Obesity is one of the complex health issues that researchers are grappling with to establish a better understanding. While this problem is common all over the world, its effects are more prevalent in developed countries as compared to third world nations. The causes of obesity range from genetics to behavioral factors. Whilst this wide range of predisposing factors exists, it is usually hard to single out a specific cause of obesity in the United States.
In the United States, obesity remains a major health challenge. Research has revealed that the prevalence of obesity has increased by more than fifty percent in the last four decades. This means that two out of three Americans are likely to be obese or overweight.
The most alarming trend has been increasing obesity among American children. There is cause for alarm because obesity leads to a wide range of health complications and diseases including but not limited to heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, erectly dysfunction, and kidney stones.
Research into the causes of obesity in America points out to three major areas, which relate to modern work, recreation and eating habits. Due to advancement in technology, there is less activity required at our workplaces. For example, in mid 20th century, most jobs involved physical movement, unlike today where less than 20% of jobs in the private sector involve physical activities. Even though these developments play a major role in our economies, they have severe impact on Americans’ health. Due to this, there is the accumulation of calories and fat, which are not good for one’s health. On average, an American weighs more than 200 pounds as compared to 169 pounds in 1960s.
Modern recreation has also contributed to the rising obesity prevalence in the United States. Most Americans do not adhere to the national guidelines for leisure time and the numbers have always remained at 25%. In reality, about 5% of Americans get enough exercise because one has to walk for at least thirty minutes daily to cut on accumulating calories in the body. The information age has largely contributed to this where most Americans spend their walking hours seated at workplace or in their living rooms. Americans have adopted a sedentary lifestyle, because of working from computers, play stations, and long hours of watching television. All these trends deny Americans a chance to physically exercise and remain fit to keep at bay some of the killer diseases today.
Lastly, researchers point fingers at modern eating trends in America. While most Americans become obese because of poor recreation and sedentary lifestyles, modern eating habits also have a share of the blame. In recent years, the national waistline has continued to increase because of the foods children, youths and the elderly feed on. Over the years, there has been a shift from nutritious foods to junk and high-caloric meals. Sugar-sweetened sodas and fries are the commonest sources of these calories.
From this analysis, it is evident that obesity in America intertwines with a myriad of factors. Therefore, the war against obesity is every American’s responsibility. There is need to embrace healthy eating habits, healthy recreation, and healthy work habits. We cannot blame technology because the accumulated calories from sedentary workstations can be countered by proper exercising.
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