Causes of Obesity in America

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Obesity is one of the leading causes of death in America and can be defined as the excess of energy stored as fat (M Caroli, D Lagravinese 2002). Throughout the preceding years the percentage of obese people in America has been increasing at a steady rate. In the United States around 35% of the population are considered overweight and qualify as obese (Suzanne M. Wright, Louis J. Aronne 2013). Though this disease is taking over the nation’s population and seems to be out of control it has a large amount of causes, treatments and preventative measures that can be taken.

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There are numerous causes of obesity and these causes cannot be made simple in any way. What causes obesity is a blend of politics, social norms, genetics, and environment factors. Understanding the biology of obesity, it’s not hard to realize that the food being consumed by Americans plays an extensive role in the percentage of overweight Americans. Food high in calories are becoming less expensive and even more accessible than other healthier options. Aside from the fact that these foods are becoming more accessible in fast food spots, they are now also being sold and advertised more in grocery stores, as well as billboards and commercials to draw you in. These greasy and fattening foods are also no longer being sold in smaller serving they have increasingly started to become larger. Adding to the amount of unhealthy foods America has started to love, according to Suzanne M. Wright and Louis J. Aronne levels of physical activity have decreased over the past couple of years (2013). This is another leading cause of the increase of obesity in America. When the body remains in active it will start to build up extra energy as fat and in return, increase the body weight and BMI. When you put these two causes together (an increase of fattening food and a decrease of physical activity) you are bound to receive the same result; obesity.

Social environments and medications including; diabetic treatment, steroids, antihypertensive etc. can also be a cause of obesity. A study showed there is a potential 57% increase to the risk of becoming obese if you have friend who is obese (Suzanne M. Wright, Louis J. Aronne 2013). This is because people tend to follow each other’s habits and adapt them as their own. The etiology of obesity can continue, but there are also treatments to these causes that are provided to Americans to avoid obesity.

Skender, Martha L states, treatments that restrictively work on dieting are only efficient when looking for short term results (1996). Most people who only work on their dieting regain all the weight they had previously lost within a few short years. This is because they are not learning how to exercise their bodies and after a varying amount of time dieting will not give them the same results. Participating in physical activity has a longer outcome compared to strictly dieting but maintaining both a healthy diet and staying physically active is more efficient. The best long-term results will come by obtaining an overall healthy lifestyle.

While these treatments can be effective pharmaceutical companies are still searching for medications that supports dieting along with other treatments (G.A Kennett, P.G Clifton, 2010). There are a few medications that aren’t mean to help patients lose weight. Some of these medications can be found over the counter and other require a prescription. Taking medications to lose weight is not the best option, but sometimes can be the last option for patients who have tried everything else. Kennett and Clifton state that phentermine, orlistat, and sibutramine are the three most commonly used drugs that are associated with a 5% weight loss within a few months (2010).

Most health behaviors that are created as children are usually carried throughout a person’s lifespan. These habits start to become harder to change and avoid as you age, that’s if they are even wanted to be change. May people are comfortable with the lifestyle they are raise with and unwilling to change it no matter what the consequences are. The prevention of obesity as a child can be a huge way to prevent obesity as an adult. Creating healthy lifestyle influence for Americas next generation, can lead to a huge change in Americas weight. There has also been a study that showed children who were breast fed for a longer amount of time had a lower risk of becoming overweight, and those who were breast fed for a shorter amount of time had a higher risk of becoming over weight (M Caroli, D Lagravinese 2002).

There are almost to many factors to consider when thinking about the prevention of obesity. These factors included, but are not limited to nutrition, genetics, metal health and social norms. As stated by Caroli and Lagravinese there are many obesity preventions programs. These programs should be advertised more and more openly talked about for people who are at a higher risk of becoming obese. These programs will usually include an increase of physical activity, behavioral modification and nutritional intervention (2002). Understanding and modifying your nutrition is an easier, an important step when it comes to preventing this disease. Nutrition is also one of the most important things to pay attention to. No matter how much physical activity is being practiced, the body with not become healthy or give steady results if nutrition is not being managed as well. It is important to pay attention to all angles of nutrition.

The amount of TV being viewed should also be monitored when trying to prevent obesity. Instead of sitting inside watching TV filled with advertisement for all the food that shouldn’t be eaten, more time needs to be spent outside of the house on physical activity and staying active. In America, kids aged between 2 and 17 kids spend around 3 years of their lives glued to the television. Within a 3-year time period, these children have viewed around 22,000 commercials pertaining to food. Out of those 22,000 commercials 70% of them are foods high in sugar and fats (M Caroli, D Lagravinese 2002).

Obesity is becoming more of an issue every year in America and it is important to be educated on the ways to help prevent and treat this disease. Many people are affected by this disease but there are a range of ways to reduce the amount of people who are overweight and maintain a healthier country. It doesn’t take much more than some effort and motivation to become and maintain a health lifestyle.    

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Causes of Obesity in America. (2021, Apr 06). Retrieved December 8, 2022 , from

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