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Obesity in America Caused by Unhealthy Nutrition Essay

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Updated: Oct 25th, 2021

At the beginning of the 21st century, obesity and overweight in children and adults are one of the main national health problems. This is a national problem because around 30% of the population are clinically obese which results in extra 300,000 deaths each year (Clinical Guardlines,2006). In recent years, major advances in the understanding of overweight and obesity have confirmed that they constitute an important medical condition. A better understanding of the genetic contribution to both weight gain and the intra-abdominal distribution of fat (central obesity) is identifying certain ethnic groups and susceptible families who are specifically at risk. The main risks are that obesity causes heart disease and diabetes, respiratory complications, and hypertension. The thesis is purposed that the increased number of obese people in America is caused by the development of the fast-food industry and sedentary lifestyles typical for the majority of the population.

Obesity becomes an epidemic in America no longer regarded simply as a cosmetic problem. There is increasing awareness that overweight and obesity are key factors in the development of other chronic diseases and contribute to the high mortality rates of such diseases (Campos 26). The main risk factors are that obesity is associated with increased release and higher plasma levels of free fatty acids (FFA) which may trigger a reduction in insulin sensitivity at both the hepatic and the muscular levels. While in the skeletal muscle such metabolic abnormality results in a reduction in glucose uptake, oxidation, and storage as glycogen. Interestingly, muscle biopsy studies have shown a positive relationship between intramyocellular triglyceride content and whole-body insulin resistance.

Each year, the government spends millions of dollars on healthcare and social support for obese people. “The total cost attributable to obesity amounted to $99.2 billion in 1995. Approximately $51.6 billion of these dollars were direct medical costs associated with diseases attributable to obesity. The direct costs also associated with obesity represent 5.7 percent of the national health expenditure within the United States” (Clinical Guardlines 2006). Thus, it was found that the main causes of obesity in American are the fast food industry and false advertising messages. Following Campos, the fast-food industry popularizes and promotes unhealthy eating patterns which lead the population to overweight (Campos 52). The problem is that menus proposed in such restaurants are fat-saturated with high caloricity levels. In spite of advertising efforts to promote health-conscious products or a calorie-free diet, hamburgers and fried potatoes are the most “dangerous” products sold to American consumers. Researchers found that: “massive portion sizes, and high energy density; palatability; and high content of saturated and trans fats and low fiber content” lead to obesity problems. (Fast Food and Obesity, 2004). In order to deal with this problem, “companies such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig have targeted much of their advertising specifically toward upwardly mobile black and Hispanic women” (Campos 73). False advertising creates a kind of illusion and false messages misleading and cheating consumers. Helping patients make permanent, healthy changes to their eating habits is an essential component in the multidisciplinary approach to the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity. Although many health professionals recognize the importance of dietary management, research suggests that difficulty often arises in the translation of general nutritional messages into specific food changes, which are practical and realistic for patients to implement over the longer term (Campos 82).

In sum, obesity becomes a real epidemic in American caused by false advertising and fast food messages, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of physical activities. Such difficulty may be related to inadequate understanding of nutrition and dietetics.

Works Cited

Campos, P. The Obesity Myth: Why America’s Obsession with Weight is Hazardous to Your Health. Gotham, 2004.

. 2006. National Heart, Lung and Blodd Inst. Web.

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