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The Causes for the Obesity Epidemic in America

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Everyone enjoys their fair share of foods which are not quite so good for the body. But, feel so right for the soul. In America, if we look around, we are surrounded by food. Billboard signs displaying deals on burgers being two for four dollars, TV commercials portraying the perfect emotion of self-satisfaction that occurs once obtaining the said food being shown, and even absurd interactions through social media which displays the craziest creations in which if one takes part in eating they might win a grand prize of intaking ten thousand calories in one meal along with a t-shirt. Food is a big deal worldwide but in America, alone food is everywhere we look, which has its consequences. The biggest consequence of eating unhealthy is obesity. Statistics from 2015- 2016 showed that obesity is an issue that affects around ninety- three million US adults. Though obesity affects millions of people, it is not caused by the same actions.

Obesity is an effect of unhealthy eating, but that is not the sole reason. Obesity is something that springs from many causes but the three I would like to bring attention to in this essay is what I believe are the main causes for the obesity epidemic we currently are facing. Technology’s influence plays a big role in obesity, as it is heavily linked with the overuse of technology and social media. Childhood obesity is an issue which occurs as well. A big cause, for it is being in an unstable/unhealthy household. A home environment that is not teaching proper cognitive stimulation can lead to obesity. Especially if the parents or guardians are obese themselves, it is almost like a domino effect typically. Lastly, a cause I believe to be crucial to the cause of obesity is poverty. Those in impoverished regions have been shown to have poor access to a well- balanced diet, leading them to be prone to obesity.

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Obesity has not been an epidemic in the United States since the beginning. Throughout the year’s obesity rates have increased, leading it to become a nationwide epidemic that is affecting billions of people. The shift in when obesity started to become more common began at the end of the nineteenth century. Renee states in her online article, referencing experts stated that “…America saw a sharp surge from 1990 – when no state had an obesity rate above 15 percent – to 2004, when more than 30 percent of adults in America were considered obese”.

There is no definite answer to why obesity rates began to grow tremendously. But, before the rate’s climbing, food was seen as something families and individuals were scarce about indulging in. As time moved forward, food began to gain popularity and is being enjoyed in boatloads. In the 1900s, life insurance companies began to notice the start of the obesity epidemic. With that in mind, these companies began to use client’s weight as a factor to distinguish premium prices for their life insurance. Around the 1960s, fast food chains began to gain popularity as well. Having people are attracted to sugary and artificial foods, rather than, before popular, ideal home-cooked, healthy meals. Being consumed in unhealthy food choices from the past, the trend continued to follow down from generation to generation. Currently, there is one person in every three people who are considered to be obese.

Although obesity rates massively began to increase in the late nineteenth century, the rates are still continuing to stack up. It is a issue we as a nation have been dealing with awhile now. It is not only an issue of being overweight, as it affects many aspects of life for individuals who are considered obese. As an article by Gonzalez-Campoy MD stated, “Obesity has become a serious health problem in the United States (US): nearly 35% of Americans have obesity. Obesity is not just a problem of “girth control”; it is now considered a chronic disease… And it is not just a weight problem: it can have serious effects on a person’s physical, metabolic and psychological health”. Obesity is measured using a body mass index (BMI) scale. A BMI of thirty kgs or higher is considered fairly obese. In today’s society, anyone can be at risk for obesity. Yet, statistically, it is shown women who are Hispanic or non-Hispanic black women are higher at risk. For men, it has not been proven if a certain group is more at risk than another. Regardless, obesity is seen more in middle-aged American’s rather than young people or the elderly. Obesity contributes to society as well. Health care, costs have sky-rocketed in the past years. American’s are paying more than $147 billion to $210 billion dollars. Workplaces have also been affected by the uprise of obesity. Many companies are paying higher workers’ compensation due to there being employees with more health issues. Also, employees who suffer from obesity have been seen to have less productivity than those who do not suffer from obesity.

Obesity is not a big deal, rather it is a huge deal in today’s society. Obesity is a health issue that only provides negative side effects. There is nothing that goes well health-wise when there is obesity. America is heavily populated with everyone suffering from obesity. With this epidemic rising, there are more health risks that are factored in. It is not simply extra fat on the body, rather it is each part of your body taking a separate and heavy toll on itself. Physical factors that are high risk in regards to obesity are sleep disturbances, type two diabetes, heart disease, cancer, joint aches, cholesterol, plus many more. There are many psychosocial effects as well, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders. Obesity is a serious issue, that should not be taken lightly. There are scary health hazards linked to it, and it is not a lifestyle anyone should willingly give themselves.

Works Cited

  1. ‘Adult Obesity Facts.’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Aug. 2018, www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html.
  2. Gonzalez-Campoy, J. Michael. “Obesity in America: A Growing Concern.” EndocrineWeb,
  3. Remedy Health Media, 14 Feb. 2019, www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/obesity/obesity-america-growing-concern.
  4. Renee, Janet. “Obesity History in America.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, www.livestrong.com/article/359624-obesity-history-in-america/.

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