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Why Is Obesity A Health Problem?

Why should we bother about the weight of our family members? There are a lot of ongoing discussions about how American citizens are heavier than they were during the 70s. A lot of information also exists about the health problems related to obesity. Many institutions are working to make a difference and help families eat better and move a lot more. Why is obesity a health issue? Let us look at some statistics to give us the information about why we should be concerned about obesity.

 Statistics about obesity among adults

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination, approximately 69% of adults in America are overweight or obese. As such, around 78 million American adults are obese.

 Statistics about obesity among children 

Over the past 30 years, the prevalence of obesity among children has gone over the 50% mark especially in the age group of two to five. The figure has tripled among the children between the age group of 11 to 16. However recent data reveals that overweight children did not significantly increase between 1999 and 2008, except in boys who were heavy.

These figures continue to remain alarmingly high. About 17% of the children between the age of 2 to 19—around one in six children—are obese. The minorities such as Black Americans and Hispanics continue to display a tendency of being overweight.

 The health problems linked to obesity

Childhood obesity can lead to health problems that are in most cases lifelong issues. Being obese or overweight increases the risk of heart disease, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, and other chronic ailments among adults. Type II diabetes accounts for approximately 95% of all diabetes cases. Prediabetes, which can increase the risk of a heart attack, stroke and type II diabetes, does not have any symptoms.

Type II diabetes is increasingly being noticed in children in the age group 12 to 19, especially among minority communities. About 16% of these children also suffer from prediabetes. Most of the children who have type II diabetes are obese.

 Environmental problems

The American environment is responsible for weight gain. Here, several factors work together, including the choices you make, your lifestyle, metabolism, and your genes.

Environmental changes make it difficult for people to engage in healthy behavior, contributing to the overall increase in weight over the past few decades. We have developed into a sit-behind-a-desk or in-a-car society. Our daily lives do not include physical activities or exercise.

We are constantly bombarded with messages telling us what and where to eat or drink. It is now easier to purchase foodstuffs in places where they were not available before. Also, food portions in restaurants and homes are getting bigger than they were before. The larger portions come with an increased number of calories while the slower rate of metabolism makes it difficult for us to digest the food we ingest.

 Conclusion

Obesity does not occur overnight—it takes a long time for a person to become obese—and this happens when the food intake is not balanced out by the energy burned through physical activities. Since it is a health problem, the society as a whole should do something to prevent obesity and the problem of being overweight.

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