An Exploration Of Obesity In The United States

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An Exploration of Obesity in the United States

When you hear the word fat, what do you think of? Do you think of the white matter on your steak, or perhaps blubber on a whale? Or do you kind of get a disgusting image of a morbidly obese person, struggling to move their bodies, or even breathe? With the United States deemed the fattest country in the nation, I took it upon myself to try and find out some reasons behind that.

The first thing that I wanted to find out is how much of the United States population is considered obese and what actually qualifies as obese. According to Statistics from, in 2004, 15-19 % of the population in 7 states was at least 30 pounds over weight; 20-24% in 33 states, in 9 states had 25% or more. These statistics scare me because so many people are obese. Instead of disease killing people in Africa, fat and cholesterol is killing people in America.

Along with that, statistics from, an obesity society, states that you are considered obese if you have a BMI over 30. People are considered overweight if their BMI is between 25 and 30. BMI, or body mass index, is the most commonly used tool by health professionals. It measures your height to weight ratio, and then determines if you are obese or not. What concerns me about using a person's BMI to determine whether or not they are overweight or obese, is that the BMI does not take into count how much muscle mass a person has. So if a person has a lot of muscle mass, and because muscle weighs more than fat, the person can be considered overweight or obese according to BMI measures. For some people, such as those whom are active, a BMI is probably not the way you want to measure your fat.

After I found out a few statistics about the United States being obese, and how it is measured, I started to wonder why America is so fat. It can't all be genetics, so what is causing all of this super-sizing of our citizens? The answer may be too simple. We, as a nation, are just getting lazier and lazier. It is a well known fact among Americans that if you eat more calories than you can burn throughout the day, then you are going to store that energy, most likely as fat.

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