This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Obesity Epidemic Essay

1230 words - 5 pages


Obesity rates are soaring throughout North America (What Is Obesity?, 2013). With obesity reaching almost epidemic proportions in the United States, and the threat of a global epidemic, we must watch this alarming increase carefully ( Health Risks of Obesity, 2013). Obesity is defined as: "…an excess of adipose tissue…" (A Report of the Surgeon General, 2014). The two most common measures of obesity are Body Mass Index (BMI is a ratio of weight to height) and relative weight index, such as percent desirable weight (Body Mass Index , 2013). BMI is the most frequently used measure of obesity as it has a strong correlation with more direct measures of adiposity, such as underwater weighing (A Report of the Surgeon General, 2013). Some have proposed that genetics are at the root of obesity. While genetics may play a role in obesity, it is still not clear what role this is (Chagnon et al., 2000). While a defacto underlying cause for obesity still remains clouded in mystery, the environment plays a large part in causing obesity (Pollack, 2013). Andrew Pollack sees obesity as an environmental disease caused by the promotion of behaviors that lead to obesity. With the United States' Institute of Medicine claiming that fat people cost the United States more than $70 billion annually in both direct health care costs and indirect ones such as lost productivity, this truly is an epidemic that must be solved. Americans spend another $40 billion per year on weight-loss treatments, mostly in the form of diets and dietary foods (Wickelgren, 1998). That is a total of approximately $110 billion dollars of the gross domestic product of the U.S., not a small sum of money in anyone's books. Such a sum could surely be used more wisely elsewhere.

An individual with a BMI * 25 kg/m2 is considered overweight, while an individual with a BMI * 30 kg/m2 is considered obese (Hill & Peters, 1998). With over 22.5% of the current U.S. population considered to be clinically obese, compared to only 14.5% in 1980, there does not seem to be a cessation of this epidemic in sight (Hill & Peters, 1998). Goran and Weisners' (2000) proposal that "... the inherently lower resting metabolic rate in women versus men is responsible for the higher adiposity rates in women..." is wanting, especially since the potentially modifiable factors of; less physical strength, less daily free-living physical activity, and lower total energy expenditure are more likely the cause of the differences in observed adiposity between men and women. Since our genetic makeup has not appreciably changed in the last twenty years, we cannot strictly attribute the explosion of obesity to genetics. As these biological causes of obesity are disproved, a focus on the environment as a reason for obesity is taking centre-stage.
With a multitude of environmental factors playing an ever-increasing role in the reasons for obesity, it is hard to focus on one reason as the 'root' cause of obesity....

Find Another Essay On The Obesity Epidemic

The rising epidemic, child obesity Essay

854 words - 3 pages Obesity is an ever rising epidemic. Gone are the days when children played outside until dusk and walked to and from school. Childhood obesity is a problem that can be minimized. Parents and children are busier than in past generations; convenience and speed appear to be important in today's generation. Parents tend to grab food that is quick and convenient. Unfortunately "quick and convenient" does not necessarily mean nutritious and healthy

The Obesity Epidemic in America Essay

1300 words - 5 pages obesity epidemic is not something that has just caught the attention of people recently; it has been going on since the 1950’s! This epidemic is a major problem; over 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being obese or extremely overweight and over 40 million children were said to be obese in 2008, the numbers have been rising since then. Obesity can lead to many health complications and make life extremely difficult for an individual who

Overview of the Obesity Epidemic

1988 words - 8 pages from Canada, all countries are seeing an increase in obesity rates correlating with social norms. Modern technology such as cars, televisions, and computers also plays a part in how quickly the epidemic is spreading. Convenient technology immobilizes the person and makes them inactive by restricting physical activity. Adults and children are taking up more hours in front on a television screen than outside playing sports. The final fact that

The Obesity Epidemic in America

3903 words - 16 pages five Americans – or more than 22 percent of the U.S. population – obesity is one of the most pervasive health problems in our nation right now," said George L. Blackburn, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of surgery and associate director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. "We need to implement steps to slow the progression of this national epidemic” (NAASO 1999). But the

Media and the Obesity Epidemic

1858 words - 7 pages Obesity is a worldwide epidemic that has had a tremendous weight gain effect on our nation. Everyday television shows, commercials, movies and sitcoms, present some form of obesity awareness. African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, and other races and religions have suffered to overcome the struggles that come along with being obese. People who are obese are not only affected mentally but physically as well. Everyday tasks like walking

The Epidemic of Childhood Obesity

1048 words - 4 pages There is an epidemic so fierce, it is impacting families from California to Maine. It is not the Ebola epidemic. It is childhood obesity. An estimated 1 in 7 children between the ages of 6 to 17 are overweight and/or obese. That is a staggering 14 percent. Compared to 5 percent almost 20 years ago. Hispanics, African-Americans, and American Indians, females to males are more prone to this devastating medical condition. So

The Obesity Epidemic in Canada

1195 words - 5 pages to reduce obesity rates and to improve overall health. This demographic represents primarily the working population, which is the target population in respect to promoting active living in the workplace. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the “impact of the obesity epidemic on non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer threatens to overwhelm health systems; the need for prevention and

The Epidemic of Childhood Obesity

1984 words - 8 pages smoking, this nation will be well on its way to conquering the epidemic of obesity in America.   References Carollo, K. (2011, December 9). Florida lawmaker proposes bill to eliminate middle school physical education requirement. abc news: health, retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/florida-lawmaker-eliminate-mandatory-physical-education-middle-schools/story?id=15112856 Freedman, D. H. (2011). How to fix the obesity

The Poverty and Obesity Epidemic

2646 words - 11 pages completely cause the obesity epidemic of the lower-class. “Food Stamp Cycle” The “food stamp cycle” hypothesis is based on the idea that people only spend money or resources when they have them. The Food Stamp program provides about 79 cents per person per meal. (centeronhunger, p.3) Most people cannot survive on 79 cents per meal, so when food stamps are distributed at the beginning of the month, recipients use the stamps as needed until

Overview and Nature of the Obesity Epidemic

2673 words - 11 pages It is common to crave the many delicious foods that are found in today’s markets and restaurants. Some may enjoy them more than others and create an unhealthy eating behavior. For this reason it is not surprising that many Americans face an obesity epidemic. The great debate is whether obesity should be labeled as a disease or simply an individual choice due to a person’s lifestyle. The obesity epidemic, recently labeled a disease, continues to

The Epidemic of Childhood Obesity in the United States

1095 words - 5 pages from weight-related problems. 3. Information (three important facts) the author uses to support the purpose: A. The child obesity epidemic remains a major public concern in the United States and other countries. B. According to the data provided by the National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES), 24.4% of children aged 2-5 years were at or above the 86 percentile on the Body Mass Index (BMI) -forage growth charts. C

Similar Essays

The Obesity Epidemic Essay

1376 words - 6 pages The Obesity Epidemic Maria Mena is a second year undergraduate student at Merced Community College getting her general education. After she finishes with her general education she plans on majoring in Nursing. She is interested in Nursing because she wants to help the sick and wounded in a hospital or clinical environment. Nurses will help treat you whether they know you or not and they are there for you in times of great need. Maria Mena is

The Epidemic Of Obesity Essay

1604 words - 6 pages want to long healthy life. I sense that by the time I fully understand this epidemic of obesity that it will even encourage me to change my habits leading me to the best outcome for health in my life. Works Cited 1) Rao, Mayuree, Ashkan Afshin, Gitanjali Singh, and Dariush Mozaffarian. "Do healthier foods and diet patterns cost more than less healthy options? A systematic review and meta-analysis." (2013): n. page. Print.

Solving The Childhood Obesity Epidemic Essay

2243 words - 9 pages Obesity has increased drastically in today’s society. Alarmingly, present day generations show childhood obesity to be a growing crisis. Viewed as an epidemic, childhood obesity is sweeping across the United States and creating a public health crisis (Henry). Obesity in young children is contributed by different factors. Many are based off of lifestyles and peer pressure in schools and in households. “According to the Centers for Disease Control

The Obesity Epidemic In Connecticut Essay

1652 words - 7 pages The Obesity Epidemic in ConnecticutAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been an inordinate increase in overweight and obesity in Connecticut and across the country over the past twenty years. It is no wonder why upwards of 300,000 Americans die of obesity-related illnesses each year, over 3,000 of them being Connecticut residents. In attempt to cease the overweight and obesity epidemic in Connecticut, a number