Many Americans today are fighting the battle of the bulge and many more are advised by doctors to take up this battle. Studies show that overweight and obesity are on the rise. The condition of being an obese adult in the United States before 1980 was comparatively constant at approximately 15% of the population, according to a study complied by Baskin and others in 2004 from statistics obtained from a national survey (NHANES). It also showed that rate doubling over the past 30 years (Baskin, 2005).
The condition of being an overweight adult in the US has grown to 65% (Alpert, 2009) using a 2004 CDC report. The same article reported that the condition of being an overweight child in the US has climbed to over 16% in 2006. This is compared to percentages around 11% in 1994, according to the NHANES survey. “Overweight children often become overweight adults and being overweight in adulthood is a health risk.” (Alpert, 2009)
Obesity and overweight can be defined by at least two measurements: BMI (Body Mass Index) and waist circumference. According to common nutritional knowledge, the conditions of obesity and overweight occur in a person when the amount of calories consumed exceeds the amount of calories burned, repeated over time. The use of BMI and waist circumference can be used to determine if an individual falls into either of these two excess weight conditions. BMI measures fat by using the relationship of weight to height. It is determined by multiplying an individual’s weight by the constant factor of 703, and dividing that by the individuals height in inches squared. An obese adult is defined as an individual 20 years or older, who has a BMI of 30 or more (BMI≥30). An overweight adult is defined as an individual with a BMI of 25 through 29.9 (BMI≥25≤30) (Alpert, 2009). The BMI of children is measured slightly differently, comparing weight to height and age. It is measured as percentile and children who have a BMI greater than 95% are considered overweight (Alpert, 2009).
Waist circumference can also be used indicate fatness. Women with a 35” or over waistline and men with a 40” or over waistline are considered to be overweight and at risk for obesity (Alpert, 2009). Both conditions can lead to health complications such as liver problems, diabetes, gall bladder disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, osteo-arthristis and even some cancers such as breast, colon, endometrial (Alpert, 2009).
Modern America’s expanded menu of fast food along with sugar and fat-laden processed foods may be a contributor to the growth in the waistlines of its people. Although the medical field has not been able to comprehensively explain the growth of obesity, many factors may contribute to it, including those related to genetics, psychology and environment. Unhealthy eating is not always to blame. An example of this is a study done in Poland (Wronka, 2013) which concluded that unhealthy eating habits occurred as often in underweight...