Obesity is a disease that affects one in three members of the American population. The trend of obese Americans has continually increased since 1960, and is not showing signs of slowing down. More than half of the adults in America are considered overweight or obese, and about thirty-four percent of the total population in the U. S is either overweight or obese. One is considered “overweight” if the body mass index, or BMI, is twenty-five to twenty-nine kilograms. “Obese” is any number thirty or greater (Hateweight. com). Obesity is the cause of at least 300,000 deaths in the U.
S every year, second only to smoking (American Obesity Association). There are many causes of obesity, some of which are environmentally related and others are geneticly related. Genetics from an obese relative can be passed from generation to another; this form of obesity is hard to control without proper treatment (Hateweight. com). The American culture has been the biggest cause of obesity. All of our surroundings and social environments have greatly influenced obesity. Most social events revolve around food or drinks, which are usually unhealthy for the body.
Food itself has become a reward; young children are often rewarded for good behavior with a “treat” (American Obesity Association). This treat is often a child’s favorite candy or sweet. Adults also use food as a reward. Successful business transactions between companies are often celebrated with food and drinks. Employees often stop after work to have drinks and possibly dinner to celebrate. Alcoholic drinks are very high in fat and have no nutritional value. Also, most restaurant food is high in fat and calories. Another factor which is the cause of this disease is lifestyle.
People are no as physically active as they should be. They have become more dependent on someone else to do their work for them. An example if this would be fast food restaurants. Why make dinner when you can go up the street and have someone else cook it for you? Most meals from fast food restaurants have almost fifty percent, if not more calories than a person needs for one day. Another cause of obesity would be a person’s mental state. People cope with life changing experiences differently, such as a death of a family member or the loss of a job.
These types of events cause some people to over-eat and, over time, become overweight. Obesity has many effects on a person both psychologically and physically. Psychologically, obesity may cause a person to become depressed and even become suicidal. Not only that, but it can also cause low self esteem (Hateweight. com). Physically, obesity has a greater effect, because it is known to cause many other health related issues. Arthritis may occur in the hands, hips, back, and knees from the extra weight a person would be carrying around. Seventy-five percent of people with hypertension are obese.
The risk of developing hypertension is five times greater in an obese person than compared to a non-obese individual. Obesity is also the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic venous insufficiency, daytime fatigue, deep vein thrombosis, diabetes type 2, infections following wounds, infertility, liver disease, lower back pains, obstetric and gynecologic complications, sleep apnea, stroke, and surgical complications(American Obesity Association). Not only does obesity cause all of those diseases, but it also increases an individual’s chance of getting many different types of cancer.
Breast cancer, esophagus and gastric cardial cancers, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, and renal cell cancer all have been linked to obesity in one way or another (American Obesity Association). Treatment for obesity comes in many forms. One form is called dietary therapy, were a doctor will devise, a diet which an individual should follow to lose weight. The diet usually consists of more healthy foods with low calories and smaller portions. Along with a diet plan the doctor recommends physical activity, which is another treatment.
Physical activity could be anything from working out at a gym or playing sports to just moving around the house more. Behavior therapy is a combination of both dietary and physical therapy in which the doctor comes up with new diet and physical activity habits to promote weight loss (Hateweight. com). The treatment with the biggest risk is surgery. An individual may have their stomach stapled so they will eat smaller portions of food and, which causes the body to burn the fat cells faster because there are fewer calories coming in.
Obesity is a serious matter because of all the risks that follow it. The only way to stop obesity is to become more informed and more knowledgeable of the foods we consume, and to become more physically active. Obesity is the second leading cause of unnecessary deaths in the U. S. Despite its death toll is has not received the attention it needs from the government.
Bibliography www. hateweight. com www. obesity. org www. nlm. nih. gov/medlineplus/obesity. html http://www. obesity-online. com/ http://www. cdc. gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/.