The Issue Of Obesity Essay

1844 words - 7 pages

We are becoming a country of ever increasingly fat or obese people. What is the cause of this phenomenon? Is it something to be worried about? Are our kids at risk? What can or should be done about the problem? In the two essays we read the authors take different approaches to the cause and effect of this epidemic. In their article Caloric Imbalance and Public Health Policy, Jeffery Koplan and William Dietz see the problem as primarily too much intake and a lack of proper exercise. They believe that we have become a society of over eaters and under exercisers. And the we should begin a nation wide approach to physical fitness. However Hillel Schwartz sees being overweight not in terms of an individuals lack of control, but more of a society that doesn?t understand nor care how a person might get that way. In the essay Fat and Happy we are told that the world would be a better place if we could just accept people for who or what they are. While it is true, people should not be ostracized because they may not have the ?look? that is found appealing to most people. There are however very real risk factors to being overweight. The problem is how we as a country should approach the situation and find answers that can be attainable and sustainable for the health of our citizens. And how we might better come to accept that not everyone can be a perfect specimen of a Greek God.While there are many contributing factors the rise of obesity in our society, two major problems are our lack of exercise and the availability of fast food. Today?s kids are spending too much time in front of the television set and too little time outside playing or otherwise getting exercise. And adults spend their time also in front of the TV and driving back and forth to work or to McDonalds to feed the family. Our lives have become very automated with gadgets to do even the most mundane tasks. ?The human body like any system, obeys the laws of thermodynamics. An excess of energy intake over expenditures leads to storage of energy in the form of fat? (Koplan and Dietz 474). We seem to have an over abundance of intake of energy and a shortage of energy expenditures. This is a rising cause of concern over the last 20 or 30 years. ?The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 21 percent of adults are obese, and that 15 percent of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are now seriously overweight. According to recent studies, 1 in every 50 adults in the United States is at least 100 pounds overweight. And extreme obesity has quadrupled from 1986 to 2000? (When Too Much of a Good Thing Is Bad). This cannot all be explained away simply by genetics, while genetics do play some role in obesity, the gene pool hasn?t changed significantly in the past few years (Koplan and Dietz 474). One thing that has changed is the proliferation of video games and expansion of cable television and the technology that has made our lives so much easier.Also at fault is the...

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