Obesity-The Greatest Threat to Health
Obesityis one of the most contentious health issues in the United States. Itis a condition that occurs when one’s weight is far above his orher ideal body weight. It is estimated that approximately13 millionchildren between age 2 and 19 suffer from obese (Goldbas, 2014). Thishas raised a public concern on wellbeing of these children to anextent that the social workers have to intervene. Parents are largelyto blame for this condition as they are responsible for the health oftheir children especially with respect to what they eat. In responseto this, the government has put measures that can reap off parentsthe responsibilities of their children if they are obese. This isbased on the ideal of parental negligence. Many parents may losetheir responsibilities of their children if they neglect them byletting them have unhealthy food that consequently causes obesity.The alarm raised on obesity is based on the notion that it is thegreatest threat to children’s health. Additionally, many adultshave led lifestyles that have made them obese. This is highlyassociated with type II diabetes, cancer, coronary heart diseaseamong others. It is said to have caused many premature deaths thatcould have been prevented. Therefore, obesity is the biggest threatto the health of both children and adults in the United States today.
Obesityis determined by BMI, which stands for weight in kilograms that isdivided by height in meters squared. Charts for calculating the BMIof children and adults have been developed to help in defining theideal weight. When the BMI of an adult is between 25 and 28, theperson is considered overweight while one with a BMI of 30 and aboveis considered obese. BMI indicates the potential health risk thatcomes with obese or overweight. The circumference of the waist isalso another factor that is highly associated with diabetes. Peoplebecome obese by eating unhealthy foods containing high levels ofcalories such as junk. The availability of fast foods at a relativelycheap price has also increased the BMI (Han & Powell, 2013).Another cause of diabetes is leading a sedentary lifestyle wheremajority of people are inactive. They sit down for the better part ofthe day and rarely do strenuous activities. Such people rarely walkand whenever they have to go shopping, they drive rather than walk.People also do not get enough sleep due to many activities that needto be accomplished. This has been noted as one of the causes ofobesity in the modern society. In summary, obesity is attributed tothe modern day lifestyle led by many people.
Obesityis a condition that increases the chances for acquiring manyillnesses. One of the greatest health threats is coronary heartattack, which is skyrocketing in the contemporary society. Increasein the mass index of the body is proportional to the chances ofsuffering from coronary heart disease. This condition is caused bydeposit of plaque on the inside of the coronary arteries, whichsupply the heart with oxygen. This plaque is in form of fat deposit,which is common among obese people. The more obese a person is, themore he has a lot of fat to be deposited on the inside of thearteries. When this plaque is deposited in large amount in thecoronary arteries, it blocks the flow of oxygen rich blood to theheart. Consequently, the heart fails to bump enough blood to meet therequirements of the body hence, heart failure. This may explain whythere are so many cases of heart failures in the modern society.
Type2 diabetes, which has become very common among people, is greatlyassociated with obesity. In fact, most people who suffer from thiscondition are obese. People with a BMI of 30 and above have anincreased risk for this condition. In particular, the fat around theabdomen increases the risk of this condition as compared to fatdeposit in the hips and other parts (Janssen,Katzmarzyk & Ross, 2004). (Thisis because the abdomen produces chemicals that upset the body cells.The fatty tissues makes the body cells resistant to insulin hence,obesity. This explains why people with diabetes type 2 are encouragedto eat healthy and do physical exercises. It is rare for physicallyfit people who practice health eating to suffer from this diabetes(Hu, 2008).
Anothercommon illness associated with obesity is high blood pressure. Thiscondition is mentioned over and over due to the rate at which it isaffecting many Americans. The relationship between obesity and highblood pressure is undeniably high. Obesity presents an increase incardiac output and the arterial resistance. In an attempt to decreasethe excess sugars found in the blood, the body produces more insulin.The body eventually becomes resistance to insulin, which leads tomore insulin production. This generation of more and more insulincauses blood pressure, which can be life threatening.
Inaddition, obesity is associated with increased cases of cancerespecially among women. Some of these cancers include uterus colon,and gallbladder cancers. On the other hand, men have increasedchances for suffering from prostate and colon cancers. Although thesecancers are caused by many other things, obesity is one of them.Other conditions such as metabolic syndrome are also common amongobese people.
Obesity,especially among children, is a contributing factor to psychologicaleffects. Obese children often suffer from low self esteem becausethey feel that they are not beautiful enough. They risk beingrejected by their peers who feel that they are not physically fit andbeautiful. Such psychological effects may make people to hatethemselves and their lives. The performance in school and socialfunctions is also affected negatively for people who are yet toaccept themselves. Obese people are more likely to have moredifficulties in life as compared to their slimmer counterparts.Despite the other physical health conditions, obesity makes peopleless active in social institutions because of the fear of beingridiculed (Hu, 2008).
Onthe other hand, some argue that the risks of obese are exaggerated.There are many people with a higher BMI, but are very active and arenot obese. There are people who are overweight however, this doesnot mean that they are not healthy. This is so especially for peoplewho have heavier muscles. It should also be noted that some peopleinherit some traits of being either fat or slim. There are so manypeople who eat unhealthy, but are still very slim, whereas there arethose who eat healthy but will always be big no matter what.Therefore, the issue of obese is a little bit exaggerated and may notnecessarily mean that people in this category should not enjoy livesas others. This view does not advocate for obesity rather, it is aneye opener to many who have negative views about overweight people.Some studies indicate that many obese children are physicallyhealthy, with those from high income earners reporting better healthy(Williams,Wake, Hesketh, Maher & Waters, 2005).
Itis true that obese children may be physically health however, thehealth risks cannot be ignored. Any attempt to fight obese should notbe ignored based on this fact. The campaign against obesity generallyfocuses on healthy lifestyles that enhance the wellbeing of childrentoday up to adulthood. Despite the fact that many children arehealthy it does not eliminate the risks they are likely to suffer inthe future due to their obesity. Parents should promote healthylifestyles for the sake of their children, who are at a great risk ofobesity (Hu, 2008).
Inconclusion, it is vivid that obesity is a life threatening conditionthat requires total intervention at all possible levels. There are somany diseases associated with being overweight. In fact, it isnoteworthy that some of these health risks are the most common causesof premature deaths amongst the Americans. The most disturbing factoris that despite all the campaigns for fighting obesity, people areincreasingly reporting more cases of obese. The nation is slowlybecoming obese thanks to the lifestyles that the modern person lives.The government may try its best to fight obese however, it cannotcontrol what people eat and when and how to exercise. Therefore, itis the duty of the affected people to ensure that they adopt healthylifestyles to help in fighting the greatest health threateningcondition obesity.
Goldbas,A. (2014). Childhood Obesity: Can it really be Child Neglect?Internationaljournal of childbirth education,2(29), 37-39.
Han,E., & Powell, L.M. (2013). Fast Food Prices and Adult Body weightOutcomes: Evidence Based on Longitudinal Quantile Regression Models.Contemporaryeconomic policy,31(3), 528-536.
Hu,F. B. (2008). Obesityepidemiology.Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Janssen,I., Katzmarzyk, P. T., & Ross, R. (2004). Waist circumference andnot body mass index explains obesity-related health risk. TheAmerican journal of clinical nutrition,79(3),379-384.
Williams,J., Wake, M., Hesketh, K., Maher, E., & Waters, E. (2005).Health-related quality of life of overweight and obese children.Jama,293(1),70-76.