We Need A War To Fight Obesity

1337 words - 5 pages

The American people need a multi-pronged approach involving government action, the medical community, and addressing environmental factors in order to successfully attack obesity and diminish its threat on our nation’s health. Recent statistics show that nearly sixty million people in the U.S. are obese with a BMI of over thirty. The number of obese people has doubled in the last twenty years (Perry 2). Even though the word epidemic is generally associated with infectious diseases, the term epidemic is being attributed to the rapid spread of obesity in our population (Robinson 1). Most everyone knows the reason for obesity is that people consume too many calories and exercise too little. “For what is probably the first time in history, millions of people’s lives are in danger, not because they don’t have enough to eat, but because they’re eating too much” (Perry 1).
The U.S. government has complied and studied the country’s obesity statistics and is beginning its course of action to eliminate childhood obesity, as well as adult obesity. They have suggested or instituted a growing number of interventions and regulations to this effect, as well as some federal laws. One of these proposals is the restriction of sugary soda sales at public schools. There have been numerous studies showing how sugary sodas influence weight gain. The government has acknowledged this fact by proposing special taxes on sugary sodas, as well as, suggesting the idea of not allowing sugary soda sales to food stamp recipients. (“Soda Tax”) The Federal government has also decreed that the food packaging in grocery stores have ingredient labeling so that the consumer will know the calorie content as well as the protein, carbohydrates, fats, sodium and other vitamins and nutrients included in the product for sale. Now there are regulations requiring restaurants to post calorie content of the items on their menu, or at least have the calorie content available if asked for. In most large restaurant chains the calorie content is available online. There have been bans on toys that were given to children who were ordering high calorie meals at fast food restaurants.
In some states schools are required to send home health report cards with the regular report cards. “Perhaps most frightening, we have now taken the ‘war’ to our children, sending some of them home from school with notes saying that they are too fat and taking others away from their parents for the same reason” (Robinson 2). The government has never been afraid to address many of the dangers in our society to protect our citizens from harm. Some examples of these laws or regulations are: seat belts, illegal drugs, non-smoking areas, and vaccinations for school children (Robinson 4).” But requiring certain eating and physical activity behaviors to prevent obesity or chronic diseases is highly unlikely to happen” (Swinburn 4). It then stands to reason that, “For some policy interventions, such as the universal...

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