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Issues surrounding healthy living need to be improved. Obesity has become a major health issue in the United States today. Significantly, even children are not spared; as statistics show that childhood obesity has been on the rise since the last three decades (Trust for America's Health, 2009). In addition to compromising the health of millions of individuals who are faced with it, billions of dollars are being spent in the costs of health care. Obese people are at a risk of developing chronic diseases that are expensive to treat and sometimes turn out to be fatal. These include cardiovascular disorders, cancers, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, gout and stroke. Nevertheless, most of them are faced with psychological torture as the excess fat renders them unattractive. It is even worse at schools where obese children have to be objects of continuous mockery because of their weight. All in all, obesity is a condition that can be put into control if the following issues were improved. First of all, the government needs to impose heavy taxation on popular food joints that mainly serve fatty foods and sweetened drinks to increase the prices of these foods and to prevent further set ups of others. Instead it should support companies that make and retail whole nutritious foodstuffs to make these foods cheaper to the population. Secondly, the people's lifestyle needs to change. Americans have adopted a lazy lifestyle where technology does everything while we sit and wait. There need to be strict policies that will ensure all children participate in physical education at schools. The work place should involve activities like walking upstairs rather than using lifts and walking rather than driving short distances.
Overview of ObesityWant an expert to write a paper for you Talk to an operator now
The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that obesity results when there is an in-proportionate measure of weight and height as per the body mass index (2010). Individuals with a body mass index of over 25kg/m² are overweight while those of a body mass index of over 30kg/ m² are obese. Obesity can be caused by genetic factors but the major cause is from excessive consumption of highly saturated fatty foods and sugars yet at the same time having reduced physical activity. Childhood obesity has already been declared an epidemic in America.
Obesity causes devastating effects on physical, psychological and emotional health. Respiratory difficulties, insulin resistance problems, movement problems, rupturing of arteries and massive heart attacks are but some of the few causes that excessive fats can bring on our bodies. Critics argue that food joints and soft drink companies like will run out of business if America concentrated on fighting obesity. Another beneficiary of the obese population is the weight loss industry that makes dollars from people who rush there to lose the excess kilos. The truth is that, if Americans incorporated healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle, gaining weight and being obese will be a legendary tale.
a) Food policies
Studies show that the fatty and sweetened foods are readily and cheaply available in food joints, vending machines, groceries and school cafeterias as compared to the whole nutritious foods. Moreover, popular food joints like McDonald's have invested in TV and website advertisements that readily lure people to the unhealthy foods. Government agencies need to put control measures as far as setting up food joints is concerned. The state should shift its focus on promoting local food systems that are organically produced as compared to conventional production. Nevertheless, there should be government supported campaigns and advertisements to promote healthy eating which includes whole cereals, fresh vegetables and fruits and non-saturated fats. Whole foods stores should be available in all the locations and these foods should be made cheaper to encourage the nation to adopt healthy eating habits.
b) Physical activity
It has been discovered that some school are canceling physical education or making it elective so as to create more time for studies. Moreover, at home children will dwell on TV or computer games rather than take time for the playground. To add on that, the American infrastructure is laid in a way that people get picked or drive from home to work, use lifts to the office, have lunch served on the desks and even when they get back home, there are machines to do everything from washing dishes, clothes and cooking. The only activity that we are left with is clumping on a sofa before a TV set and a bowl of popcorns. There is need of improvising infrastructure that allows for pedestrian walking, cycling or jogging. Moreover, physical facilities need to be set in all schools and it should be made compulsory for all students to participate in physical exercise. Parents also need to create a time for play for their children and control the amount of time spent on television (Holmes, 1998).
There should never be a moment where the quality of life is traded with unhealthy practices that can be controlled. The government and people of the US need to improve and implement the measures that can help eradicate the obesity epidemic.
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