Causes Of America's Obesity Crisis

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America’s Obesity Crisis When one thinks of an epidemic what usually comes to mind? Aids? Maybe even Ebola? Obesity should come to mind because it causes a range of diseases, affects every age group, cost Americans billions of dollars and is very deadly. It’s a frightening reality that millions of Americans deal with every day. Obesity is a huge problem for the United States and it needs to change. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 3/4ths of the country is overweight or obese. (Marks 22). The obesity issue is growing together with nation’s waistlines. According to the World Health Organization, “Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health” (“Obesity”).…show more content…
The World Health Organization says,"The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight . . .. is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended". (“Obesity”) It is much more complex than that, there are obesity is genetic, environmental, psychological, social and economic factors that come into play. In their article “Causes of Obesity,” Suzanne Wright and Louis Aronne explain that, how the food environment in America is set up in such a way that promotes overeating, portion sizes are too large, food too calorie dense and convenient and inexpensive. These calorie bombs are consumed by millions of Americans everyday because it’s quick, cheap and easy. (Wright and Aronne 1) Americans are also not getting enough physical activity to burn off the excess calories they are consuming. In Wright and Aronne’s article it quotes doctors from Cornell Medical College saying, “There is less access to physical activity (fewer sidewalks), less physical education in schools, and more time is spent on sedentary behaviors such as television watching, surfing the internet, and playing video games.” Wright and Arrone also estimated in 2005 that less than half of US adults engaged in recommended levels of physical activity (Wright and Arrone 2). Social factors also contribute to obesity. One study in the New England Journal of Medicine came to the conclusion that someone’s chance of becoming obese increased by 57% if he or…show more content…
Overweight and obesity and related conditions cost the United States billions of dollars every year. The Centers of Disease control note that in 2005 alone it was estimated that obesity and its related diseases costed the nation $190 billion dollars. (“Overweight & Obesity”) The CDC elaborates, there are two costs associated with obesity and related diseases, direct costs and indirect costs. “Direct costs are those that result in the use of health services directly, such as outpatient care, inpatient care, surgery, drugs, etc. . . . Indirect costs are resources lost as a result of the obesity” (“Overweight & Obesity”). The CDC breaks up the indirect costs into two categories. The first is value of lost work. “Days missed from work are a cost to both employees and employers. Obese employees miss more days from work due to short-term absences, long-term disability, and premature death than non obese employees” (“Overweight & Obesity”). The second indirect cost category is insurance, “Employers pay higher life insurance premiums and pay out more for workers’ compensation for employees who are obese than for employees who are not” (“Overweight & Obesity”). The CDC also reported that indirect costs are harder pinpoint and measure than direct costs. (“Overweight & Obesity”) According to studies done by the American Heart Association if the current rate of weight gain continues, the costs of obesity could

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