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Obesity

By alhernandezc Oct 03, 2013 1433 Words
In the United States today, obesity has become an enormous problem. In the last three decades, the number of people overweight has increased dramatically. A study done by the Centers of Disease Control showed that since 1980, one third of our adult population has become overweight. America is the richest but also the fattest nation in the world and our obese backsides are the butt of jokes in every other country (Obesity). According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 58 million people in our country weigh over 20 percent of their body’s ideal weight. This rise in obesity can be blamed on Americans habit of eating to get comfort, their lack of physical activity and of course their unhealthy eating patterns. The eating habits of society have steadily become more harmful and have started to produce gluttonous children, over-indulgent adults, and a food industry set too much on satisfying our appetites. Physical activity is another life habit that is vital to make. The amount of time someone spends exercising and being active can contribute much to his or her overall health. Unfortunately physical activity in not integrated into the daily life of many Americans. Studies show that 60% of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity, and over 25% of adults are not active at all. (Top 10 reasons you don’t exercise) These statistics reflect the fact that many of us simply don’t exercise. Many people use the excuses “I’m not feeling motivated”, “I’m not seeing any changes in my body”, “I don’t have time” and so on. When individuals work hard and build endurance, it helps them not feel discouraged. New activities and varied routines can help them not lose interest in staying active. Individuals trying to make these life changes would be wise to be encouraged and supervised by a medical professional. Weight loss programs, such as “Weight Watchers” can sometimes be effective, as they emphasize realistic goals, sensible eating, gradual progress and exercise. Schedule your exercise, keep a calendar. Physical activity levels fall as adolescents age. Kids spend 25% of their waking hours watching television and 10% of kids are completely inactive.(Nutrition and Eating habits) Many children spend too much time indoors wasting away in front of the TV, playing video games, or spending time on the computer, and consuming high fat snacks, soft drinks and candy at the same time. Too many children are eating too much and moving too little. Especially during the summer, parents should motivate their children to be physically active for a while every day. The average child spends more than four hours every day watching television, playing video games or surfing the web. (Obesity Crisis in America) Schools aren’t doing much to help with the issue either. The amount of time for free play or physical activity that children receive during school hours are decreasing. Physical activity should not be ignored by anyone. Exercise generates energy. The more energy you have, the more you’ll get done each day.

The food we eat in America is another factor contributing to the nation’s obese population. The desire for junk food has rapidly replaced the desire for fruits and vegetables and other healthy edibles. Americans want it tasty, want it cheap and want it now. Junk food is food packed with chemicals, sugar, and sodium, such as french fries, hamburgers, and sweets. Americans are spending about $4.6 billion a year on potato chips, and 23.5 billion a year on candy and gum. 46 Percent of adult Americans eat out on a typical day, and one third of them choose fast food.( Obesity in America) Cost of food has gone down, more food is prepared away from home and portion sizes have increased. It is predicted that in 30 years most adults will be 10.8 kilograms heavier than the average now. And kids would be 8.6 kilograms heavier. (Obesity in Children) When a person is in a rush, they can easily eat a large meal without having to make a lot of decisions, work, dress up, or get out of their car. The speed and convenience fit Americans’ pressured lifestyles. It does not fit, however, to our health and wellness. A fast food meal, such as a Burger King Double Whopper with cheese, contains 965 calories, more than double the amount of fat, and as much as750 grams too much sodium for the day. (Increased Food Intake) The food is providing all the wrong ingredients; it has too much protein and fat and no fiber or vitamins. It is no wonder our nation is so overweight when the food they make habit of eating can be so dangerous. It is very unfortunate that Americans get to the point where fat caters to their hurried lifestyles. Junk food may not be altogether toxic, but when it is eaten on a habitual basis it can be deadly. Some people overeat when they are under extreme stress, for example, and see food as a comfort. Others may eat to reward themselves for success. Many views of food are contributing to why people gain weight so quickly, and if people can identify the psychological reasons behind why they eat so much, they could prevent a lot of problems. Children who are overweight also tend to feel less secure, less happy, and be stressed more than normal weight children do.(Obesity: What is Obesity?) They get teased, criticized, and judged. In many cases, the problem is not the child’s fault. Being overweight may run in that child’s family, or their parents do not encourage them to be active and get enough exercise. Many people do not realize that their appetite and diet can be closely related to many psychological factors. Any person who has ever binged on chips or cookies when they feel upset can understand this. Several studies have shown that people tend to eat more when they feel anxious, depressed, or have symptoms of other emotional disorders. Certain foods have been known to have a calming effect, although unfortunately it is usually the fattening foods that do. When a depressed person eats to feel better, they gain weight, and being overweight can in turn cause depression and the emotional problems that signal overeating.(What are Overweight and Obesity) A vicious cycle begins. Being overweight can cause more emotional problems than just overeating, however. Sadly, obese people are very often socially shunned, judged, criticized, and made fun of. They have more trouble finding jobs, friends, and mates. Being discriminated against just adds to the emotional strain that overweight people have to deal with. Their depression from being obese can cause feelings of hopelessness, making it seem impossible for them to try to lose weight and change the way they look. (Childhood Obesity) Many Americans are trying to fight the battle against obesity. Many aren’t winning. How can they when packaging on junk food is distracting children from the salad bar, or when adults see commercials for huge meals every 10 minutes on television? However, preventing obesity at an early age is very beneficial to people’s health and self-esteem. Parents can prevent their children from becoming obese later in life more than they know. They need to be role models for their children, and set examples of a good lifestyle. Regulating how much the child eats is important, especially what they’re eating. Sugar should be cut down, as well as high-calorie snacks. Limiting time in front of the TV and computer could increase physical activity as well. Treating obesity is not just about quick weight loss, it is about setting up a lifelong pattern of good choices. Whether a person’s obstacles are their genetics and metabolism, their depression, or their habits and lifestyle, being overweight is one of the hardest things in life to deal with. The things that obese people have to deal with are very unfortunate. The health problems are harmful enough to well- being, but the cycle of depression and emotional problems that come along with obesity in so many cases can be worse. Obese people have to walk through life constantly being reminded of their damaging habits and things can seem so hopeless. It is so important to start healthy habits early in life. The benefits of good behavior and good life patterns can make life more fulfilling, worth living for and longer lasting. Americans used to embrace healthy eating habits but the country got so busy that good ideals were thrown away.(Obesity Information) The problem of obesity is not just about food; it is about an entire lifestyle.

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