Arguments for War on Obesity
Obesity has become a major problem in the United States. (Welcome 2019). Obesity can cause a wide range of health problems. Obesity can affect all age ranges from infancy all the way to the elderly. Obesity can be a result of many different factors. I’m personally a part of the obese population. I also have my own theory on how I became obese. There are also ways to prevent obesity and ways to overcome obesity. Obesity that is present during childhood is also becoming a problem. This subject is near and dear to me due to the struggle I’ve had with obesity.
The increased presence of obesity is due to a number of factors. One factor that contributes to obesity is our environment. In today's age, food is becoming more and more available. This causes people to overeat and not have to work for their food. I can literally order all the food that I want from the comfort of my home. I don’t even have to get out of bed to get food. People don't have to do much but walk to the front door to get food from the delivery man. Humans are hunter-gatherers. In the past, humans would have to hunt animals or gather fruits and vegetables for food. Our bodies are made to burn enough calories through work so that we don’t become overweight. Exercise should balance that out but, exercise isn't a focus in most American routines. Another reason why obesity rates have increased is due to diet. Drinks such have sodas and fruit juices are high in calories. People don't really pay attention to how many calories there take through drinking. I never paid it any mind until I started watching my calorie intake. Also, the foods that we eat are for the most part dense in calories as Wilding wrote in Causes of Obesity (288). We know how to make food taste wonderful. This food in moderation is good but when eaten in abundance it can be harmful. So, a bad diet plus the lack of exercise has greatly contributed to the obesity problem. Also, households with a lower economic status don’t have much choice when it comes to the food they buy. Foods that are cheaper are usually high in calories and lack nutrients. Due to these circumstances, lower-income families are put at a higher risk of obesity. There is no single reason why someone is obese. The reason why people are obese is a combination of factors.
Obesity can open the door to a multitude of problems. These diseases include diabetes, high blood pressure, blindness, and an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when the body stops producing insulin ('Diabetes Overview'). Type 2 diabetes is when the body resists the effects of insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin ('Type 2 diabetes). Insulin is what takes the glucose in the blood and moves it into the cells. Type 2 diabetes can lead to vision problems and nerve damage. I had a diabetes scare a month ago. Also, the possibility of having a UTI increases. This is due to the increased amount of glucose in the urine. Increased glucose then allows more bacteria to grow within the urethra. Both diabetes and high blood pressure can cause blindness. Both cause blindness due to the nerve damage they cause in the back of the eye. Diabetes and high blood pressure are also dangerous because they can cause heart disease. This makes obesity a deadly disease. These diseases and are all due to the fact that a person is overweight. Something as simple as being overweight can cause major health problems for anyone if unchecked.
Childhood obesity is becoming increasingly common. Obese children are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, early puberty, and asthma (Lakshman, Rajalakshmi E., et al. 14). Running into some of these health issues early in life can cause other problems to arise in adulthood. There are multiple elements that can increase the probability that your child may become obese. Diets with high carbohydrate intake can cause an increase in weight. Carbohydrates are sugars. Foods that are high in carbohydrates would include sugary foods and bread products. Being raised by overweight parents can also raise the probability that their child will be obese('Childhood obesity'). Economic issues can also affect children's health. Healthier food tends to cost more. So, parents are forced to make cheap meals that can stretch. These meals are usually high in carbs and do not contribute to a healthy lifestyle. I believe that we all knew that one overweight kid growing up. Overweight children also get bullied more than other kids. Bullying can cause a child to be stressed and depressed. Stress eating can also cause children to be overweight. Simple things like portioning food and avoiding fast food can create good habits. Giving children good eating habits and teaching them about weight management can prevent them from being overweight as an adult. Then, when they have their own children they'll be equipped with the tools to teach them. Children are the future. If they don't learn good habits eating habits now, the number of obese children will just increase.
There are ways to lower your child and your own chance of becoming obese. Breastfeeding can lower a child's chance of developing obesity by 26 percent ('Breastfed Babies Less Likely to Have Obesity'). Breast milk helps build good gut bacteria. Good gut health contributes to lowering the risk of obesity. The main benefit of breastfeeding is that it teaches the baby to stop eating when it's full. This is better than feeding a child breast milk through a bottle because mothers usually want the baby to fill the full bottle. That teaches the child to eat until its food is all gone. Another way to prevent obesity is to eat a balanced diet and exercise. Less focus should be placed on foods that are high in carbohydrates. Also, calorie-dense should be replaced with nutrient-dense food. Calorie-dense foods would include fast food and all food that are high in calories but lack nutrients. Also, exercising and putting on more lean muscle mass can help lower weight. Muscle uses calories. So, gaining muscle mass can make you burn more calories. The most important tip for maintaining a healthy weight is to create good habits. This could include drinking more, portioning, and only eating when you're hungry. I’ve incorporated some of these habits into my day-to-day life and have seen a difference
I’ve pretty much struggled with my weight my whole life. This is what makes this topic so important to me. I’ve always been a big guy from what I remember. Growing up as a big guy is really hard. I remember being picked on for my weight starting in elementary school and ending in high school. Becoming mentally tough is probably the only way I got through it. I had to learn to be funny and not take myself as seriously so that the jokes wouldn’t hurt as much. I’ve also had medicine scares in recent months. I thought that I had diabetes for a while. It wasn’t until I went to get a check-up that I was relieved to find out I wasn’t diabetic. Being overweight makes you have to think about these things. A guy at 21 years old shouldn’t be worried about whether my blood sugar is okay or whether my blood pressure is high. Looking back at the years, I can’t even remember when’s the last time I wore a large shirt. It’s kinda funny when I think about it, but it’s also sad. I believe my putting on weight is due to habits I’ve learned while growing up. I learned that I’m always supposed to finish my plate even if I’m full. Growing up my family didn’t have a lot of money, so I was conditioned to always look for where I can find the most food for the lowest cost. I believe these learned habits have put me in the predicament I am in now. It’s just recently I’m forcing myself to learn new habits. I try not to blame my parents for these habits they unintentionally taught me. They were just trying to raise and feed me. I want to raise people's awareness of the obesity problem and give people advice on combating this disease.
To fight obesity we can all construct better eating and exercise habits. Also, we can talk to our friends and family so that they can pass on good eating habits to their children. It doesn’t take a lot for us all to make tiny tweaks in routine to benefit our health for the better. Nobody wants to go through life wondering if their life is in danger due to their health. For a long time, I had given up and decided I was going to be big my whole. I started to get worried when my vision started getting bad and I started to feel light-headed all the time. I wouldn’t want anybody to have to go through this stress. Together we can all make a difference and combat the obesity problem in the United States.
- “Breastfed Babies Less Likely to Have Obesity.” AAP.org, 24 Sept. 2018, https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Breastfed-Babies-Less-Likely-to-Have-Obesity.aspx.
- “Childhood Obesity.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 5 Dec. 2018, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/childhood-obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20354827.
- “Diabetes Overview.” Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes
- Lakshman, Rajalakshmi E., et al. “Childhood Obesity.” Circulation, vol. 126, no. 14, 2012, pp. 1770–1779.
- P.H. Wilding, John. “Causes of Obesity.” Practical Diabetes International, vol. 18, no. 8, 2001, pp. 288–292.
- “Type 2 Diabetes.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 9 Jan. 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193.
- Welcome, Anna. “Definition of Obesity.” Obesity Medicine Association, Obesity Medicine Association, 29 Aug. 2019, https://obesitymedicine.org/definition-of-obesity/.