For the Love of Food : Who is responsible for weight?

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Tom Harkin, US congressman from Iowa, says that obesity now contributes to the death of more than 360,000 Americans a year. The incidence of childhood obesity is now at epidemic levels. Alarm bells are going off all over the place, but our government has basically done nothing. The obesity rate has risen to epidemic proportions in the United States. Communities across the country, recognizing obesity as an issue of serious public health concern, are looking for innovative ways to halt the increasing rate of obesity (Davis 260). The rising prevalence of childhood and adult obesity can be explained in part by changes in our environment over the last 30 years; in particular, the unlimited supply of convenient, highly palatable and energy-dense foods, coupled with a lifestyle typified by low physical activity (Farooqui 5-7). Childhood obesity in America is a growing epidemic--because of advertisement of fast food, lack of physical activities, and parental control--that has lasting psychological effects. As a little enlightenment on obesity, overweight and obesity result from an imbalance involving excessive calorie consumption and/or inadequate physical activity (Buchholz 5). The increases in overweight and obesity cut across all ages, racial and ethnic groups, and both genders. This increase stems from a variety of factors, primarily more consumption of calories and less vigorous activity. Obesity greatly increases the risk of developing many serious medical conditions, including type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, and certain forms of cancer (Davis 270). In 1999, 13% of children age 6 to 11 and 14% of adolescents age 12 to 19 were overweight. This prevalence has nearly... ... middle of paper ... ... Boneberger, Anja, Rudiger Von Kries, Astrid Milde-Busch, Gabriele Bolte, and Mascha Rochat. "Association between relationship problems and childhood overweight/obesity." Acta Paediatrica: Promoting Child Health. 98.12 (2009): 1950-1955. Print. Buchholz, Todd. "Are Fast-Food Establishments Making Americans Fat?." Journal of Controversial Medical Claims 10.4 (2003): 1-10. Print. 1 Feb 2011. Davis, Jackson. "Fast Food, Zoning, and the Dormant Commerce Clause: Was it Something I Ate?." Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review 35.2 (2008): 259-288. Web. 1 Feb 2011. Farooqui, Sadaf. "Insights from the Genetics of Severe Childhood Obesity." Hormone Research 68.S5 (2007): 5-7. Web. 1 Feb 2011. Jeffery, Robert. "Epidemic Obesity in the United States: Are Fast Foods and Television Viewing Contributing?." American Journal of Public Health. 88.2 (1998): 277-80. Print.

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