cause or reason for such stigma, is however debatable (Vogel, 2007).

In the United States, obesity was not a major problem until the 1980s when it was viewed as a national epidemic. In the 1990s, scholars and researchers struggled to look for the causes of obesity with some scholars postulating that it could be caused by a virus which behaves like the HIV virus, while others in 2007 theorized that it could be caused by the influence of individuals by their family members to over eat, thereby becoming obese (Ibsen2006).

The fact about obesity in the United States is that it is one of the highest in the world, and has been on the increase since the late 1990s.As of 2007, about 74% of all the adults were either obese or overweight .The problem of obesity comes with high financial costs to the United States, with as of 2003, the government was spending up to $75 billion total on obesity expenses. This is according to the researchers on disease control and prevention (Ibsen2006).

Obesity can be caused by several factors like genetic, and the life style of an individual. Genetic factors mean that the disease can be transmitted through genes, from parent to child. On this, little can be done since it’s not an easy task to control the process of gene transmission. Lifestyle means the kind of life the person lives. If the person does not do exercises and eats fast foods, then he/she could become obese. This can be controlled through proper diet and regular exercises (Ibsen2006).

1. Our body produces fats, which are important for keeping the body warm as well as providing energy during starvation. But too much fat in our body can be dangerous because it can lead to the increase of blood pressure and other health problems. Research has shown that our genes determine the amount of fats our bodies can store. There are some genes which stimulate the body to keep more fats while others may stimulate the same body to keep less quantity of fats. People with the genes which stimulate fat storage therefore have a higher probability of becoming obese than those with genes which inhibit fat storage in the body. Genes are passed from parent to child through birth. This means that parents may pass the genes for being obese to their children. Studies done in the United States show that a child born of two parents, with whom one is obese has a 50% chance of becoming obese, while the one born of two parents who are obese having an 80% of becoming obese. This means that obesity is a genetic disease (Salinsky & Scott, 2003).

The process of reproduction is very complicated that very little can be done to alter the genes which cause obesity. This is to mean that individuals with the genetic inclinations to obesity can only be helped through advising them to get married to partners who do not have the trait, so as to minimize the chances of siring children with the condition. They can also be helped through advice about what they eat. It is important to note that even though genes influence obesity, a lot is determined by what people eat and if they do exercises or not. This means that people who have the genetic inclination to obesity can minimize the manifestation of the condition in them by observing good diet as well as doing regular exercises. This...

References: Ibsen.K.,(2006). Review for USMLE: United States medical licensing examination, step 2 CK.New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishers.
Finkelstein & Zuckerman.L.,(2008). The fattening of America: how the economy makes us fat, if it matters, and what to do about it. Washington: John Wiley and Sons Publishers.
Salinsky.E, & Scott.,(2003). Obesity in America: a growing threat.Washington: George Washington University.
Flegal KM&Carroll MD.1998, Overweight and obesity in the United States: prevalence and trends, USA, retrieved from
Vogel.K.H.J &Krucoff M.,(2007). Integrative cardiology: complementary and alternative medicine for the heart. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishers. (obesity)
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