Epidemic in America

An unbalanced diet usually rich in sugars, oils, fats and starches stimulate the beginning of actual fat deposition. The fast food culture serve the desires of the fast paced lifestyle by providing unhealthy combination of nutrients. These fast foods are high in oils, sugars, fats and starches but almost deficient in essential vitamins, amino acids and minerals hence the excess calorie consumed cannot be processed and eliminated out of the body but rather stored as fat deposits. This fat storing process is a physiologically natural process and it cannot cease so long as calorie intake still continues.

The storage is further promoted by genetics, hormones and the living environment. Since balancing the blood sugar level determines the amount of fats deposited, the consumption of food that are primarily composed of sugar increases fat deposition and consequently overweight or obese. In the absence of physical exercise to burn the excess calorie consumption is predisposing the whole American populace to the obesity epidemic. In the social context, the existence of sociodemographic variation cannot be overlooked. As individuals age, the gain more weight. Weight gain substantially increases during middle age.

This explains the high prevalence of obesity in the 65-74 age group. Gender also plays a crucial role in this variation with women having higher rates of obesity than men in almost all industrialized countries, the United States included. In addition to gender and age, race or ethnicity and nativity are also closely related with the epidemic. The prevalence of obesity is less among Asian Americans in comparison to whites and other racial/ethnic minorities. When statistics of prevalence are analyzed in relation to gender, about 54% of black women are classified as obese.

Non Hispanic black women are twice more likely to be obese in comparison to non Hispanic white women. When compared to whites, obesity is more prevalent among Hispanic men and non Hispanic black men. These differences in prevalence can be explained by variation in genetic determinants, cultural differences, and socioeconomic position between whites and other racial, ethnic minorities. Socioeconomic position reflects ones’ position with regard to social hierarchy, power/prestige, wealth, material resource ownership and the associated social standing(Hu 2008)

Unbalanced and unhealthy diets remain one of the root causes of obesity. The over reliance on cheap, highly processed, calorie laden fast foods is a detriment to health and a predisposing factor to many obesity associated health conditions. With the fast paced lifestyle, stress has become a daily occurrence. While it does not directly lead to obesity, many people seek relief from stress through comfort eating which mostly involves the consumption of fast foods. It also diminishes interest in physical exercise(Goran ; Sothern 2006).

In search for relief from stress, a healthy alternative such as exercise should be adopted hence making stressful situations a motivator for healthy living rather than a health burden. Exercise increases the basal metabolic rate hence increasing the rate of combustion of excess calories and fat deposits. Additionally, physical exertion stimulates an increased release of endorphins into the blood stream. Endorphins are responsible for the euphoric feeling of pleasure and happiness.

Constant exercise, improves on self esteem, makes people more confident of their looks and most importantly promotes health and helps maintain a healthy weight. Currently, numerous government an private sector agencies are engaged in making the general public informed of the causes and the dangers of obesity. Today, more Americans are informed of the associated health risks of obesity that ever before. With respect to the long and stressful work hours, many institutions and private companies are implementing more creative and flexible workouts.

Additional efforts are being made to educate the American populace on the creation of simple balanced diets that are composed of the correct nutrient compositions. Against these positive developments is the stereotypical fast paced lifestyle and the fast food culture. More still needs to be done to change the dominant eating habit. Therefore, even though Americans face an uphill battle with the epidemic, positive interventions will eventually turn the tide of the battle. References Barbour, J. P. (2005). The Obesity Epidemic in America.

http://www.¬†worldfoodprize. org/assets/YouthInstitute/05proceedings/GilbertHighSchool. pdf Dossey, B. M. , ; Keegan, L. (2008). Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice. American Holistic Nurses’ Association. Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 416-418 Fletcher, G. F. , Grundy, M. S. , & Hayman, L. L. (1999). Obesity: impact on cardiovascular disease. Wiley-Blackwell, 1-15 Goran, M. I. , & Sothern, M. (2006). Handbook of pediatric obesity: etiology, pathophysiology, and prevention. CRC Press, 52-61 Hu, F. (2008). Obesity epidemiology. Oxford University Press US, 345-363.

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