Obesity in America

Nathan Hutton, Staff Writer

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According to National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “More than 2 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight or have obesity.” This study was taken for people in the United States, which shows America has a big problem with obesity. According to Sara Police from LIVESTRONG, “Approximately 10 percent of U.S. adults were classified as obese during the 1950s.” Obesity rates in America has gotten much worse, and I believe it is because of unhealthy foods and serving sizes, advertisements and the fat acceptance movement.

When you go to a restaurant, you may think it is a great alternative to fast good because it is healthy, however, that is far from the truth. According to The Telegraph, “Eating fast food increased the amount of sodium people consumed per day by an average of 300mg, while restaurant dining added 412mg.” This information verifies sit-in restaurants are just as bad as fast food joints, which most people don’t know. For business purposes, restaurants will try to make their food look appetizing and healthy, such as having salads; however, the salads served there are rarely healthy, and sometimes contain more calories than other meals, such as fries and burgers due to their dressings. Even the kids meals are unhealthy, Providence Health and Service said, “Items on Kids’ menus averages 147 percent more calories than the servings recommended by a panel of experts.” Judging from this quote, we get used to large servings sizes at a young age which will probably have a very harsh effect on us when we become adults.

When fast food is advertised, it often sows someone who is in very good shape eating their meals. For instance, a Carl’s Jr. Ad, where models such as Charlotte McKinley eats an unhealthy burger, trying to convince people they will not gain weight if they eat their products. Lots of advertisements try to appeal to kids, and teach them it is okay to eat unhealthy foods at a young age. According to Mary Story of International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, “Foods marketed to children are predominantly high in sugar and fat.” Something else to note, is food mascots will often look down, so kids will meet their eyes, and want to buy their products. Fast food advertisements try to get children to buy their products, because they think they will believe anything.

The main reason I believe there is an obesity epidemic in America, is because of the fat acceptance movement. This movement promotes the idea that being overweight is okay, and that it is too challenging for someone to be of a healthy weight. Many celebrities are part of this movement, and also have a lot of influence over the youth, an example of this is Jennifer Lawrence. According to Luchina Fisher of ABC News, “Lawrence has said she makes ‘conscious decisions’ to be a role model when it comes to her younger fans.” This confirms she wants to be an example for the youth, which sounds great, except she also said, “If anybody even tries to whisper the word diet, I’m like, ‘You can go f… yourself.’” This is a good example of why fat acceptance has a bad influence on the youth, and why it shouldn’t be taken seriously. Many people who are part of the movement, also claim there are little health risks associated with being overweight, however, according to a study from the Oxford University in Science Daily, “severe obesity, which is still uncommon, can shorten a person’s life by 10 years.” This demonstrates there are many health risks associated with being overweight.

To wrap things up, the obesity epidemic is the effect of fat acceptance, which promote being unhealthy, and has a bad impact on the youth. It is also caused by toxic advertisements, which pretend their foods won’t affect your health, and trick people into consuming their products at a young age. Another powerful factor for obesity in America is inflated portion sizes and overuse of harmful materials in foods.