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Obesity Public Health Problem Essay

2155 words - 9 pages

Public Health Problem

Obesity in the US has become a critical Public Health issue that has raised concerns throughout the nation. An estimate 97 million adults and 12.5 million children in America are obese, causing more than 160,000 “excess” deaths a year (CDC). Obesity is defined as a medical condition where there persists a high excess of body fat, enough to cause serious health issues. Through a biological view, obesity is an energy balance problem. Extra energy is stored as body fat when the energy consumption surpasses the energy expenditure. Obesity is characterized through Body Max Index (BMI), distribution of fat, measuring body composition, and insulin resistance (WHO).
Obesity is a public health issue due to the complications it leads to later in life. Obese individuals are more susceptible in obtaining health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, therefore have a higher risk of mortality (WHOgoogle). Yet not only is obesity a problem of the individual but of society as well. In 2008 US spent an estimated cost of $147 billion on medical cost of obesity, almost a 70 billion dollar increase since 1998(CDC). Both the detrimental health issues it leads a too and the excessive amount of cost it causes, obesity is epidemic that must be addressed.
Many factors including genetics, lifestyle, environment, and mental health can lead to this chronic disease. Obesity is a major feature in several syndromes, such as Prader-Willi syndrome which is a rare genetic disorder causing excessive feel of hunger and therefore overeating. By examine certain genetic patterns studies have also found that 80% of the offspring of two obese parents were obese (webmedcenteral). Although genetics does play a role in obtaining this health issue the key contributors to this epidemic is the overconsumption of food and an inactive lifestyle. Obesity is an issue that was not very prevalent in earlier times. Our ancestors are stated to have a diet full of leafy greens, grains, and low-fat meats. Studies state that from the 1980s and 1990s the number of obese Americans rose dramatically due to changes in lifestyle and eating habits. More Americans are depending on high calorie fast food for daily meals and are reluctant to obtain physical activity due to increase desk jobs and use of electronic devices (Natural News). Americans have greatly reduced physical activity both in their lives and in the lives of their children due to the focus on work and economy. Since 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, 82% of schools reported budget cuts in sports and physical activity. This caused many of the schools to reduce these extracurricular activities, including physical exercise and nutrition classes. For Americans most necessities are easily obtainable and the daily schedule mainly revolves around work or school. People are taking less care about what they eat and a greater emphasis is put on work and money.
In addition to unhealthy life style, mental health and...

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