America's Response To Obesity Essay

2095 words - 8 pages

In recent years, America has experienced a dramatic rise in the obesity level among people. These "fat" people are making demands that many people consider absurd. One such demand included General Motors building a car that would hold an obese person, but retain a stylish look and the luxuries cars can have. These luxuries may include: cup-holders, consoles, built-in DVD players, and air bags. According to Debora Senytka, a design engineer for General Motors, "up until five years ago, ... America's growing obesity was never considered, but now she calls it 'a very real situation'" (qtd. in Pressler). The dramatic rise in number of obese people and their constant demands on major corporations to accommodate them has forced the United States Government to intervene in this overpowering issue. The country has seen a dramatic increase in the rate of obese people in America, and because of these increases, many corporations are being forced to change their ways. However, not only are these people getting fatter, they are also making demands on corporations well as suing them. In response to a high-profile class-action lawsuit against McDonald's last year, the United States House of Representatives has passed a new bill that prevents citizens from holding big corporations like McDonald's responsible for making them or their family fat.Over the last decade, America has seen an extremely dramatic increase in the obesity rate. According to Otesa Middleton, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that in 1980 the obesity rate was only fifteen percent, but by the late 1990's, the obesity rate was at an alarming thirty-one percent. This means that almost one-third, or about sixty-two million people of America's adult population are obese. Further research done with this study found that more women are obese than men, and that the most obese of the women were black females at a fifty percent obesity level. Thirty three percent of women are obese, as compared to only twenty eight percent of men at the time of this study. The Department of Health and Human Services defines obesity by body mass index, a measurement that evaluates weight in relation to height. The way that the BMI method works is a person takes their weight in kilograms, and then divides that number by their height in meters squared. So a person that is 2.5 meters tall and weighs 200 kilograms would have a Body Mass Index measurement of 32, which is just over the obesity level according to the BMI chart. According to the BMI chart, a person with a BMI between 18.5 and 25 is normal, though only about a third of the country falls into that category, a BMI of 26-30 is overweight, and anything over 30 is obese. "Cynthia Ogden, one of the authors of the study at the National Center for Health Statistics, said larger portion sizes, eating out more frequently and an inactive population are responsible for the increased rate of obesity" (Middleton).Obesity is considered...

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