Featured Obesity Article


´╗┐Obesity In America

Why is obesity in America a particular concern for those in the medical field? Don't they know that, in the past, some people saw plumpness as attractive? Obesity, in some cultures, was also connected to fertility in females. Even today, many societies around the world see a larger, well-fed person as a symbol of financial success.

While plumpness and being well fed may indeed be an indication of the economic success of American culture, they are increasingly seen as signs of obesity in America. As most people now know, obesity can negatively affect health. The World Health Organization notes that a person is obese if there is accumulation of fatty tissue more than two times the standard. Having these guidelines can help individuals and medical personnel deal with this growing health risk. With this in mind, how do we stack up when it comes to measuring obesity in America?

First, we have to understand what obesity really is. The dictionary definition of obesity states that it is simply "increased body weight due to excessive accumulation of fat." Humans and other mammals must have a natural energy reserve stored in the fatty tissue. However, this condition can increase to the point where it becomes a health concern. Basically, we need a certain amount of fat as stored energy and for insulating the body. But too much fat can lead to serious health problems.

According to many doctors and medical studies, obesity in America has become an epidemic. Researchers have shown that, by World Health Organization standards, America is home to the most obese people in the world. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta report that obesity in America has increased to include 60 percent of the population (in the last 20 years). Another report shows that a minimum of one person in three across the country has far too much fatty tissue in their body. Other studies indicate that more than 60 percent of the American population is obese, compared to 40 percent in 1987.

Studies have also indicated that obesity in America contributes to almost as many deaths each year as tobacco use does. Certain types of diabetes associated with obesity have increased dramatically. This fact has led many in Congress and in state legislatures to try and address the problem through legislation. For example, some states are considering heavy taxes on such items as soft drinks and candy, as well as on activities associated with consumption of sweets and starches - movie tickets, video games etc.

But others in the medical field insist that obesity in America can only be dealt with successfully if individuals and families change their diet and their exercise habits. For these medical experts, reducing the level of obesity in America begins at home.