Why So Many Americans Are Obese
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

So Many Americans Are Obese And We Have The Power To Make A Difference

We as U.S. citizens are constantly targeting individuals for being overweight or obese but until we start looking at society and how it is formed around unhealthy eating will we truly be able to find some solutions.

54
So Many Americans Are Obese And We Have The Power To Make A Difference

Around 160 million Americans are obese or overweight according to IHME. More specifically, around 75% of males and 60% of women are considered to be too heavy. This has been a huge issue in U.S. health wise because obesity is the leading cause of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. It is also putting a strain on health care costs because How Obesity Affects America says that anywhere from 147 to 210 billion healthcare dollars go toward obesity-related treatments each year. Yes, this is a huge issue that needs to be discussed and resolved but it cannot be fixed unless we look at obesity from a different perspective. Until we stop blaming people individually for being overweight and look at how our society is formed around unhealthy eating, can we truly make a difference?

What many U.S. citizens fail to realize is that our society has set up a perfect environment for becoming obese quickly and easily. In fact, Why Is There an Obesity Epidemic? claims that "Food is more plentiful and convenient than ever before." This is because instead of hunting and gathering we want to go to grocery stores, and now, all we have to do is press a button on our phone and food is brought instantly to us. It isn't just the food industry that has contributed to weight gain, but everything else in our lives as well. We drive instead of walk, shop online instead of going to stores, and move around a lot less with everything else offered virtually. This has decreased the amount of exercise and thought that goes into our daily lives and makes us lazier day by day. With the increase of convenient technological innovations and the decrease in the physical activity required throughout our daily lives, it is causing people to predict that around 75% of U.S. citizens will be obese by 2020.

Another reason why many people tend to be overweight is that they cannot afford or do not have access to healthy and nutritious food. According to Fast Food and Obesity- The Cause and Effect Relationship, the two main reasons that people eat fast food so much are because it is very cheap and the restaurants containing it are in very common, convenient locations. The National Post says that it costs roughly an additional $2,000 a year in your grocery budget for an average family (two parents and two children) to eat a healthy diet. This may not sound like much for some but for those of us who receive a small salary while still working hard have a difficult time splurging on organic snacks and fresh vegetables.

Others actually can afford to spend the extra $1.20 a day but they live in food deserts, meaning their neighborhoods don't supply any high-quality grocery stores. About 3.5 million U.S. citizens live in food desserts and almost half of them are low-income households according to 11 Facts About Food Desserts. Due to a large number of people living in poverty and in food desserts, fast and unhealthy food seems to be the only affordable nutrients for these individuals, resulting in high numbers of heavy U.S. citizens

The huge amount of obese and overweight people in the U.S. is causing financial and health issues that if not resolved, could potentially cause a major health crisis for us Americans. Fortunately, the problem hasn't gone too far as to where it can no longer be minimized. However, unfortunately, societies will have to alter in many ways to make a visible difference in the number of overweight humans. The first of those would be education. Some kids grow up unaware of what's healthy and what's not especially if they were raised on junk food.

Implementing health and nutrition lessons into P.E. or health class would stick the idea of healthy eating into child's brains while they are still developing and they would be more likely to remember it when choosing which food to buy. Another change which was expressed by Community Efforts would be to change the entire environment of underserved areas by implementing nutrition and calorie content on restaurant menus and changing nutrition standards for hospitals, worksites, and childcare.

Tackling the Obesity Epidemic also suggested that Community-Based Collaborative Care Networks could help support health care workers so they can provide healthcare to low-income populations, making it easier for people to know the health risks they are in due to obesity and how they can be prevented. If we want to make a difference in the number of overweight citizens in the U.S. than many big changes will need to be made. What we shouldn't do is criticize those who are struggling with their weight because for many of us, it isn't a choice. If we work together to educate and support those who need to lose weight, then we can truly become a healthy, well-informed country.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

183586

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1638575

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

1026507
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

932497
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

609251
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

392046
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

504209

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments