The American Obesity Epidemic

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“More die in the United States of too much food than of too little”

― John Kenneth Galbraith

Why are Americans getting bigger by the day? And what's so bad about that anyway? Studies

have shown that there are many negative effects associated with obesity. Obesity has been

accused of contributing to many long-term conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, high blood

pressure, osteoarthritis, diabetes and cancer (Pennybacker 15). Along with the fact that obesity is

the most common form of malnutrition in the Western world, it also affects sixty-four percent of

Americans (Pennybacker 15; Brownell 1). Obesity is one of today' s most visible, yet neglected

conditions affecting more Americans each day.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of obesity is “a condition

characterized by excessive bodily fat” (Merriam-Webster). Moreover, the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention labels the obesity problem as an “epidemic” (Brownell 1). Basically,

obesity is the long-term result of a diet that delivers more calories in than are consumed through

daily activity. Nevertheless, obesity is a serious medical condition that impacts a high percentage

of Americans and should be treated with concern.

There are many possible factors for the rise in the number of overweight and obese

Americans. Brownell outlines these factors very well in Food Fight and writes, “The reasons for

this growing problem are simple and complex at the same time. People eat too much and

exercise too little...” (Brownell 2). Furthermore, by taking a look at the modem lifestyle of our

world today, one could say it does not discourage obesity in the least way. One obstacle

Americans need to overcome is t...

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“Meet McDonald's Nutrition Expert, Dr. Cathy Kapica.” Retrieved!_eat/nutritionisthtm1.

“Obesity and Genetics.” Office of Genomics & Disease Prevention, Centers for Disease Control

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“Obesity.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 20 Oct 2005. Available

Pennybacker, Mindy. “Reducing ‘Globesity’ Begins at Home.” World Watch. (Sep/Oct 2005):


Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All American Meal. Boston: Houghton

Mifflin, 2001.

“What is Obesity?” 2000. Retrieved http://www.hateweightcom/what_is_obesity.htm1.
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