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Obesity in America

Essay by   •  April 3, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  3,395 Words (14 Pages)  •  1,889 Views

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Obesity in America

Obesity in America is an ever-growing problem and has boosted America to the number one spot in terms of obese population. Obesity can be defined as a condition in which the body carries abnormal or unhealthy amounts of fat tissue, leading the individual to weigh in excess or 20 percent more than his or her ideal weight (Health & Illness). The normal amount of body fat in young men is 15-18%, in young women is 20-25%, and in older adults is 30-40%. How do people become overweight or obese in the American society? There are several ways to obtain the obese tag, but many are contrary to our beliefs such as bad diet and lack of exercise. Why is it that America has such a high number of obese people? What causes this in our society? I'm sure these are all questions you wonder when you hear that America is so obese. I shall address all of these and hopefully offer a developed perspective on the problem in America.

Often times obesity begins during childhood. About 15.5 percent of adolescents, (ages 12 to 19) and 15.3 percent of children (ages 6 to 11) are obese (American Obesity Association). Children need much nurturing while they're young because they do not fully understand things. The things kids know are the things that are taught in the household. Parents must set a good example for their children and that also includes diet. It is truly essential to teach about the importance of a healthy diet. Schools are also a great influence on the youth diet problem. "The epidemic of childhood obesity is a tragedy for many reasons, and portends poorly for the health of our entire nation in the coming decades. Obese children have a low quality of life; the quality of life of severely obese children is similar to that of kids with cancer. Obese children also have a strong predisposition to become obese adults" (CommercialAlert.org). This goes along with my point that if people become overweight at a young age, it is likely this weight will carry on into later years when it matters more. A growing obesity rate in young children is a major issue that could affect further generations. The problem must be handled domestically; parents are responsible for not only their own diet, but the diet of their children as well.

Fast food, wow I know everybody has seen a McDonalds once in their life. That new dollar menu is very attractive because of both its affordability and ability to make you full. That is common of the U.S. population you want to eat and be full. I can recall that in youth I would often times try to avoid being full because I was so active. It's incredible what a few years can do to you. Now I want to be full whenever possible and exercise or physical activity is far from the forefront of my mind. My own lifestyle is a great example of how easily a bad diet can be obtained. I will get into more specifics later on in my essay but let me introduce a major aspect of the growing problem in this country, fast food.

This next category is about my three most common locations; McDonalds, Burger King, and Jack in the Box. Let me begin with the king of fast food, McDonalds! How odd, this place is so popular that my spell check corrected my spelling of it. I guess a corporation of that proportion is able to even have a presence on Microsoft Word. Not too long ago a documentary called "Super Size Me" was written about McDonalds which opened my eyes to the problem of obesity in society. Watching that movie ignited something in my brain because I became suddenly fascinated with the topic. McDonalds makes the claim that

"McDonald's attempts to provide nutrition and ingredient information regarding its products that is as complete as possible. Some menu items may not be available at all restaurants; test products, test formulations or regional items have not been included. While the ingredient information is based on standard product formulations, variations may occur depending on the local supplier, the region of the country and the season of the year. Further, product formulations change periodically. Serving sizes may vary from quantity upon which the analysis was conducted. Serving size designation for beverages refers to total cup capacity; the actual amounts of beverage (and ice) may vary. No products are certified as vegetarian; all products may contain trace amounts of ingredients derived from animals. This listing is continuously updated in an attempt to reflect the current status of our products and may vary from printed materials." (Mcdonalds.com).

It is incredible how much information McDonalds provides on its products yet people continue to return to their restaurants day in and day out. Let me shed some light upon some popular menu items to reveal just what you are intaking. The Big Mac is McDonald's signature sandwich how many calories does that contain? Well, this sandwich alone contains 560 calories which isn't too bad but isn't that good. You have to add fries because you need to become full so you add another 520 calories putting you at 1080 without your soda. Once you add your soda, you add another 310 calories putting your one meal at the golden arches at 1390 calories this is more than half of your suggested daily calorie intake. The average American eats three meals a day so play with the numbers and it's not surprising how we are such an obese nation.

Next up is my favorite late night target, Jack in the Box. How convenient, you guys are open 24 hours a day and you can get breakfast all day. This is probably one of the unhealthiest locations that you could ever visit but, I have made several appearances as do many others in the late hours of the night. Below is a list of the breakfast menu, after looking at this you should probably shy away from the all-day breakfast.

Breakfast JackÐ'® 129 305 120 14 4 0.5 205 715 195 34 0 3 13

Extreme Sausage Sandwich 217 690 445 50 17 1.5 280 1265 360 37 0 5 25

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