Obesity in America

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Obesity in the United States continues growing alarmingly. Approximately 66 % of adults and 33 % of children and teenagers in the US are overweight. Obesity is the result of fat accumulated over time due to the lack of a balanced diet and exercise. An adult with a BMI (body mass index) higher than thirty percent is considered obese (Whitney & Rolfes, 2011, pg. 271).

Causes of Obesity

According to the USDA, at the start of century 21st American people have increased their daily caloric intake by consuming five hundred calories more than in 1970. As cited by Whitney & Rolfes (2011), there are many recognized causes of obesity such as genetics, environment, culture, socioeconomic, and metabolism among others; but the cause most evident is that food intake is higher than the calories burned in physical activity. Excess of energy from food is stored in the body as fat causing an increase of weight. During the course of the last 40 years, obesity has grown enormously in the United States and the rates remain on the rise (pgs. 272-273).

Genetics plays a major role in obesity; inherited genes sometimes contribute to the accumulation of fat in the body. Over 200 genes have effect on the weight having repercussions from physical activity, food choices and metabolism. Therefore, genes may increase the vulnerability of a person to become obese. Family eating patterns and social tendencies can also trigger obesity. Moreover, environmental circumstances such as availability of food high in calories and fat and the increase of the portions and combination selections in meals contribute to the development of fat accumulated for years in the body (Whitney & Rolfes, 2011, pg. 277).

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Finkelstein & Zuckerman (2008). The Fattening of America. How the Economy Make us Fat, If it Matters, and What to Do About It. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & sons, Inc.

Meryl Loonin (2007). Overweight America. Farmington Hills, MI: Lucent Books, An imprint of Thomson Gale, a part of The Thomson Corporation.

The Endocrine Society and The Hormone Foundation (2012). Obesity in America. Matrix Group International, Inc. Chevy Chase, MD.

Retrieved from http://www.obesityinamerica.org/index.cfm

United States Department of Agriculture. Washington, DC.

Retrieved from http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

United States Department of Agriculture. Washington, DC. Profiling Food Consumption in America, Chapter 2.

Retrieved from http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter2.pdf

Whitney & Rolfes (2011). Understanding Nutrition. 12th ed. Wadsworth Publishing Company.

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