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Understanding Obesity in America

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The popular opinion on obesity is that children and their parents aren’t capable or willing of taking the time and effort of cutting down on their weight. However, US News reports that “doctors specializing in obesity and weight loss say certain scientific and societal factors — including genetics, the rise of processed foods that include soybean oil and national overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages — are more likely to blame for childhood obesity than lazy kids or indulgent parents. ‘Obesity is a disorder which, like venereal disease, is blamed upon the patient,’ says obesity researcher Dr. George Bray.’”

The main obstacle in the way of fighting obesity is that people blame it on weak willpower and unwillingness. However, Bray, a professor emeritus of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, says that “Obesity isn’t a disease of willpower — it’s a biological problem. Genes load the gun, and environment pulls the trigger.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded that the obesity rates in the US were 20.5 percent in 1999-2000 and an alarming 39.5 percent in 2015-2016. The CDC also reported that, using data from 2015-2016, “nearly 1 in 5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years) in the United States has obesity.” These statistics are correlated with the rise of processed foods, which, found in a study done by Kevin Hall, an obesity and diabetes researcher, showed that the consumption of highly processed foods is correlated with weight gain. Patients that ate highly processed foods showed gained weight while patients that ate non-processed foods “spontaneously lost weight.”

Causes of the giant weight gain were linked back to the 1960s and 70s when the consumption of soybean oil in the US skyrocketed, and correspondingly, the weight of average Americans also increased. Another big cause of obesity is the rise of sugary drinks. Consumption tripled in numbers by the end of the 20th century. What made this problem even worse is that pregnant women who were drinking soft drinks passed the sugars down to their unborn children. “It’s kind of maternal abuse of the fetus,” comments Bray. “The child has no control, only the mother has.”

Finally, experts say that the obesity epidemic has dangerous long-term consequences. Adults who were obese during their childhood are at risk of developing diseases, such as “chronic hypertension, severe kidney and heart disease and type 2 diabetes as well as mobility and self-esteem issues.”

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Obesity is a very bad problem that affects many people all over the world. It can kill people and can even make it so that people have to be careful with how they live. We chose this website because it was long enough to write three pages on. We also chose it because it had relevant information that helped us write about this. It also had links inside the article which helped us get even more out of it.

This can affect your physical wellness by making you so heavy that you can’t do many things. It can cause diseases like diabetes and can make you prone to heart attacks. It can affect your mental wellness because you could feel sad that your obese and have to control your eating in the future. This could also affect your emotional wellness by having people make fun of you and that could make you sad or depressed. It could affect your spiritual wellness by making it so that you can’t go and pray.

This isn’t a fad because people are always going to be obese and many of them who become obese won’t lose weight. People will probably become even more obese and there will be even more obese people. There will also be obese children because they start eating foods that are full of fat and sugar. This topic is interesting because it kills many people and causes diseases. This will increase in the future and people need to make action on it.

Something that stood out in the article was that if a pregnant woman drank sugary drinks or unhealthy sugary foods, it would pass on to the unborn child. This can make it so that they become unhealthy when they are born. This could also make them obese. This is called maternal abuse because only the mother has control over what the child consumes. It isn’t illegal but the term for it is called maternal abuse. According to, “Pregnant women who drank sugary soft drinks, Bray added, ended up passing the sugar on to their unborn children. ‘It’s kind of maternal abuse of the fetus’ where ‘the child has no control, only the mother has,’ he says.”

One fact that was in the article was that obese children who keep that weight even when they become an adult have higher chances of getting hypertension, severe kidney and heart disease and type 2 diabetes as well as mobility and self-esteem issues. According to the CDC, there are about one in five young people between the ages of six and nineteen who are obese. Another fact was that between 1960 and 2002, American adults have gained 24 pounds while only getting taller by one inch. This isn’t good because one inch isn’t enough to make it so that you won’t become obese from 24 pounds. The third fact is that in 2015-2016, the average BMI became 29.1 which is very close to becoming obese.

One thing that I learned was that now there are higher rates of obesity-related cancers happening with adults. Another thing that I learned was that people who eat less processed foods lose weight without trying. One wow fact was that if people ate processed with the same calories as unprocessed foods still gained weight. This is interesting because they both have the same amount of calories. Some potential dangers of obesity are that it can cause diseases like cancer and diabetes. This could kill you or cause many problems or inconveniences in your life. Obesity is a very dangerous thing that can happen to many people that can kill many people and should have action taken upon it.



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Understanding Obesity in America. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from
“Understanding Obesity in America.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
Understanding Obesity in America. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Sept. 2023].
Understanding Obesity in America [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2023 Sept 29]. Available from:
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