Obesity in America
The fact that there is an obesity epidemic in America at the current time should be a serious concern to every American. Over the course of the next decade, the number of overweight adults will double. If current trends continue, there will be twice as many overweight kids in schools by the end of the next ten years. This epidemic will reach all levels of government and be far reaching into every sector of our society. That means everyone needs to address the problem now rather than wait for tomorrow.
There are two main factors that contribute to obesity: genetic predisposition and poor nutrition. Although both can be controlled, a better diet and exercise program are generally more effective at controlling obesity. Because of the importance of obesity to overall health, it is imperative that we take action now to reverse this epidemic. Even children can benefit from an improved diet and exercise plan if they are properly motivated. Children who have the encouragement and support of their parents are more likely to make healthier choices and will have the motivation to maintain a healthy body weight.
Obesity is not only dangerous to our health, but is a leading cause of medical costs. In America alone, the cost of treating obesity through medical care is projected to reach $a billion per year. Obesity causes many other medical costs as well. Those medical costs include increased hospital stays, medication, and more. Obesity also increases our chances of contracting a disease such as diabetes or heart disease. Diabetes and heart disease are two of the largest causes of death in America.
One study found that if obese people were given medications each year that would reduce their chances of dying from heart disease by about twenty percent, they could save over one hundred billion dollars in medical care costs over the next ten years. That’s a significant amount of money that can easily save lives. This is how important it is to control obesity in America. The number of people that are severely obese has been steadily increasing over the past few decades.
The statistical data on obesity in America is alarming. There are more overweight than healthy-weight people in America. Overweight people have higher chances of getting heart disease and diabetes. They also have higher chances of dying from these diseases. One study estimates that if the number of overweight people was equal with the number of healthy people, there would be nearly one hundred million more deaths from heart disease and almost two hundred thousand deaths from cancer each year.
Obesity in America can lead to many other health problems and high medical costs. One study estimates that obese people will cost America at least three billion a year in medical costs due to obesity. It is estimated that the medical costs related to obesity could account for almost one hundred billion dollars a year by the end of next decade.
The best way to fight obesity in America is to address the issue from two angles. One is to promote a healthier lifestyle by practicing eating healthy foods, exercising and using the power of positive thinking. The second way is to attack the epidemic of obesity head on by creating public policies that will prevent the epidemic from spreading like a virus. Studies show that if you address obesity at the community level, you can significantly reduce the burden of medical costs. Policy makers and educators have to put in place policies that will ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place to deal with an outbreak of obesity in America.
One such policy that has been adopted by states across America is mandatory BMI charts for children to help them identify the level of obesity in their surrounding areas. Another policy that is being adopted is mandatory labeling of overweight and unhealthy foods. For example, it is not uncommon to see non-fat yogurt labeled as “fat free”. The battle against obesity in America does not end with creating awareness of weight issues but it is a complex matter of creating policies that address the root cause of obesity.