Obesity in the United States is on the rise and there is no end in sight. Obesity is a health problem that does not discriminate, it effects all ages, genders, and races. There are many factors that can cause an individual to become obese. These factors can include calorie intake, amount of physical activity, genetics, and environment. The rise of obesity in the United States has posed health and financial problems for this country that need to be dealt with.
It is said that an obesity epidemic is sweeping the country and that the numbers are astronomical. Approximately 31% of all adults and 15% of children, ages 6-19 are obese. Obesity is also severe in a variety of ethnic groups. For example, 50% of non-Hispanic black women are obese. Many researchers believe that the trend in obesity as a lot to do with cultural, economic, and environmental factors. Simply stated I think it can be attributed to genetics, portion size as well as food available and cost, and laziness.
Obesity can run in your family. For instance, if one of your parents is obese you are three times more likely to become obese than if you had parents of a healthy weight. Also the way your body responds to food is genetically linked. Food intake and activity patterns reflect the influence of genetic factors. Genes can also influence how calories are used, how efficiently your body uses calories determines how much fat will be stored. However, genetics can only determine the tendency you have to be obese. Eating right and exercising regularly will be what actually determines if you are overweight or not.
Among all the factors that cause obesity, the calorie intake of many Americans could be the largest problem. In the last twenty years, food has been made more fast, convenient, and accessible. Although this convenience is necessary on occasion, Americans need to learn to consume these foods in moderation. In restaurants, meals come in bigger portions and in the grocery store you can find a huge selection of a variety of foods, most pre-packaged. Many Americans are not aware that eating like this everyday can add a large amount of calories to their diet. An increase in physical activity is needed to offset this large calorie intake, but in most cases it is not seen.
Physical activity is defined as "any bodily movement produced by muscles that results in an expenditure of energy" (American obesity). This kind of activity can be accomplished through household chores, during work, or through free time activities. Unfortunately, technology has limited physical activity in the United States. Cars are used to run everywhere, even short distances. Household chores have been made easier through the use of things like dishwashers, and outside activities have been pushed aside by computers and television. With this decrease in physical activity, obesity will be almost impossible to combat.