Obesity is weight that is higher than what is being consider health weight and that is given by the persons’ height. Too much weight can take a toll on your body and heart. We can take the proper steps to get healthier and beat obesity.
BMI or Body Mass Index is a tool that establishes between health weight (a healthy BMI ranges from 17.5-25 kg/n2) and overweight/obesity and indicates body fatness; even though it doesn’t measure body fat directly. The way that the BMI works is; “a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters.” I would like for the American people to look around and acknowledge that obesity really is an issue; that we should be conscious of what we are doing to our bodies and what we are consuming.
Prevalence of obesity was ranging at 39.8 percent; affecting about 93.3 million of adults. 18.5 percent in youth in the United States in 2015-2016. The prevalence of obesity in 2015-2016 was 35.7 percent among young adults aged 20-39 years, while 42 percent among middle-aged adults’ ages ranging from 40-59 years, as well as, ages 60 and older with 41 percent. The prevalence of obesity among race and ethnicity was that non-Hispanic Asian adults was ranging at 12.7 percent lower than other groups, Hispanics were ranging at 47% and non-Hispanic black at 46.8 percent; which was at a higher prevalence of obesity compared to non-Hispanic white adults who ranged at 37.9 percent. The prevalence of obesity was higher among youth aged 6–11 years (18.4%) and adolescents aged 12–19 years (20.6%) compared with children aged 2–5 years (13.9%).
The annual estimated costs for obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 and the estimated cost for people who were obese was 1,429 higher than those of normal weight. In the article “Ault Obesity Facts” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, stated that men and women that have college degrees have lower obesity prevalence compared to those who have had less education. The pattern was seen among non-Hispanic white and Hispanic men. With women the pattern was observed among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic. There was no difference in obesity prevalence because of income with non-Hispanic black women.
There are no definite answers as to what is driving America’s chronic weight problem. In the article, “Obesity in America, on publichealth.org states, “Scientific studies reach conflicting conclusions which lead to many theories that are out there, but evidence points to the two causes most people already suspect; too much food and too little exercise.” People are having bigger portions of food than compared to 1950 and 1983.
World Health Organization states that “Americans are notorious for their fast-food consumption, which makes up or about 11% of the average American diet. Fast food sales correlate to the rise in BMI. Added sugars from soda and energy drinks are wreaking havoc on American waistlines.” We have to watch what we are eating and how much of it.
Most food companies are just swapping hydrogenated oils and sugars in for the animal fats they removed from low-fat products. Hydrogenated oils carry high levels of trans-fats, which raises the bad cholesterol, lower the good cholesterol, of course, raise the risks of developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Having low calorie intake can result in high quantities of sugar disrupts the metabolism which then causes surges in insulin and energy level and ultimately contributes to weight gain and diabetes.
Americans are spending more time at work than at home in our kitchens unlike people did in a different era. We sometimes pack our lunch boxes with the fastest thing we find like packaged food or a leftover. Not all low-fats and fat-free products are good because they can contain a lot of sugar and unhealthy ingredients such as low-fat sweetened cereals, low-fat flavored coffee drinks, low-fat dressing and so on. It’s not just about how much we eat; it’s also about what we eat. About 20 billion dollars are spent annually on weight loss schemes such as diet books, pills, lap-bands and liposuction.
The lack of exercise seems to be the new norm and is also a major culprit in the obesity epidemic. Workplace is cited as a new source for the rise of obesity because majority of the working people sit throughout the working day, people would be working in the fields or on factory floors which leads to less exercise. In 1960, the physical activity in the labor market was accounted for 50 percent and has plummeted to 20 percent, the other 80 percent of jobs are light activity. In 1960, one of two Americans held a job that was physically active and now it’s estimated that one out of five Americans achieves a relatively high level of physical activity at work. According to the published “Wednesday in the journal PLos One,” by Tara Paker-Pope, “the shift translates to an average decline of 120 to 140 calories a day in a physical activity, closely matching the nation’s steady weight gain over the past five decades.” It looks like not only is food a factor, but our work environment as well.
Obesity comes along with complications. By losing weight we can decrease the risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer. Risk factors like high blood pressure, plasma glucose, breathing issues, gallbladder disease, gynecological problems such as infertility and sleep apnea. Other risks include erectile dysfunction and osteoarthritis. Losing the weight can help lower the total cholesterol, triglycerides, raise the good cholesterol, and prevent the complications. Our Metabolic system improves when people who are overweight loss about 10 percent of their body weight. Changing our diets, adding physical activity, medication, surgery are ways that can help America become healthier.
Generics also are a contributing factor because it can affect the way and the amount of body fat that is stored in an individuals’ body. If it runs in the family, it is likely that the individual is in risk of increase for obesity. Not just genetically speaking, but because family members tend to share similar eating and activity habits. Medical issues are also a factor of obesity. Having arthritis, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, and among other conditions can lead to a decrease in physical activity. Which then leads to weight gain/obesity.
We can be a role model for our children, if our children see that the parent have good eating habits and participate in physical activity, chances are that they will likely do the same. We can encourage physical activity, reduce time with electronics, to eat only when hungry and to eat slowly, avoiding using food as reward or punishment, having fresh fruit and vegetables, reducing beverages that contain sugar.
Preventing obesity can be prevented by eating five to six servings of fruits and vegetables daily, choosing whole grain food, weight and measure food to gain understanding of portion sizing, balancing the food, avoid food that are high in energy density, and exercise. Keeping weight off is hard, we lose it and we gain it back but having a good support system can help. Non-rigorous exercise can help keep the weight down.
- Hales CM, Carroll MD, Fryar CD, Ogden CL. Prevalence of obesity among adults and youth: United States, 2015–2016. NCHS data brief, no 288. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.
- Ogden CL, Fakhouri TH, Carroll MD, et al. Prevalence of Obesity among Adults, by Household Income and Education — United States, 2011–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:1369–1373. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6650a1
- PARKER-POPE, TARA. “Workplace Cited as a New Source of Rise in Obesity.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 26 May 2011, www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/health/nutrition/26fat.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&mtrref=undefined.
- “Extreme Obesity, And What You Can Do.” About Heart Attacks, www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/losing-weight/extreme-obesity-and-what-you-can-do.
- “Obesity Causes.” Stanford Health Care (SHC) – Stanford Medical Center, stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/healthy-living/obesity/causes.html.