Are Fast Food Restuarants To Blame For Obesity?

1535 words - 7 pages

Several studies have shown that the increase in fast food restaurants over the past few decades has resulted in a negative impact on the already outrageous obesity rate.According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of fast food restaurants over the past thirty years has tripled, which equates to about three hundred thousand establishments in the United States alone. During this time the number of children, ages six to nineteen classified as obese, has risen from five percent to seventeen percent. The percentage of adults classified as obese has risen from half to two-thirds the population. Although fast food restaurants may be a contributing factor to the increasing obesity rate in the United States, people are ultimately responsible for their own health.
Obesity, according to Dr. Joan F.Tryzelaar, is defined as a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on a person’s health, leading to reduced life expectancy and increased heart problems. Obesity can be classified by a person’s body mass index or BMI. A BMI of twenty five trough twenty nine is considered overweight, while a BMI of thirty or more is considered obese. The severity of a person’s obesity can be further evaluated in terms of fat distribution via the hip to waits ratio and total cardiovascular risk factors.
There are a number of reasons a person become obese. Consuming too many calories is among the most common contributor to obesity. As of two thousand four, women are consuming, on average, one thousand eight hundred seventy seven calories a day as opposed to the average of one thousand five hundred forty two calories in nineteen seventy one. Men are consuming an average of two thousand six hundred eighteen calories as compared to two thousand four hundred fifty calories.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle is just as much to blame for the recent weight gain in Americans that has led to a rise in the obesity rate. This generation has become lazy due to the advancements in technology. People have become dependent on the automatic features of machines, resulting in less physical effort being put into everyday task such as, cooking and washing clothes, as compared to previous generations.
Sleep is an essential part of any person’s health, however few people seem to realize that not receiving enough sleep can double the risk of becoming obese.“The ‘epidemic’ of obesity is paralleled by a ‘silent epidemic’ of reduced sleep duration with short sleep duration linked to the increased risk of obesity both in adults and in children”(Professor Cappuio). Someone who has developed a sleeping disorder such as, sleep apnea, may not have the motivation to diet or exercise, due to daytime sleepiness. Scientists at the University of Chicago conucted a study in 1999, which restricted eleven healthy young adults to four hours of sleep for six nights. The scientist discovered that restricting individuals to this...

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