Obesity As An Epidemic In America
Obesity is a condition where one has so much body fat that it could potentially affect their health negatively. A person is considered obese if their BMI (Body mass Index) is 30 kg/m2 or more. Obesity in an epidemic in the United States. Obese people are at a higher risk of developing serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes type 2, high blood pressure and heart diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s estimated that in 2015–2016, 93.3 million (39.8 percent) American adults and 13.7 million (18.5 percent) American children and teens are clinically obese.
Genetics is one of the causes of obesity in America. Scientific research has shown that some genes cause certain disorders that can lead to obesity. These genes can affect how the body converts’ food into energy and how fat is stored in the body.Genetic Obesity affects people who are predisposed to obesity albeit not everyone.Level of education and age have in some cases been linked to obesity. According to CDC Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps (2017), obesity decreased by level of education. Adults without a high school degree or equivalent had the highest self-reported obesity (35.6%), followed by high school graduates (32.9%), adults with some college (31.9%) and college graduates (22.7%). Young adults were half as likely to have obesity as middle-aged adults. Adults aged 18-24 years had the lowest self-reported obesity (16.5%) compared to adults aged 45-54 years who had the highest prevalence (35.8%). Old age can lead to less muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate, which make it easier to gain weight.
Level of income has been linked to obesity albeit changing its role over the last century. Before, the wealthier the person the more overweight they were. This has, however, changed over time owing to the fact that there are cheaper fast food options available to lower income earners. Today, wealth in the USA tends to be inversely correlated with obesity, where poor people have the highest rates of obesity recorded. A survey in the areas with homeless people in some cities in the US food insecurity is a predicator to overweight status, contrary to our typical beliefs about thinness accompanying food insecurity or homelessness. Scientific research has linked stress to biochemical changes that can trigger cravings and lead to obesity. Most times when people are stressed they tend to eat inappropriately and lean majorly in sugary and high calorie food that can cause weight gain. Researchers have found that some hormones like cortisol and serotonin may play a role in this process.
Research on the geographic location/environmental status, while holding sociodemographic and other person-level characteristics constant has shown that today’s society has developed a sedentary lifestyle owed to the fact that fast foods are more accessible and can even be delivered to your doorstep, walking has been replaced by driving cars and people barely do any physical activity due to addiction to technology.
According to the CDC, an estimated 112,000 excess deaths per year are associated with obesity. To break the cycle of obesity, people have to make good lifestyle choices. Such lifestyle changes include but are not limited to proper nutrition, daily physical activity and adopting better stress management methods.
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