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Obesity Epidemic in the USA Research Paper

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Updated: Jan 21st, 2020

Defining Obesity

Obesity is a medical condition characterized by excess fats in the body and can have greater effect on a person’s health. The condition reduces the life expectancy of a person and can increase health complications. Although obesity results in more weight, increased body fat in the body is not the same as being overweight.

There are several factors contributing to obesity such as poor eating habits, dieting, lack of exercises, and leading sedentary lifestyles. Understanding these facts about obesity is necessary because it presents the relevant methods through which people can overcome the health disaster.

The reason why we should come up with better ways of dealing with obesity is that the condition is currently a major health concern that affects individuals of all ages. These factors include taking excess alcohol, overeating, and lack of enough practices and exercises. To overcome the condition, obese people are always encouraged to exercise and avoid certain fatty diets and alcohol.

Dangers of Obesity

Like other body conditions, obesity has enormous effects on the human body. The condition is associated with certain life-threatening conditions and diseases such as tumors, osteoarthritis, apnea, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular complications.

These diseases are common in individuals who lead sedentary lifestyles and do not exercise frequently. This indicates that obesity can result in death or promote other conditions that can result in more complications. In the United States, statistics indicate that obesity is a leading cause of deaths.

Obesity is capable of reducing the mortality rate by 10-40 years based on Body Mass Index. The other effect of the condition is morbidity. The condition has the potential of increasing mental as well as physical body conditions.

This results in other complications or disorders including blood pressure, high cholesterol level, and poor metabolism. The condition also affects movement thereby making the individual inactive. This increases the health complications faced by the patient.

It is therefore notable that obesity can have enormous dangers on the health of humans (Colditz 504). The dangers of obesity are therefore very many and therefore health experts and individuals should come up with the best methods to address the health condition.

Why We Should Care About Obesity

The above discussion has presented the dangers of the condition and its effects on our human health. Untreated obesity chances can very easily result in death or cause other complications. The condition is a life-threatening complication because it is associated with other secondary diseases thereby lessening chances of survival.

The reason why we need to care about obesity is that it is a leading killer despite the fact that it is a preventable condition. Its ability to cause diabetes and cancer explains why we should be concerned and come up with the best preventive measures (Nestle 24). Obesity is also a major concern to people of all ages.

This means that, if we do not treat it accordingly, chances are high that it will become the leading killer condition. The irony in it is that it is a manageable condition. The statistics are also alarming and explain to why we should care about the condition and come up with instant solutions.

Obesity is one of the leading causes of global deaths despite the notion that it is a preventable and avoidable condition. The apprehension in the whole thing is that it affecting individuals of all ages from children to adults (Colditz 502). Experts in health matters have argued that the condition is currently a serious problem in health matters of the new century.

In the United States alone, statistics indicate that the condition is causing 111, 900 to 360,000 deaths annually. This should a cause for alarm because the disease is currently a major killer condition.

In the European nations, statistics have shown that over 7 per cent of deaths result from obesity or conditions connected to it (Nestle 27). This data should therefore explain to us why we should undertake immediate actions and ensure more people do not continue to lose their lives from this condition.

The condition has the potential of reducing life expectancy of individuals by seven to eight years. Severe cases of obesity reduce a person’s expectant by nine or more years. Obesity increases chances of developing mental and physical complications.

In women, the condition can lead to different forms of cancer thus threatening their lives (Nestle 42). This is thus a sober apprehension showing the potential dangers of obesity and the reason we should come up with the best management approaches from the individual level.

Methods and Precautions to Control Obesity

We have many options to limit and control obesity if we make it our main priority. The first option is to change the way we live and eat. A lifestyle makeover will help us to control our health and make sure we lose any unnecessary weight.

Through regular exercises, we can successfully improve our health conditions (Nestle 73). Individuals with the condition can start exercising frequently and control or monitor their dietary consumption. Our diets should include healthy meals by avoiding fatty foods. Behavioral changes like exercising should be a long-term goal to deal with the condition.

A safe intake of calories is necessary for individuals to lose their increased weight and at the same time remain healthy. Diet and exercise form the foundation for better health and approach to deal with obesity. Before we even develop this condition, we have the opportunity and option to manage our diet.

It is also important that we manage our stress through therapy without overeating (Field 1560). Stressed individuals should learn how to manage their situation or seek expert opinion to prevent the development of obesity.

As part of the first precaution to deal with obesity, people need to exercise physically and manage their diet. It is necessary that the quality of the diet is improved to reduce consumption of sugars or fatty foods that increase chances of obesity.

People should consume dietary fibers in high quantities to prevent the condition. If these approaches do not present positive results, individuals can use anti-obesity medications because they reduce a person’s appetite and inhibit continued absorption of fats into the body system.

In case of complicated situations, surgery can be performed to reduce fats and present chances of other opportunistic conditions. Statistics have proved that surgery is effective in reducing chances of diseases and risks associated with obesity including cancers, diabetes, sleep apnea, stroke and arthritis (Nestle 48).

If the condition is complicated, the patient should be advised to consult medical advice and have the condition dealt with by professionals. There are different options available to deal with obesity. However, it is always important that medical attention is given priority because this is the best approach to give the condition the priority it presently deserves.

Economic Factors Leading to the Obesity Problem

The trends in obesity show that there are economic factors that have contributed to the development of obesity thus making it a major problem that is affecting people today. This means that we can adequately rely on economics to address this problem of obesity as it faced today.

In the developed countries, obesity stands at 12-15 per cent and less in the developing countries (Nestle 83). This is a clear indication that the economic position of a society is capable of determining the eating patterns and health lifestyles. This has resulted in direct connections with development of obesity as a major health problem.

The economics also indicate that the working patterns and labor issues have continued to determine the possibility of individuals to develop this condition. Because of this, the economic implications can help to come up policies to control the foods sold to the people.

Imposition of excise duties is another plausible approach with the possibility of dealing with obesity from an economic perspective. Stable economies have increased cases of obesity because individuals have access to good lifestyles and foods (Field 1560).

From these economics of obesity, we have the option of relying on economic indicators to facilitate cost-effective policies and responses to prices, education, and advertisements to deal with obesity. It is thus notable that the use of economics can effectively help to understand the epidemic of obesity and apply specific principles to come up with positive yet effective changes.

In the less developed societies, individuals rely on unbalanced diets for food supplies thereby making it impossible to have a better health (Nestle 102). As a result, these societies have continued to record increased cases of obesity. With the above economic factors being the major contributors of obesity and other health issues, we can successfully use these statistics and policies to address this problem as faced today.

Data Supporting the Information

The available data and statistics reveal that obesity is no longer a health threat but a disaster in the United States. Obesity is a major concern affecting the health of many people today.

The United States as a country is recording an increasingly high level of obesity that any other society. In the year 1997, data reveals that obesity was at 19.4 per cent in the total population. In 2004, research indicated that the rate had increased to 24.6 per cent. In 2007, the prevalence rate was 26.8 per cent.

In the year 2007, 17 per cent of children in the United States were facing the condition compared to 33.8 per cent adults in the population. The latest data and statistics released by CDC have indicated that over 35 per cent of adults are considered obese with 17 per cent of children being obese.

According to a study by JAMA, the rate of obesity in 2008 was at 32 per cent for males and 35 per cent for women. These statistics also show that the rate of obesity has continued to rise for the last four decades.

In other statistics and information, the prevalence of the condition in adults between the ages of 21 and 7o years of age has increased by 7.4 per cent in the last ten years. Women have recorded increased cases of obesity in the last three decades.

From these data, it is agreeable that obesity is a major condition that has continued to affect the welfare of people in the United States because it is affecting individuals from all generations including women, men, children, and grown-ups.

There is increasing number of individuals who are no longer exercising while consuming junk and fatty foods. As a result, the condition has continued to affect more people in the country.

US Overweight prevalence: 2-19 years

Age (years)1 1963-65
1971-74 1976-80 1988-94 1999-2000 2001-02 2003-04
2-5 5% 5% 7.2% 10.3% 10.6% 13.9%
6-11 4.2% 4% 6.5% 11.3% 15.1% 16.3% 18.8%
12-19 4.6% 6.1% 5% 10.5% 14.8% 16.7% 17.4%


Using these numbers and statistics, the government and health institutions can put in place the best measures to handle the situation. Some of the best approaches include educating the people, providing them with relevant incentives about the importance of proper dietary intakes and the need to exercise (Nestle 104).

The numbers presented above can be indicated to the population so that they can understand the economics of the condition and its implications towards the greater welfare of the country.

This will inform the people about the dangers of obesity thereby encouraging them to come up with preventative measures. This is necessary because obesity is today a major disaster affecting the health of people in the United States and other parts of the whole world.

Financial Costs of Diabetes in the United States

In the United States, it is worth noting that there have been direct financial costs resulting from increased cases of obesity. Because of this, it is true that there is direct economic impact from the condition. In the year 1995, the economic loss associated with obesity was as high as $90.2 billion.

In the year 2000, the costs had risen to $117 billion. The medical costs and financial expenses of diabetes was over $ 50 billion in 1995 and over $60 billion in 2000. Researchers in the country estimate a projected medical cost of over $70 billion by 2014. These costs call for the best approaches to deal with obesity among individuals of all ages.

Calculating BMI

BMI is calculated as follows:

BMI = Mass (Kilograms)/(Height(Meters))2

Body Mass Index (BMI), is used to calculate and indicate if someone is obese, normal, underweight or overweight. The formula helps individuals to judge and measure their weight based on their age and height. Age and sex determine a lot about the weight of a child.

In adolescents, obesity is usually defined in relation to age, activity, and sex. If a person has a BMI of 35 to 40, the individual is considered as overweight or obese. Individuals with a BMI of 19 and below are underweight while those with a BMI of 19 to 24.9 have a normal weight. An overweight person will have a BMI of 25-29.9.

The knowledge of BMI is important becomes it makes it possible for people to determine whether they are at the risk of developing the condition. If the BMI of a person seems to be high, it is important that the relevant measures are used to address the issue of obesity. It is also important that overweight people should consume proper diet and exercise frequently. This will help to reduce the risks associated with obesity.

Works Cited

Colditz, Graham. Economic costs of obesity. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 55 (1992): 503-507. Print.

Field, Alison. Impact of overweight on the risk of developing common chronic diseases during a 10-year period. Journal of the American Medical Association 286 (2001): 1560. Print.

McGinnis, James and Foege, Hurry. actual causes of death in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association 270 (1993): 2207-2212. Print.

Nestle, Molisin. Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. Print.

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