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Big America: Factors That Contribute To Obesity

1164 words - 5 pages

There are many factors that can contribute to obesity which has both long term and short term harmful effects on health. Factors that cause obesity include age, gender, illness, environmental factors, physical activity, medication, genetics, and psychology. To prevent obesity, there are a few lifestyles that must be changed such as how you eat and physical activity. Social influences like families, faith- based institutions, and schools play a huge role in obesity. This public authority can be affected in a positive or negative manner. Being obese also contributes to lost work days and causes huge problems in working. Obesity can be prevented by public awareness of the health causes and effects.
Overweight and obesity are the result of “caloric imbalance.” This occurs when too few calories finished for the amount of calories are consumed and affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors. Obesity is when a person consumes more calories than they can burn, which is usually caused by eating too much and exercising too little. A person is considered obese when his or her weight is 20 percent or more above normal weight. Children over age 2 and teens equal to or greater than the 95th percentile are considered obese.
As you get older, your body’s ability to metabolize food slows down and you do not require as many calories to maintain your weight. In addition, women tend to become more overweight than men because men have a higher resting metabolic rate, meaning men burn more calories at rest. Illnesses including hypothyroidism, depression, and some rare diseases of the brain can lead to overeating. Even a person’s environment plays a huge part in obesity. Environmental factors such as what a person eats or how active he or she is. Obesity and thinness tend to run in families. In fact, if your biological mother is obese as an adult, there is a 75 percent chance that you will be obese. Psychological factors influence eating habits and obesity. Many people eat in response to negative emotions such as boredom, sadness, or anger. In addition, people who have difficulty with weight management may be facing more emotional and psychological issues: about 30 percent of people who seek treatment have difficulties with binge eating. Binge eating is when people eat large amounts of food while feeling they cannot control how much they are eating. Certain drugs, such as steroids and some antidepressants may cause excessive weight gain. However, public awareness of these causes can prevent obesity.
In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Providing plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products are a great start. Include non-fat or low fat dairy products and lean meats. Limiting sugar, sweetened beverages, sodium, and saturated fats will help decrease the risk of health problems. Also, children and teens should participate in at...

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