Diet Drugs Essay

3705 words - 15 pages

IntroductionWith a growing market of billions of dollars a year, diet drugs are steadily becoming a trend in America. This may be viewed as a good thing for the economy, but may not be a great thing for society. Research has been done to prove and disprove the claims made by some of these money-making companies. There are definitely boundaries, and some of the lines that have been crossed are not so thin. This paper will explain some of the pros and cons of consuming these "diet pills," giving background information as well as both practical and scientific outlooks.Body image and perception is a main cause of the recent surge in diet drug sales. In 1980, about 45% of U.S. adults were overweight or obese. That rose to 55% in 1990 (Findlay, 2003). According to Steve Findlay, a health policy analyst in Washington, the proportion of overweight adults in America was 65% (half of whom are obese, meaning about 30 pounds or more above a healthy weight for their height). The statistics on children are also following the rising trend. Fifteen percent of 6- to 19-year-olds-about 9 million-are overweight, which rose 10% when compared to a decade ago. The price tag is about $120 billion a year in medical expenses and lost productivity (Findlay, 2003).More and more pre-packaged food and less and less activity could be a reason America is getting bigger. According to ObesityInAmerica.org (2007) there are some facts that should be taken into account. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight. Sixty million are obese, with a BMI greater than 30. Nine million are extremely obese, with a BMI of over 40. Currently, an estimated 65.2 percent of U.S. adults, age 20 years and older, and 15 percent of children and adolescents are overweight and 30.5 percent are obese. Approximately 62 percent of female Americans are considered overweight. Approximately 67 percent of male Americans are considered overweight. Poor diet and low physical activity leads to an estimated 400,000 deaths, attributable mainly to poor diet and low physical activity, per year.If America is one of the richest, most progressive countries in the world, this country should sensibly also be one of the healthiest. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the disease of obesity is increasing at an alarming rate-60% in adults within the past twenty years, to amount to one-third of the population (and the death rate climbing, second only to tobacco-related deaths). With obesity come other physical effects including the added risk of diseases. Some of these are: elevated blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, heart disease, and cancers such as breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Some of the psychological or mental effects include depression, feelings of shame, and lowered self esteem among other mental conditions, which are also linked to obesity. Information taken from the Weight-control Information Network...

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