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Obesity is a state in which an individual has excessive weight compared to what is recommended for his or her health or height. In the recent past, the condition has been proven as one of the major health problems affecting most of the United States citizens. Statistical results show that a greater population of about 74% of Americans is affected by the condition (Shalikashvili, 2010). The condition which used to affect the adults only in the 1990s has also become a serious problem to children affecting most of them at the critical adolescent age.
1. Causes of Obesity
Being one of the greatest health concerns in the US, causes have been examined closely and keenly in order to come up with appropriate control measures aimed at significantly reducing its spread to other citizens that have not been affected. There are several factors that cause obesity. Inadequate physical activity is one of the factors contributing to overweight, mainly in children. Physical activity ensures that excess calories in the body are burnt down. Poor dieting is another major factor that causes obesity especially in children. Diet with excess fat and carbohydrates can be dangerous to the health of an individual. The two types of food are responsible for massive increase in body weight (Guo, 1999). Overeating is as well a factor considered under poor dieting. Taking junks irrespective of the nutritional value, also leads to excessive and unhealthy weight gains.
It is also caused by genetics. An obese person can easily transmit his or her obese genes to his children putting them conditionally in the same risk. Other causes are low self esteem, peer and family problems, medical illness and emotional problems such as depression.
2. Prevention programs to reduce risks associated with obesity
I) Changing of eating habits:
As explained above, excessive or junky food exposes an individual to unnecessary weight gains hence the necessity for one to regulate and maintain a good and healthy diet.
II) Physical activities should be increased:
This is to ensure that there are no excess calories in the body that can expose the body to unnecessary and unhealthy weight gains (Coyle, 1995).
III) Giving necessary support and useful information to the public:
The local government, state and federal is supposed to make useful information concerning the problem accessible to its people. They should also show their concern in funding the obesity reduction campaigns in various regions. Forming partnership with producers to ensure that the food products they avail to the consumers are healthy and cannot expose consumers to risks relating to obesity.
IV) Regular medical checkups:
In this case, obesity screening should be done so that control measures are taken in place early enough in case the diagnosis has revealed its existence in the body.
3. Roles of Macronutrients and Micronutrients in the body
(I) Macronutrient: there are three macronutrients namely, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Proteins, made of amino acids, play major roles such as repairing, maintaining and building of body tissues. Physical individuals need it a lot for repairing of muscle tissues. Enzymes and hormones, which play major roles in metabolic processes, are synthesized from proteins.
Fats, consisting of glycerol and fatty acids, are necessary for cushioning thus ensuring protection to the adjacent body organs. It also provides insulation to the body hence maintaining a constant body temperature. Maintenance of cell membranes and breakdown of vitamins (digestion) as well as absorption of some (A, D and E) are other importance of fats in the human body.
Carbohydrates: it consists of different types, from complex (disaccharides) to simple ones (monosaccharide). Glucose, one of the simplest carbohydrates, is absorbed into the body to ensure constant supply of energy especially to actively metabolizing and functioning organs such as the liver and the heart. Carbohydrates also contain fiber which is necessary for waste expulsion in the intestines as well as lowering of cholesterol in the body (Vaughan& Geissler, 2009).
(II) Micronutrients: they include minerals and vitamins. Generally they are necessary for protecting the body against certain disease infections, boosting mental intelligence or sharpness and giving birth to healthy children. Folate, iodine, iron, vitamin A and zinc have profound effects on adult productivity, educational achievements, child survival, resistance to infections and women’s health. Calcium is necessary for bone formation. Vitamin D, derived from sunlight, is necessary for maintenance of bone shapes, preventing bowleg and knocking knee related problems especially in children (Lieberman & Bruning, 1990).
4. Health problems associated with energy imbalance and Micronutrients deficiency.
Energy imbalance is whereby certain organs in the body have more or less energy compared to other organs. Low levels of energy on certain organs like the heart can results into dangerous health problems like heart failures, accumulation of waste products in the kidneys, low sugar level in the body (inadequate energy in the liver).
Excessive energy, on the other hand, is also dangerous itself. It causes overworking of the heart leading to fatigue. It also leads to the overworking of the liver cells in regulating sugar contents in the body (Ensminger, 1994). This, in return, leads to increased human body temperature which leads to other dangerous health issues.