The Obesity Epidemic Is Not Only An American Phenomenon

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“The obesity epidemic is not only an American phenomenon. In 2005 the United Nations World Health Organization estimated that 1.6 billion people, or roughly one-quarter of the planet’s population, had a BMI (body mass index) above the normal weight range (>24.9 for adults and above the age/sex – adjusted 85th percentile for youth)” (Finkelstein, 2010).There are so many reasons on how obesity is affecting the economy. The First main reason according to the article I researched “The economic impact of obesity in the United States” (Hammond, 2010), states that over the past decades, obesity has grown into a major global epidemic. Direct medical costs are one of the major influences due to the medical spending for health conditions that are linked to obesity such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, asthma, hypertension etc. Obesity not only affects adults it also affects children. “The annual direct costs of current childhood obesity in the US are estimated at about $14.3 billion”. The second major influence on the economy according to (Hammond, 2010) is “Productivity Costs” which according to studies is the biggest cause. Absenteeism contributes to productivity costs because obesity can lead to depression which makes people less likely to go to work. “This may occur as a result of physical and mental health conditions that are more common among obese workers and negatively affect productive ability”. However, disability also plays a huge role with direct costs because many employers have to make payouts through disability insurance premiums and increased disability payments. “Another form of productivity loss associated with obesity is premature mortality, a recent study by Fontaine measures years of life lost due to obesity and o... ... middle of paper ... ...sing a typical fast food meal every day can lead to increased calories which can lead to weight gain and can lead to other health conditions like heart disease. The rapid increase in obesity prevalence coupled with the expanding fast food industry has caused a great public health concern. Each article explored the hypothesis that fast food eating may contribute to obesity in the United States. Meals eaten at fast food restaurants per week has been proven to have a positive association with body mass index. According to most of the articles findings, the energy intake and percentage of energy from fat leading to obesity are associated with fast food eating. In order to reduce obesity in the United States, fast food restaurants have to make nutritional information more readily available and easy to use, they must also provide an ‘easy-to-read’ calorie label on menus.

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