Angel (2001) defines a chronic disease as a human health condition of long duration and slow progression. The course of chronic diseases must last for more than three months. Some common examples of chronic diseases include cancer, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, and kidney disease (Angel, 2001). The manner, in which individual have changed the way of eating and living, determines the emergence of chronic disease in both developing and developed countries. The occurrence of chronic diseases such as dental disease, obesity, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes depend on the diets people consume in a daily basis (Roth, 2011). Most deaths across the world occur because of the diet-related chronic diseases, thus presenting a great encumbrance for society. The diet-related chronic diseases result from excessive or inadequate intake of food substances (Angel, 2001).
Excessive intake of high energy, high fat diets, increase the chances of the development of obesity (Johnston, 2004). Obesity can also result in the development of other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Of the diet-related chronic diseases, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States (Angel, 2001). Cardiovascular disease involves the heart and blood vessels, especially veins and arteries, which become narrow because of the pressure from fats. Therefore, due to constriction of blood vessels, it becomes hard for oxygenated blood to reach the cardiac muscles of the heart, and this causes heart failure (Angel, 2001). Type 2 diabetes and Breast cancer also cause many deaths in America; however, they are not the leading causes.
The diet-related diseases are preventable, and the United States government should put in place various types of education and prevention programs. Most of the diet-related problems have a direct relationship with obesity. Therefore, education and prevention programs should focus on the elimination of obesity from the American population (Angel, 2001). Schools should include physical education as a mandatory subject for students. Students should be aware of the importance of doing regular exercises when they are in the school compound or at their homes (Whitlow & Whitlow, 2004). Physical education will encourage citizens to avoid sedentary life by participating in the gymnasium or walking around. In general, health education is necessary in schools. Teachers will find a chance of informing their pupils about the impact of fast foods that restaurants offer. Students will be able to understand that home cooked foods are more useful than fast foods in promoting good health (Johnston, 2004). Some programs such as the Society for Nutrition Education focus on the importance of self-esteem, which is a strategy for preventing obesity among children and adolescents. Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Human nutrition and Obesity is another program in the United States that focuses on strategies for preventing obesity and weight gain (Roth, 2011).
Therefore, weight management is a very important health concern in the United States overweight and obesity can result in other complications that are the leading cause of death in the United States. The most common weight-management strategies in the United States include self-monitoring, cognitive restructuring, stimulus control, stress management, rewards, social support, relapse prevention, and physical activity (Whitlow & Whitlow, 2004). Self-monitoring is the most important weight-management strategy that obese individuals should follow. The obese individuals should observe and record behavioral patterns. It is also important for the obese individuals to keep a record of the type and quantity of the meals that they ingest in a daily basis. According to Roth (2011), it is necessary to record the number of calories that each food substance contained. The overweight and obese individuals should also record the number of minutes they spend in brisk walking and other physical activities. Self-monitoring serves as a reminder of an individual’s exercise and eating patterns.
Stimulus control is a weight-management strategy that involves the identification of the major barriers that have a relationship with sedentary patterns and unhealthful eating habits (Angel, 2001). Lack of time to do exercises is among the barriers to weight loss. To find extra time for exercises, it is important to set an alarm clock so that they can wake up an hour earlier and perform exercises before leaving to job. Cognitive restructuring refers to changing the way individuals think about themselves (Roth, 2011). For instance, some individuals think that they can take a short time to lose a lot of weight. Cognitive restructuring helps individuals set realistic goals about how they will lose weight per unit time. Another weight-management strategy is the use of rewards to motivate individuals and reinforce healthful exercise and diets (Whitlow & Whitlow, 2004). For example, a person who loses more weight wins a financial reward in some competitions. Physical exercise is a weight-management strategy that ensures that a person loses excess weight by burning calories (Roth, 2011). The overweight or obese individuals should follow most of the weight-management strategies to avoid the occurrence of obesity related complications or diseases.
Weight-management plays a significant role in the prevention of illnesses and diseases. The direct benefit of weight-management is prevention of obesity and overweight, which are the conditions that lead to the emergence of other complications such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and breast cancer (Whitlow & Whitlow, 2004). Therefore, the prevention of obesity will lead to the prevention of the related complication. The miracle cure for weight loss enables an individual to lose weight at a higher rate (Whitlow & Whitlow, 2004). An example of miracle cure is the bariatric surgery. Even if, the Americans appear to be fixated on the use of miracle cures for weight loss, they encounter various problems like spending a lot of money, and complications such as gastric leak, which can cause deadly infections. Americans positively portray the unhealthy weight loss strategies such as surgery and the use of diet pills in media and entertainment (Roth, 2011).