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The Battle Against Obesity Essay

733 words - 3 pages

     Obesity is a disease that affects nearly one-third of the adult American population, or approximately 60 million Americans. The number of overweight and obese Americans has continued to increase since 1960, a trend that shows no sign of subsidence. Today, 64.5 percent, or about 127 million adult Americans are categorized as being overweight or obese. Each year, obesity causes at least 300,000 excess deaths in the U.S., and healthcare costs of American adults with obesity amount to approximately $100 billion. Obesity is characterized by increased body weight and is caused by the excessive accumulation of fat. By taking in more calories than are burned on a daily basis, the excess is then stored in your body as fat. Doctors and scientists generally agree that men with more than 25 percent of body fat and women with more than 30 percent of body fat are considered to be overweight. However, it is difficult to measure body fat precisely. The body mass index (BMI) has become the most common method used in medical standard today. Among several factors such as diet and exercise, there are five main causes that contribute to the growing number of obese people in America: environmental factors, psychological factors, genetic or hereditary factors, underlying physical factors, and medication factors.

     Our environment plays a huge part in many cases of obesity. Environmental factors include lifestyle behaviors such as what and how much a person eats and how active they tend to be. As a society America falls into the high fat, low exercise category. Many overweight or obese people use the excuse that they simply do not have enough time to eat right or cook nutritional meals. They eat whatever is fast and convenient. As for exercise, the same excuses apply. This unhealthy behavior that is influenced and characterized by society today ultimately leads to the apathetic approach to a healthy lifestyle.

     There are psychological factors that may influence eating habits as well. Many people eat during times of boredom, sadness, anger, depression, and other negative emotions. Over time, the association between emotion and food can become firmly fixed. Depression and stress can lead to obesity and are also leading causes of eating disorders. Undeniably,...

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