What Is The Best Way To Address Obesity In The United States?

7997 words - 32 pages

IntroductionWhether a person is "fat" or "skinny" comes down to simple math - yes addition and subtraction. Weight gain occurs when a person eats more than they burn - in other words more calories are consumed than used. This creates a surplus of energy in the body, and hence energy is stored as fat. If a person wants to lose weight, they will have to expend more energy than they take in. It really is that simple. People are eating too much and not burning enough energy (either through work or exercise or other activity).In the Viewpoint Essay "Overeating and Lack of Exercise Cause Obesity", Amanda Spake and Mary Marcus point out that social changes have reduced the demand for physical activity and increased the demand for cheap, plentiful and nutritionally devalued food. The result is people consuming more calories than their bodies require based on their activity level. Throughout much of history, man had to exert himself just to get food and food was scarce. Man adapted physiologically to eat when food was available. The problem is now there is unbalance between that and our environment. In our environment now, food is always available.Obesity is a condition in America that is becoming more and more prevalent. It is stated frequently on the news (I heard it again just recently) that almost 33% of Americans are obese. This marks the highest rate found in any country in the entire world! Although why a person is obese may seem to be relatively simple, addressing obesity is a very complex and multi-faceted issue. There are many aspects to consider and many potential solutions when it comes to addressing obesity. What is the best way to address it? Well, that is an extremely open-ended question. Some ways for addressing this problem are more effective than others, but one thing is for sure, and that is that obesity in our country is a problem of numerous layers.These layers include the personal level and the societal level. Within these layers are found multi-dimensional problems that are all a part of the whole problem. All of these sub-problems can help in giving us insight as to how to go about addressing obesity. What causes obesity? How do people become fat? What causes people to eat too much? Where does the responsibility for obesity lie? What outside influences encourage people to be obese? Why is it a problem? Why is it important? How serious of a problem is it? Who can help in addressing obesity? What resources are available in addressing obesity?Given the complexity of the issue, there are obviously many views in relation to this problem. Some believe that people individually within their own minds must address obesity, and that people are responsible for themselves. Others believe that the government must take responsibility and action by regulating advertising, funding agencies that would act to address the problem by education, and legislating increased physical education in schools and keeping the schools compliant. Yet another view...

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