Obesity in America

Adrian Garcia, Image Editor

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It is no secret to the average American that obesity is an ongoing problem for the general public. In fact, the average person is likely to be obese, considering that the United States ranks #1 in the world for obesity and roughly one in five Americans is obese. Before we can delve deeper into the causes and problems associated with obesity, we must first understand just exactly what obesity is.

Doctors and nutritionists typically use four methods of classification when speaking in regards to our weight. The terms used are underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese, obese of course being the most extreme of the classifications. However, being severely underweight is a growing problem in the United States as well. Nutritionists and doctors classify obesity using a BMI scale, or a body mass index, which takes height, age, and weight into account to fit people into their appropriate category.

There is a multitude of factors which accumulate into America’s growing obesity epidemic, but basically, it all comes down to a few key concepts: poor exercise, poor diet, and lessened incentive to stay fit.

Of course, there are still many physically fit people in America, but unfortunately, this group is becoming a minority in today’s America, where regular exercise isn’t something the majority view as a necessity anymore. Studies show that today only about 20% of American jobs require moderate physical activity, compared to a staggering 50% of jobs that did in 1960. According to the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, 80% of Americans don’t get enough, or a good amount of, exercise. However, it doesn’t seem as though Americans are hopeless, for anyone who frequents their local gym will know, there is always, without fail, a huge influx of patrons coming by after the New Year. They are all coming in with high spirits and hoping to follow through on their New Years resolutions.

Another huge contributor to America’s obesity crisis is the average American’s very poor diet. To play devil’s advocate though, who could blame them? With so many different options for a cheap, filling and tasty meal around every corner, it’s hard to not just opt for the easy way out, but it does come with dangers. In 2000, with roughly 30% of American adults were obese, now 40% of Americans are facing obesity as well as 18.5% of children.  With the drastic increase and prominence of fast food chains comes an increased caloric consumption of about 20% from 1983, which is also thanks to an increased grain and meat consumption. Since 1970, grain consumption has risen 45% in all sorts of different forms, from bread to rice to cereals etc.

In summation, get your act together, America. We can do it! Or for our Spanish readers out there si se puede!

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About the Writer
Adrian Garcia, Image Editor

Adrian Garcia (12) enjoys long walks on the beach, watching sunsets and more importantly watching sunrises. His favorite author is Ernest Hemingway, but...

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Obesity in America