An individual is considered obese if he or she has a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m2. The Body mass index is calculated by dividing a person’s weight by the square of the person’s height. Being obese comes with many disadvantages ranging from higher medical cost to increased dependence or others for personal needs and everyday activity. In addition it also increases the risk of diabetes type 2, certain types of cancer, heart diseases and stroke.
Currently, around 36% of Adult Americans are obese, this is expected to increase to 44% in all 50 states of the Unites States by 2030 according to a report by America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The current annual cost of obesity in the United States is around $ 210 Billion and this is expected to rise dramatically with the expected increase in new cases of diabetes, heart diseases and stroke projected at 6 million, 5 million and 400,000 respectively in the next 20 years.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), weight related chronic disease is the single largest contributor to the health budget in America. Obesity and excess weight is also responsible for one in five premature deaths recorded in North America.
Factors Influencing the Weight Epidemic
1. Junk Food
Cheaply available hyper processed food with high sugar content, refined ingredients and other chemicals has turned most American foods into “poison’’. The ingredients which make these junk foods is one of the principal factor fueling the current weight epidemic in America.
Junk food churned out of the American food industry is designed to trap the consumer rather than provide a means of satisfying hunger. They are engineered to make an individual addicted and keep coming for more and more thus making people lose control of their eating habits and adding to the excess weight statistics.
3. Unethical Marketing
Food companies are targeting American children in a manner never witnessed in the history of Gods own country. The glorification of junk food with misleading and exaggerated claims using the media and children is fast becoming a common practice. This imprinting of the culture of unhealthy choices is a major factor fueling the rise in childhood obesity in the United States.
The pseudo advancement of research by the sponsorship of scientists and institutes carrying out food related research undermines the integrity of the findings of most of these studies. When nutrition academies and associations become financially dependent on food manufacturing companies public interest is ultimately the first casualty.
In conclusion, we must all understand that based on facts and available data , the greatest threat to American lives is not a country or an organization, Americas worst enemy perhaps may not be North Korea, Iran or Al-Qaida her worst enemy is the excess weight burden of its own population.