AP Language- 1st Hour
3 February 2011
Food is everywhere. Food is a necessity; but too much food can lead to disastrous effects on your health, self image, and daily life. Many people believe that the problem of obesity is not important; they overlook the serious effects this epidemic has caused. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Smoking kills approximately 442,000 Americans each year, while obesity kills 300,000” (Fauber). The effects of this epidemic are clearly proven to be fatal and overlooked as an issue that is not important; if this problem continues to have no effort applied to solve the obesity epidemic, the fatality rate could increase by a substantial amount.
Obesity is an epidemic that affects millions of people of the United States every day. People’s perception about obese people varies, and everyone has a different view of what constitutes obesity. “Overweight and obesity are defined; respectively, as being the 85th and 95th percentiles for BMI for age and sex based on nationally representative survey data. Today 15% of all children 6-18 exceed the upper range of healthy weights for their age groups” (Schmidt). With this increasing rate, the problem of obesity could soon engulf not only the U.S but, the whole world. Food is at our fingertips almost 24/7, most of the time the food we partake in eating is extremely unhealthy to our bodies. As Americans gain more access to fatty processed foods, the rate maintains a steady incline. “By 2015, four out of ten Americans may be obese” (Ambinder). This alarming statistic shows that soon almost 40% of people will be considered “fat”. Among that 40% is the 15% of all 6-18 year olds that exceed a healthy weight (Schmidt).
Overweight people are affected by a vast amount of physical and emotional health problems. The people that suffer from obesity also have a larger risk of being diagnosed with things such as “type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, asthma, and increased risk of birth defects” (Johnson). These chronic diseases cause people to have to spend more money for health insurance in the effort to “beat” obesity. “Improper weight and diet strongly correlate with chronic diseases, which account for three fourths of all health care spending [in the United States]” (Ambinder). Because people cannot control what types of food and how much they are putting into their bodies, they not only suffer with looking fat, but also endure the internal deadly problems that can occur. Not only can internal problems affect the way your body works but the way your mind functions as well. Depression can take over one’s mind because of the constant visuals people see as the “perfect body”. People’s perceptions as to what is considered beautiful are stereotypes such as a tall, skinny blonde, or a tall, dark and handsome man. Nowhere does any excess fat fit into that picture. With these subconscious thoughts entering the mind, pressures to maintain a healthy weight become too much for a person to handle, thus returning to the ultimate problem; food. This results in why it’s harder for obese men and women to find love, and marry. If they do find love, these people may transfer their bad eating habits onto their children.
Childhood obesity also is at an increased risk in the U.S as well. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, “the number of obese children ages 6-19 have tripled to 16% over the last twelve years” (Ambinder). The life of children in today’s society differs much from what it was like to live in the past generation. Back in the 1970’s and 80’s, children played outside and were active when they were looking for entertainment. In today’s culture, video games and television have taken up much of kids’ free time. With children spending at least 8 hours sleeping, another 8 hours in school, and about 2 to 3 hours watching or playing something electronic, it leaves almost no time