The problem with obesity in this country

Many Americans are eating more calories than they burn mainly because food is more convenient than ever before. It is very easily accessible, especially with the use of mobile apps these days. The majority of Americans also don't get much exercise. We actually need to exercise for at least one hour a day to stay healthy. According to the American Heart Association, all healthy adults should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days a week. Modern conveniences keep people from getting the physical activity they need to stay healthy and in shape.

Americans have a strong desire for fat and sugar. The American food industry has significantly contributed to providing this for us. Americans currently get about 35 percent of their calories from fat. I think many people still don’t take obesity epidemic seriously, which is a huge problem. This puts our communities at risk of losing many of the strides we’ve made in healthcare such as with heart disease, diabetes, or other diseases associated with obesity.

Possible triggers for the obesity epidemic include an increased availability of a variety of palatable and affordable foods, decreased physical demands of many jobs, an increase in the use of television, computers and smart phones, “nutritional programming” aka overweight and obese mothers who may be increasing their unborn child’s risk of obesity, changes in sleep patterns and stress, or possibly changes in the bacteria in the digestive track.

The food industry and many other industries depend too much on keeping people overfed and inactive. It’s up to the people to make changes in order to fight the obesity epidemic. It all starts with small lifestyle changes regarding diet and exercise habits. With a lot of effort and awareness, people can turn the epidemic around.

Obesity is an extremely common problem in the United States, and all over the world. It is estimated that more than one-third of adults (72 million people) and 17 percent of children in the United States are obese. The most common causes of obesity include a lack of physical activity and eating an unhealthy diet. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. These are some of the leading causes of preventable death.

Some key statistics about obesity:

                More than 1 in 3 Americans (35.7 percent) are obese

                More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults in the United States areoverweight or obese

                Almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese

                Obesity by race:

o   47.8 percent - Non-Hispanic blacks

o   42.5 percent – Hispanics

o   32.6 percent - Non-Hispanic whites

o   10.8 percent - Non-Hispanic Asians

People who are obese are at a higher risk for developing some very serious health complications such as high triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease, infertility and irregular periods, erectile dysfunction and sexual health issues, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, depression, and physical disability.

The best way to reduce your risk for obesity, prevent obesity, or get your obesity under control is to exercise regularly, eating a healthy diet, knowing your triggers that make you want to eat more than you should, checking your weight on a regular basis, and learning how to live a healthy lifestyle that lasts for the rest of your life instead of just temporarily.