Written by Taylor St. Cyr, Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living, Spring 2013
Obesity in America has become not only dangerous to many people’s health, it has also led to an increase in health costs due the increase of people developing chronic diseases each year due to a poor diet and lack of exercise. This increase in overweight Americans has not only been occurring in adults but also has had a significant effect on children. According to the article, Fat and Getting Fatter: U.S. Obesity Rates to Soar by 2030, by Sharon Begley, “Obesity rates among U.S. adults have more than doubled from the 15 percent of 1980. In that same time, they have more than tripled among children” (Begley). This is causing huge health costs in the United States that could be prevented if people were taking better care of themselves.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an obese teenager is 70% more likely to be obese as an adult and 80% more likely if they have a parent who is obese (Boodman, 2011). With that being the case, there is a big likelihood that more people are going to be overweight in the future if people don’t start making healthier lifestyle changes. Adults have a big impact on children when it comes to diet and exercise.
If children aren’t introduced to physical activity and good eating habits they are more likely than not going to keep the same habits throughout their lives. Parents set a huge example for their children so if they are not engaging themselves in physical activity or eating healthy than they are influencing their children to do the same. The continuation of poor lifestyle choices being made with each generation is only going to continue. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable deaths in America (Ellis). There are several lifestyle changes that can be made to decrease this risk. Engaging in more physical activity throughout the day, watching less TV, and changing foods in one’s diet are all small steps that could help decrease the chances of someone being overweight, which would decrease the death rates and lower health costs as well.
1) Begley, S. (n.d.). http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/18/us-obesity-us-idUSBRE88H0RA20120918
2) Boodman, S. G. (2011, March 22). Parenting an overweight child can be difficult. Washington Post.
3) Ellis, J. (n.d.). http://www.getamericafit.org/statistics-obesity-in-america.html