Essay - Obesity and Its Effects on Society Introduction that Americans Are...

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That Americans are, as a group, overweight is not news. From television commerci*****ls that advertise fast food as a w*****y to lose weight (Subway sandwiches) ***** news of individuals suing McDonald's for providing calorie-laden large portions to the popularity of Atkins diets in particular and low-carbohydrate diets in general, there is ample evidence that Americans are concerned with their weight. Despite the attention that is given ***** weight loss, however, the trend of ***** and obesity continues to increase in the United States. Th***** research is intended to provide background information on the issue ***** obesity ***** the effects that it has on society to an audience that includes policy makers who may be in a positi***** to make decisions that will help reverse this trend.


Individuals are considered overweight if ***** body mass ********** (BMI) is greater than 25 but less ***** 30. Above 30, the individual ***** ***** obese. Body mass index is computed as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters. According to a Rand Corporation study released in 2003, approximately 20 percent of ***** are considered obese based on self-reported *****, while 25 percent ***** Americans are considered obese when objective weight measures are used. The disparity arises because individual tend to underreport *****ir weight when no objective measures are ***** (Sturm, *****).

Between 1986 and 2000, the prevalence of individuals in the United States with a body ***** index gre*****ter than 40 quadrupled from 0.5 percent to two *****. During ***** same period, the percentage of those individuals with BMIs in excess ***** 50 *****d fivefold ***** 0.05 percent to 0.***** percent. During ***** same period, the percentage of ***** whose BMI exceeded 30, the threshold for obesity, doubled from ten percent ***** 20 *****. As illustrated in the follow*****g chart, ***** indicates that not only are Americans continuing to put on *****, they are gaining rates at increased r*****es so that the level of obesity is itself increasing (the chart uses a logarithmic scale so ***** percentage changes are clearly illustrated) (Sturm, *****03).


***** experts agree that obesity results when an individual fails to burn ***** same or more calories than are consumed. The two main components of controlling ***** are thus diet and exercise. Athletes in prime physical condition may well consume several times the minimum amount of daily calorie consumption without gaining any weight because the physical activity in which ***** engage burns ***** excess *****. When individuals eat ***** portions ***** fail to exercise, however, they s*****re the excess calories and put on weight. A recent survey indicates that Americans are aware of this relati*****ship, although they may fail to engage in ***** or regular exercise regimens. The results ***** this *****, which asked Americans to choose three rea*****ns for the increase in obesity, are presented ***** ***** chart below (Dolliver, 2004).

Reason of Respondents

People Do


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