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The High Cost of Obesity

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Today, as values of living continue to boost, weight increase and obesity are posing a rising threat to certain well-beings in countries all over the world. Obesity, now confirmed as a nationwide endemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is likely to get worse and amplify over time. “The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts there will be 2.3 billion overweight adults in the world by 2015 and more than 700 million of them will be obese” (Obesity: in Statistics, 2008, 2nd Statement). It is definite that most kids are inclined to eat junk food, and it is certain that most kids will become overweight as adults. About 15% of children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years are overweight, which is an increase of 4% from the 1988-1994 NHANES study” (Chatterjee, Blakely, & Barton, 2005, p. 24). Statistics of obese persons in the United States alone are also greater in certain cultural and ethnic minority groups, especially African American and Hispanics.

“Between 1986 and 1998, incidences of being overweight increased significantly among African American children by 21.5% and for Hispanic children by 21.8%. That is nearly almost ¼ of the population! Among all low-income children, the prevalence of being overweight was found to be highest among Latino children by (12%) followed by Asian-Pacific Islander (9.6%), African American (7.8%) and Whites (7.1%)” (Chatterjee, Blakely, &Barton, 2005, p. 24,)

“The total cost of obesity by some estimates is $100 billion annually. Others estimated the cost of health care for obesity alone is $70 billion” (Wellman, Friedberg, S705, 2002). Obesity and its economic costs stand on three levels. First, obesity can hurt a person financially, with doctor visits, and such. Secondly, obesity can cut into the costs of businesses (presuming the overweight are working, but they may not be, due to their state), due to lost efficiency. There is about 40 million workdays of productivity lost among overweight individuals. Other issues include non-attendance, underachievement, and raised insurance payments. (Wellman, Friedberg, 2002, p.705) Furthermore, being overweight has an effect on expenses by neighboring, state, and nationwide governments. Obesity is my topic of interest because as a future elementary teacher, I want to raise awareness of the consequences that obesity may have among children. I hope to teach all children the importance of eating healthy so that they can become happy, healthy adults.

Obesity is a huge problem that is strongly influenced by the sociological factors such media and the American culture.
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