Why America is so Fat


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fat guy.jpg

The whole world knows at this point that <a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/08/16/why-were-so-fat-whats-behind-the-latest-obesity-rates">obesity in the United States</a> is a huge problem. Fast food places are thriving, gym memberships are going unused, and physical activity in general is basically non-existent. I get that our country has been labeled as "fat" but I just did not understand how we got to this point of near disaster. This curiosity allowed me to stumble upon some interesting reasons why it wouldn't hurt Americans to occasionally mix in a salad.

 

One of the catalysts of this problem are the many Americans who have extremely low incomes every year. This completely limits their abilities to obtain a healthy lifestyle. For starters, healthy food has become extremely expensive to afford. Lower class Americans have to resort to eating cheap fast food because they cannot support their families and, at the same time, make sure they maintain a healthy diet.

 

Yet another reason why obesity is at an all time high is because Americans are very insecure about their weight and those who are not overweight, are very judgmental towards others who are. Although some Americans are able to afford gym memberships and expensive exercise equipment, they are not willing to use it if they are not in a completely comfortable environment. For example, a man could have purchased a fancy gym membership at the local LA Fitness but never attend because he is afraid of the way people will perceive him as he is working out. No one wants to be seen as the "fat guy" at the gym. It is a shame that Americans are so harsh when dealing with anything concerning looks. A man or woman who puts their inhibition behind them and takes the leap of faith to workout at a gym, should be rewarded with compliments rather than being glared at like an outcast.

 

Lower education levels is also a contributing factor to the obesity problem in the United States. People simply are not informed enough to realize what they are actually putting into their bodies. If people were more aware of the harm they were doing to themselves, the epidemic would decrease drastically. Schools should consider adding a mandatory health class to the curriculum for kids from years k-12 that stress the importance of eating healthy. Although this may cost a little extra, the lives saved and the knowledge gained would certainly be worth it.

 

<a href="http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/solving-common-obesity-problems-early.html#b">17% of 6-19 year-olds are obese in the United States</a>. This is an absolutely alarming statistic. Almost one out of every five Americas between the ages 6 and 19 years old are obese. There are many easy ways to lose that extra, unwanted poundage. First off, keep track of the foods you eat every day. If the amount of calories, carbohydrates, fats, etc. consumed surpass the suggested amount for your body weight, it is clearly time to cut back on the junk food. Do not go on crash diets or starve yourself because this will decrease your metabolism in the long run. The weight that you would lose from your crash diet would eventually come back, along with some more. A high metabolism is key to losing weight. The higher the rate that your body can burn off the calories you consume and turn those calories into fuel, the easier it will be to lose the weight. Another way is too just start walking. If you normally drive everywhere or take public transportation, consider walking to your desired endpoints. Simply moving increases your metabolism, which should be the focal point of those who desire to lose weight.

 

I feel like if people are made more aware of the solutions to losing weight, the United States' obesity epidemic could be a thing of the past. If less people are obese, that means that average lifespans could increase, sports would be more competitive, and maybe even being healthy would begin to become a "cool" thing.

 

Works Cited: 

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/solving-common-obesity-problems-early.html#b

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/08/16/why-were-so-fat-whats-behind-the-latest-obesity-rates


3 Comments

I thought this was a really good article! There are definitely elements of American culture that work against us. This about the college lifestyle we live right now! Most don't plan to enough regular sleep, don't eat the healthiest because we can't afford too, and binge drink on the weekends... Here are 10 tips about staying healthy in college http://www.huffingtonpost.com/uloop/10-tips-to-stay-healthy-i_b_859195.html

This is an extremely relevant topic in todays day and age since americans just seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Being that I am from another country the first thing you notice in terms of food when you come here is the amount of food people eat. I have always been a light eater and I don't know whether or its because of where I am from or its my body so whenever I am eating with other people I feel like I am being pressured to eat more so that I fit in. I think that is the problem with society because it has become so natural for people to eat such large portions that none views it as a bad thing.

Tyler, I agree with your notion on how food is expensive to afford. I personally think that the fact that a big mac from McDonald's has so many negative effects but is so much cheaper than healthy alternative is a problem. So who fixes this? I believe that one issue is because of the poor economy too. But the government needs to regulate this more. Fast food needs to be taxed and health foods should remain untaxed that way people are able to nourish their bodies more properly. I do give credit to Michelle Obama though as she created a front for obesity and is working on ways to fix the problem. If you haven't seen her website check it out below!
http://www.letsmove.gov/

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