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Obesity In America Essay

1867 words - 8 pages

Obesity rates have increased in the United States over the last few years. Currently more than 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. (Agarwal, Verduin, Waltman, 2008) Junk food is one of the major contributors in the obesity epidemic and unless proper nutritional education, taxes on junk food, an increase in physical activity, and reduced prices on healthier foods are implemented the obesity rates will continue to rise. Junk food and obesity go hand in hand serious measures must be taken in order to help reduce obesity rates in America. “Can the rising rates of obesity in the United States be changed?” In order to reduce obesity rates action must be taken! If action is not taken our country will continue to see increased rates in obesity, and diseases associated with obesity such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease will continue to sky rocket.
A tax on junk food is only the beginning against the fight on obesity. This is one of many solutions that must be implemented in order to see a change in obesity rates. By proposing a tax on junk food consumers may think twice before purchasing junk food. In order to impose a tax on junk food the government and state officials must get involved. Public health advocates believe a tax on junk food could bring similar results to those that were produced when the cigarette tax was introduced. The tax on cigarettes helped reduce smoking rates. Taxing junk food can help bring the gap of unequal costs of healthy foods vs. non healthy foods down, which will no longer promote non-healthy foods as the “cheapest choice” available (Bates, Chaloupka, Chriqui, Eidson, Kowalczyk, 2008). Reducing obesity rates is not only the responsibility of government and state officials, but also that of consumers and the food industry. The food industry plays an important role in the fight against obesity, if they are able to provide healthier, more affordable food choices obesity rates could be brought down. Consumers are also able to make a difference by making healthier food choices and promoting lifestyle changes. A tax on junk food may help consumers think twice about buying an excessive amount of junk food. For some consumers a tax will not matter, but for others it may be enough to leave the junk food on the store shelves. The money made from the taxing of junk food can be used to help increase nutritional education, subsidize healthier foods and to help fund recreational centers which can help promote physical activity.
Another way to help bring obesity rates down is to increase physical activity. In order to prevent obesity and maintain a healthy weight, a proper exercise regimen is advised. According to the CDC, Illinois is one of many states involved in Healthy People 2020. Illinois is working on helping promote a healthier way of life to bring obesity rates down. In order to help bring those rates down, Illinois is promoting an increase in physical activity by implementing change in...

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