Obesity a Complex Phenomenon When a person hears the word obesity thoughts that may come to mind are overweight, big, or unhealthy. Obesity is a growing outbreak in America that effects all ages and gender. Obesity today is becoming or has become a problem in America. Comparing to other countries, not one has an overweight problem near as bad as the United States. With that in mind, people’s health is a huge concern in America in which obesity has a big impact on. Obesity occurs when a person consumes more calories than what they burn.
The human body needs calories to sustain life and be physically active, but to maintain weight it needs to balance the energy we eat with the energy that’s use to operate. Childhood obesity in America is a growing disease because of advertisement of fast food, lack of physical activities, and parental control. This has made fast food a major health issue in young teenagers’ lives, parents need to take charge and help out the situation. Obesity is a complex phenomenon, but “the main causes can be grouped into three main topics, poor food choice, lack of exercise, and the lack of awareness. (Obesity; study) Poor food choice is one of the main causes. People today eat more and more fast food which is high in fats, cholesterol, and contains too much carbohydrate. The body is overloaded with fats and sugar, which is converted into body fat. The second main cause is lack of exercise. A recent study shown in Diabetes week states that “kids in elementary schools spend an average of 22-24 hours a week watching television” (Weight Loss). Kids no longer spend their free time playing outside; instead they sit in a couch all day and watch TV or play video games.
The danger in some rough neighborhoods can also add to the situation, because some parents do not feel that it is safe for their children to play outside. A third contributing factor is lack of awareness about good eating habits. Mothers give their children too much choices and too little guidance in what to eat, advertising confuses kids and leaves them debating whether a fast food product is good or bad for their health, and conflicting information about diets and healthy eating from the food industry and medical experts just makes them confused about diets.
Fast-food joints have not only come to dominate the American landscape, they are also the most visible American export around the globe. Unfortunately, “fast food contains almost no nutrients and is loaded with added salt, sugar, refined flours, fat, and preservatives. ”(Weight loss) The irony is that even though at the moment getting a meal from a fast food restaurant seems great, it’s not. For every dollar that is spent on fast food, and every second saved at a drive-through, over a lifetime it comes back and puts people at serious health risk.
Obesity amongst children is a serious matter that goes beyond a child putting on a few pounds. It is an issue that has many health and social consequences, which often continue into adulthood. According to Su Shaoyong in his article Genetics and Obesity “obesity increases one’s risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, cancers, pulmonary disease, bone joint disorders, and early death. ” (1) Obesity also often causes psychological problems.
Many are judged on their appearance rather than their personality, meaning that people with obesity also suffer from discrimination and rejection by their peers. This ultimately causes poor self-image, which leads to low self-esteem. Meaning the greater the degree of obesity, greater the chance of suffering physical and psychological health problems. The good news is that there is no doubt that obesity can be prevented at an early age. Physical activity and inputting nutritional knowledge on kids are the main methods to preventing obesity.
Parents and schools provide the connection to counterfeit a kid’s urge for fast-food. Adapting a healthy lifestyle at a young age is very important, since it is difficult to change later on. “The quality of food in schools, including school meals, vending machines, has a huge impact on a children’s physical health. ”(Obesity; Study) Schools should be careful and take into great consideration to try to provide a healthy overall menu. Schools need to require physical education during school and provide after-school opportunities for physical activities to help regularize a more active lifestyle for a kid.
Second, parents are the most important role models. “Adults have the responsibility to encourage children to become active, help them watch their diet”. (Shaoyong 1) Some parents argue that they should be able to feed their children what they want, and it’s their kids own body so it’s up to them to take care of themselves. That should not be an excuse, being obese comes with several other problems. Why would any parent want to worry about their children having any type of health risks? Adults need to fulfill their jobs as being parents towards heir children, by being able to teach and show their kids how to live a healthy lifestyle. Doing a lot of small things for example limiting the amount of times they eat out at a fast-food restaurant or buying more fruits and vegetables instead of convenience foods that have a lot of fat in it can have a big impact on their child’s health. Every day the number of obese children increases. It should be a number one priority in many families to eat properly and exercise, their lives depend on it.
Most people in the United States have changed their lifestyle completely, from one in which there was more walking, physical and outdoor activity, into a lazy lifestyle with little or no exercise. Most citizens take cars to work and do office jobs, spend their days off watching TV, and would rather much prefer fast food over an exhausting home cooked meal. America has brought this problem upon themselves, now it’s up to its citizens to take precaution about the situation and help solve it by getting educated and becoming more aware of it. Word Count: 1030
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