Obesity

Obesity is a very concerning issue in United States. Obesity means excessive amount of body fat in relation to the BMI that is 30 percent over the normal weight for a specified height. Between 1980 and 2000, obesity rates haves been doubled among adults and children. Today, more than 78 million adults (35.7%) and 12.5 million children (17%) are considered obese. The high obesity rates among children and adolescents increases the number of years they are exposed to obesity related health problems.

Obesity can be an origin to numerous health problems. It increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 diabetes, and most cancers. It causes 1 in 10 deaths in United States, and it is the second leading cause of preventable deaths. Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common diseases caused by Obesity. It was once believed that it only affected adults, but now it is being diagnosed among young people as well. Obesity diminishes insulin’s ability to control blood sugar. Soon, the body begins overproducing insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Overtime, the body cannot keep the blood sugar levels in normal range, causing Type 2 diabetes. It can also lead to heart attacks. Increased intake of fat food can result in clogged arteries. This makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood. Through a period of time, these actions can cause result in a heart attack.

Increase in obesity rates can also escalate the amount of medical spending. Currently, the direct and indirect cost of obesity is 190 billion each year. Children that are obese have 47% more medical spending compared to the ones with a healthy weight. If the obesity rates in United States decreases, the amount of medical spending can reduce vastly. For example, studies show that preventing only five percent of new obesity cases can reduce Medicare and Medicaid spending by nearly $5.5 billion each year by 2030.

Forty-four year-old Patrick Sauer was obese his entire life because of an eating disorder. At times, he weighed more than 500 pounds. He did not realize his risk until a conversation with his doctor. Soon later, he has undergone a Bypass surgery. Since the surgery, he no longer needed to treat himself for the obesity related diseases. He saves $2,000 each month for not buying medications and decreasing the amount of food intake. He buys pants off the racks instead of custom ordering them. He does not have to purchase two tickets for his flight anymore. Being physically active also plays a significant role in him being healthy today. Patrick believes that he would not be here today, if he has not undergone the Bypass surgery. He credits the research leading to the gastric bypass technique for saving his life and functionally curing him from his diseases.

Obesity relates to the Biology and society theme of Science, because scientists discovered the health problems triggered by obesity and are trying to reduce it. They are also encouraging individuals to consume less unhealthy food and be more physically active. They believe that this can significantly reduce the obesity rates in the society. Obesity can actually be reduced with each individual’s actions. Doctors state that over 50% of adults do not obtain recommended amount of physical exercise every day. Being physically active instead of engaging in video games or television can drastically reduce obesity rates. Incorporating higher amount of fruits in the diet can help too. Water will be a good substitute for the sugary beverages. Avoiding super-sized menu items at fast food restaurants and watching the calorie intake can have a significant importance. Eating only when hungry and being physically active can give a break to obesity and the health related problems that result from it.


This entry was written by Saisivani N. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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