Obesity in America

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Obesity rates have increased in the United States over the last few years. Currently more than 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. (Agarwal, Verduin, Waltman, 2008) Junk food is one of the major contributors in the obesity epidemic and unless proper nutritional education, taxes on junk food, an increase in physical activity, and reduced prices on healthier foods are implemented the obesity rates will continue to rise. Junk food and obesity go hand in hand serious measures must be taken in order to help reduce obesity rates in America. “Can the rising rates of obesity in the United States be changed?” In order to reduce obesity rates action must be taken! If action is not taken our country will continue to see increased rates in obesity, and diseases associated with obesity such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease will continue to sky rocket. A tax on junk food is only the beginning against the fight on obesity. This is one of many solutions that must be implemented in order to see a change in obesity rates. By proposing a tax on junk food consumers may think twice before purchasing junk food. In order to impose a tax on junk food the government and state officials must get involved. Public health advocates believe a tax on junk food could bring similar results to those that were produced when the cigarette tax was introduced. The tax on cigarettes helped reduce smoking rates. Taxing junk food can help bring the gap of unequal costs of healthy foods vs. non healthy foods down, which will no longer promote non-healthy foods as the “cheapest choice” available (Bates, Chaloupka, Chriqui, Eidson, Kowalczyk, 2008). Reducing obesity rates is not only the responsibility of government and state officials, bu... ... middle of paper ... ...-261. Retrieved from www.ebscohost.com Bates, H., Chaloupka, F. J., Chriqui, J. F., & Eidson, S., Kowalczyk S., (2008). State sales tax rates for soft drinks and snacks sold through grocery stores and vending machines, 2007. Journal of Public Health Policy, 29(2), 226-249. Doi: IO57/jphp.2008.9 CDC, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. (2011). Healthy weight: losing Weight: Improving your eating habits. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: www.cdc.gov Let’s Move America. (2013, Dec 3). Retrieved from website: http://www.letsmove.gov/ Obesity and overweight for professionals: State programs. (2012, April 27). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/stateprograms/programGoal.html Obesity prevention. Retrieved from Illinois Department of Public State of Illinois, IDPH. (2010). Health website: www.idph.gov

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