Obesity in USA Today, Causes and Cost to the Economy

Obesity costs the U.S about $ 150 Billion a year which is almost 10% of all U.S Medical budget in obesity treatment. Obesity drains crucial resources from the economy. About 1 in 3 adults and 1 out of 6 children are obese. It is a major cause of death attributable to heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Obesity Facts

What is obesity definition? Obesity results from people consuming more calories than their bodies’ burn. However, it is more complicated as people don’t decide to become overweight but their weight gain comes from changes in the environment. When food is more readily available while opportunities for physical activity are lacking, you will see symptoms of obesity in many people. In a more recent findings, obesity is directly attributable to hormone dis-regulation (as Dr. Daniel Pompa).

Causes of Obesity

Societal, economic and cultural conditions have all contributed to rise in Obesity. The way we eat has changed in the last 50 Years. Americans are eating more processed foods and eating out more frequently. Foods offered in restaurants, snack shops and vending machines are higher in sugar, calories and fat than what we prepare in our homes. We are surrounded by food and we consume larger portions and more calories than ever before. People who live in poor and rural communities may have less access to quality grocery stores that sell healthy and affordable options. In this areas it might be easier and cheaper to purchase less healthy foods. Obesity and fast food are therefore related.

Other factors like technology and the way we build our community have influenced our lives. Families must drive to work and school because they are too far to walk. Communities are built in ways that simply make it difficult and unsafe to be physically active. For many families safe hours for biking or walking to school or play may not even exist. Getting to parks and recreation centers is difficult as transportation may not even be available and lots of time is spent sitting in front of screens for work and entertainment. In addition, very few students get daily quality physical education in schools.

How to Prevent Obesity

First, we can eat more fruits and vegetables.

Eat fewer foods that are higher in fats and sugar.

Drink more water instead of sugared drinks.

Get the right amount of physical activity.

Parents restricting television viewing to less than 2 hours a day and we cannot put televisions in our children’s bedrooms.

In conclusion, to deal with the Obesity Epidemic, we must make better choices as individuals and collectively as a nation.