Health Epidemic in America Essay

Health Epidemic in America Essay

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Obesity, diabetes, and heart complications are prevalent in American society. More than 30% of American adults are classified as obese (Center for Disease Control). Members of all social classes are typically guilty of eating unhealthy and processed food, because these options are marketed to be more appealing to the taste buds and less expensive than healthier alternatives. Although increasing taxes on unhealthy drinks may be seen as patronizing and invasive, this process would be beneficial by encouraging consumers to consider healthier options, helping to reduce obesity, and lowering the cost of future care for diseases linked to obesity.
In 2011, the World Health Organization reported that non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, strokes, chronic lung diseases, cancers and diabetes are the leading killers worldwide. Additionally, the report found that roughly 80% of deaths caused by non-communicable diseases share four common risk factors: tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity, and poor diets. America already has laws and practices in place to limit and to an extent discourage the use of alcohol and tobacco. These restrictions protect the image and health of the public. A poor diet is similar to tobacco and alcohol because all three are common causes of fatal non-communicable diseases; taxes that are similar to those applied to tobacco and alcohol in aim but do not cause such a social impact are appropriate ways for American lawmakers to both fund government programs and stem the growth of obesity.
A decrease in the amount of soft drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages consumed would help promote healthier choices made by consumers. A report appearing in BMC Public Health found that a reduction in the...

... middle of paper ... reduces the obesity rate: A meta-analysis." BMC Public Health 13 (2013): 1072. Academic OneFile. Web. 24 Dec. 2013.
Dowell, Deborah, and Thomas A. Farley. "Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases in New York City." The Lancet 380.9855 (2012): 1787-9. ProQuest. Web. 23 Dec. 2013.
Eric A. Finkelstein, Olga A. Khavjou, Hope Thompson, Justin G. Trogdon, Liping Pan, Bettylou Sherry, William Dietz. “Obesity and Severe Obesity Forecasts Through 2030.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine,42.6 (2012): 563-570. Elsevier SD College Edition Health & Life Sciences. Web. 22 Dec. 2013.
Tsai, A G, D F Williamson, and H A Glick. "Direct Medical Cost Of Overweight And Obesity In The USA: A Quantitative Systematic Review." Obesity Reviews: An Official Journal Of The International Association For The Study Of Obesity 12.1 (2011): 50-61. MEDLINE with Full Text. Web. 22 Dec. 2013.

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