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Obesity in America

United States of America has the highest number of overweight people in the world, with more than 25% of Americans being overweight. The number is too high especially when compared with findings from other countries e.g. in Japan only 3% of the citizens is obese. Bulimia and Anorexia eating disorders have been reported in the American society but the problem of obesity is still immense (Hendersen 170). 

One of the major causes of obesity is the inclusion of high calorie value foods in their diets. Many people console themselves that they are reducing on the quantity of the foods they have been taking and over indulge on liquid and light foods which might on the contrary have high calorie value than the heavy meals they avoid (Hendersen 170). 

The most effective ways for weight management should involve cutting down calorie intake. There are many methods that have been used in the past for weight reduction, some of these methods include; suppression of appetite, foregoing meals, and using scientifically approved methods for diet adjustment. An individual can manage the calorie intake by taking small chunks of low calorie foods at recommended intervals, also reducing the intake for soft drinks and replacing them with clean drinking water (Wanchek 15).

High metabolism rate, or high food conversion in the body, is also to blame for the high number of obese people in the United States. Rate of metabolism varies greatly in individuals and is mostly affected by sex, size of the body and age. Metabolism might also be connected to the genetics and an individual might have inherited high metabolism from the family lineage.

Vitamins and proteins are important for metabolism in the body, but high intake of foods with high contents of proteins and vitamins may result in obesity and consequently heart problems might ensue. The body system is supposed to control the intake of foods through the hormone known as leptin, but the level of satisfaction in some individuals is extremely high, they have voracious appetites which in-turn gives them overweight bodies. Thus, of the foods that these individuals consume is not required by their bodies and end up forming fat layers in their bodies.

High blood pressure or hyper tension is another problem that comes with obesity.  Obesity results in concentration of fats around blood veins, arteries and also around the heart valves. The fat concentrations around the blood vessels causes constriction of the vessels and consequently high pressures, the heart is forced to pump blood at very high pressures. Individuals are observed tire very fast and breath heavily due to high Oxygen deficits in their bodies (increased metabolism to supply the heart with the extra energy). When the pressures exceed the holding capacities of the vessel walls, they might rapture and cause sudden deaths alternatively the heart might be overworked and stop working with caution and result in sudden death of an individual. Heart attack prevalence in obese people is very high (Jimenez 19). 

Causes and implications

Sleep apnea is a common condition in people with obesity. Due to high activities of the heart, obese people tire very fast even if they are not involve in any taxing activities, thus whenever they find some space to rest they sleep. Again these people lack sleep during the night and sleep a lot during the day. Sleep apnea is a condition that is almost exclusively related to the overweight people.

The number of obese kids in the United States has been on the increase in the last three decades; this number has increase tremendously in the last five years and in fact double the previous value. The reason given for the increase is that most of the parents do not spend a lot of time with their kids and instead of breast feeding the kids the parents prefer to subject their kids to highly nutritious foods that would replace breast feeding, these high calorific foods continue to be supplied to the kids even after the kids are taken to schools. With very little activities, the kids burn very little calories from their bodies and he result is that the excess fats form layers around the body.

Obese people are often regarded as being physically unfit, due to the inability to control the fat contents in their bodies. Thus overweight people should do more physical practices that will help them shed some fats from their bodies. If overweight people they can convert the fats layers to healthy tissues and muscles and remove the excesses and lead healthy lives. Also, if the overweight people can manage to reduce the calorie intake per day by 500-1000 calorie, this can be helpful and can help reduce their body masses naturally (Jimenez 19).  

High schools students are also largely affected by obesity, this is odd because these students are in the prime years of their lives and should be explosive in terms of expending their energy but this has not been the case because since the computer invention more and more people are suffering with obesity in the name of computer based hobbies. If physical exercises are properly administered, they have been found to be very effective in reduction of depression and stress. Thus, as a precarious measure the curriculum should be reviewed and physical education should be included as a part of learning.

Overweight people have high risks of suffering from heart disorder and they there need to have more potassium in their diets; this potassium is found in vegetables and fruits. Potassium is important in the excretion process as it help is the removal of excess sodium from the body. The elderly overweight people can not shed a lot of fats and at the same time they can not do heavy exercises but they can walk for at least half an hour everyday; this will help reduce chance for heart attack (Wanchek 15).

From statistics, it is easy to draw a conclusion that many overweight people are more vulnerable to heart diseases than other people; most of obese people suffer from Bulimia and Anorexia feeding disorders. Obesity also reduces the life expectancy of the victims (Wanchek 17).

Overweight is now a rooming problem and an epidemic in the American society. With the development in technology, the world has access to fast and comfortable automobiles, mobile phones and internet, a lot of television stations and numerous easy to prepare foods (Jimenez 17). This has many people to be very lazy as they can achieve all they need in life by pressing a few buttons.

Obesity is not only creating a physical problem but also a psychological problem; analysts are trying to examine the possible results of overweight people on the life expectancy of the Americans. Heart disorder Prevalence with obese people is alarming and now with almost 30% of American citizens being obese, we are left wondering what this means to the future of the country.

In medical field overweight can be caused by the proportions of fats, water, bones or muscles in the body. But, obesity is accumulation of fats in the body and as a result they have excess water in their bodies. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a criterion that uses the height and weight of an individual to determine the level of obesity. Healthy people have fat concentration of between 18.5 and 24.9 in the BMI scale; an overweight person has 25 to 29.9 fats concentration while an obese person has BMI range of more than 30. Morbidly obese people have BMI values of more than 40 (Jimenez 19).

Analysts are arguing that the chances of an obese kid becoming an obese adult are more than 80%. A child is not considered to be obese until the fat concentration variation is more than 10 from the average values (Jimenez 19). Overweight in kids is closely linked to poor eating habits, over feeding, lack of physical exercises, some medications such as those used for treating psychiatric medications and steroids, other conditions that result in obesity are; stress (after divorces, abuse, death) and hereditary conditions.

Comparison of BMI in adult women and men

Adults

Women

Men

Underweight

<19.1

<20.7  

Normal

19.1-25.8

20.7-26.4

Overweight

27.3-32.3

27.8-31.1

Obesity itself is a disorder but there are many other disorders associated with obesity; coronary heart disease and hyper tension. Records have it that Mexican American, African Americans and Indian Americans are found to have higher chances of suffering from heart disease than the Caucasians (Jimenez 16).  Due to high rates of obesity, diabetes is also very high within the above groups and consequently the heart diseases are higher, this is according to a report compiled in 2009 by American Heart Association (AHA).

Diabetes has increase tremendously in America in the last ten years. Due to poor feeding habits, insulin production and balance in the body is altered and many people have to live on orally administered insulin. Insulin helps in the synthesis of starch, proteins and fats to energy required for metabolism in the body (Caruso 24) There are no specific causes for diabetes but it ahs been found that obese people have higher prevalence for diabetes.

The environments in which kids are brought up also have a lot of influence on their growth. Researchers have found out that kids take up the practice that the family advocates; if the family consumes a lot of snacks the kids will continue with these practices even after they are full grown. The research suggests that a family with little knowledge on nutrition and diet is high risk of passing on the problem far and wide through their kids as they grow and form their own families (Hendersen 170).  The media has also influenced the bad eating habits in many families through the enticing commercials in their programs, this encourages parents buy many high nutrition foods and compromise balanced diet that they are supposed to serve their families. Kids also nag their parent after they observe some junk foods on the television advisements (Caruso 25).

Changes that have been witnessed in the society as the world economy grows have had detrimental effects in the family health, unlike in the past when almost all meals were prepared and served at home, now parents are taking their families to hotels and restaurants to take their meals from here. In the restaurants, no one is responsible for balancing the meals; the kids can over consume and eat foods that have high calorie contents compromising other good and well balanced food staffs (Jimenez 19). The busy society and too much demand for money have forced many parents to work for many hours and thus reserving very few hours for their families as results kids are left to the care of nannies and house helps who have no control on what the kids take. It is scientifically recommended that people should take small chunks of food for many times instead of consumption of lot of food at once that results in consumption of high levels of sugars and fats.

Obesity and overweight are the second preventable causes of death in the US. Overweight is not the same as obesity but they both present colonic problems to individuals. The deference between them lay in the IBM scale variations. Obesity is a chronic condition that can be treated through physical practices and personal restriction through strict eating habit. These disorders are to blame for the numerous heart disorders and gastrointestinal cancer.

The causes for this condition are numerous some are easier to control than the others; obesity can be a genetically conditioned. If the parents are obese the chances of the kids becoming obese are very high, the family metabolism might be very high and any little food consumed is completely absorbed into the body, if the activities of the kids are low it means nutrients absorbed into the body are not converted into energy and are rather converted into fatty acids for storage around the body tissues. The amount of body activities decreases with age, the body muscles decreases and consequently the metabolism level drops. The level of calorie requirement by the body also decreases with age, thus if an individual has high food conversion rate the food is converted almost entirely into fats that concentrate in other parts of the body. Women have fewer muscles as compared to men and thus their metabolism level is way below that of men all their lives, this explains the higher number of obese women than men (Mayo Clinic 24).

Obesity is very high is Spanish kids more than the once from Native Americans. This rooming epidemic has affected all many schools going kids in the US and also pre schooling kids (notdoctor.co.uk) There are believes among the Americans that when kids are fat during the early ages they are considered to be healthy, this misconception has betrayed many parents with many of their kids become victims to this condition that also require quite some efforts to reverse. Overeating and low activities have rewarded many American people with obese bodies.   

Overweight and obesity is to blame for the impairment of body parts and malfunctioning of some body organs. Cholesterol building up in the body renders many people to be very weak and utterly inactive in their daily routines. Due to public perception the victims becomes very distressed and instead of working on modalities of reducing the imprecations of obesity they worsens the condition. Life filled with distress may be used to explain the numerous deaths of young obese people in our societies (Epstein, Roemmich 22).

Another condition that can be associated with obesity to is asthma. Asthma has been on the increase in the US in the recent years and researchers are working towards establishing the connection between obesity and asthma. There have been numerous changes in the treatment of overweight and obesity in the past few decades. The family based treatments have not undergone much evolution and this might explain the increasing number of obese people in the society today. Family treatment of the condition should be transformed to encourage families take up more responsible eating habits and help reduce the swelling number of obese individual in the society (Epstein, Roemmich, 34). Families should alter the environments through which they bring up kids, e.g. they should consider introducing nutritionists in their families to help in family health management.

Solutions

Currently many people are preferring to undergo surgical procedures or gastric bypass to shed their excess weights instead of working out on other improved diet procedures that mostly advocated by scientist . Although the surgical procedures give the morbidly obese people a chance to lead a more comfortable life, it has very weird imprecations to the victims as it has to be undertaken numerously. Surgical formula form controlling obesity should be considered as the late resort and other safer methods should be advocated for in the society. Sickness and death, physical activity, dieting, surgery can change the lifestyle in Americans suffering from obesity.

Health Start Program is helping families to reduce obesity in more natural methods and is currently encouraging parents to join physical training clubs and make it obligatory to train everyday, also parents are requested to encourage their kids to practice and get involved in physical practices more often. The obese parents and kids are supposed to work with a weekly schedule and targets on the amount of weight to shed. These schedules have been found to be effective especially with young people (Nowicka, Flodmark  47). The old people on the other hand should be encouraged to take up less straining physical challenges and take up more regulated diets.

Schools in the US are also encouraged to introduce eating habit lessons in their curriculums to ensure that the kids’ picks up value eating habits back to their families, this might be more effective as kids are the future of the country and raising concerns through them will mean involving them in building their future (Jimenez 15).Other activities should involve the students by making them prepare their choices of menus and then correcting them and explaining the need to have their menus revised.

It is important the school going be given more low calorie snacks at school and by the time they get home they wont need much food and thus reduce intake of large quantities of high calorie foods that are often served at home (Jimenez 17). At the same time parents should also be encouraged to learn much about healthy eating at home and ensure they serve their families with the right diets.  Parents should also be advised on the serving portions they should make available to every kid and other members of the family, they should also control the amount of time spent by their kids watching television, video and playing computer games. The kids should be involved in the daily family chores to ensure they shed some fats and convert some into muscular tissues. Even if parents will go out of their ways and buy home gym to manage the health of their families then they should do it.

Parents and teacher must ensure that the kids have balanced schedules that should include physical activities that will ensure that they burn some of the excess fats from their bodies. Families should also be advised to take up healthy eating habits and do away with the old routines of buying their kids a lot of sweets and snacks and rather should resolve to serve their kids with restricted diets. Food manufacturer have also been producing high calorie snacks, they should also be advised to complement these high calorie value foods with other low calorie value foods to manage the diets of the citizens (Wanchek 15). Most importantly, parents and teachers should ensure that the kids participate in physical practices; parents can ensure they don’t only buy their kids computer games but also toys, bikes and balls then put more emphasis to physical activities.

Conclusion

With the government working towards legislation of laws that will ensure every citizen has access to good health care services, the citizens should not just sick back and waiting to get sick and enjoy free health care services but should in turn work towards a healthy nation by ensuring they consume the right foods and in the right proportions. The number of unhealthy members of the society is increasing at an alarming rate; it should be everyone’s obligation to ensure the nation stays fit. From parents to teacher, form manufacturers to retailers, everybody should be concerned about the welfare of the public. As the war against terrorism is important to the nation so is the health of everyone.

Life expectancy has dropped tremendously due to conditions that can be controlled. Diabetes, heart conditions and asthma will reduce drastically in the society if obesity is decreased to a manageable level.

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