Are Americans Eating Themselves to Death

Are Americans eating themselves to death? Obesity has been a bigger and bigger problem in the United States over the past few years. The percentage of overweight American children and teens has more than doubled in the past decade (Greenblatt). There are many reasons that could lead to the increasing percentage of people being obese in American. The U. S. food industry aggressively markets high-fat, high-sugar, super-sized foods.

Modern communities encourage driving rather than walking.Physical education is being dropped by schools even as fattening snack foods are welcomed onto campus (Greenblatt). None of these are the healthy ways to go for Americans but what is being promoted in our society. Americans are becoming less active and eating more fast food that is leading to our country becoming one of the most obese countries in the world. On every corner of every city there is a fast food restaurant waiting for the average American to stop by and get a quick meal. No matter what time or what day it is there is always a fast food restaurant opened.These places sell greasy, saturated, fatty foods to people for a very low price and a quick delivery which is probably why most Americans thrive on it.

Everyday around lunch time the fast food restaurants are loaded with hungry people waiting to get their husky hamburger with all the trimmings, French fries and a soft drink. Few pay attention to a nutrition chart posted near the counter that reveals the combination has up to 1,340 calories — about two-thirds of the calories most adults need in a day (Bettelheim).There is no clear cut reason why many Americans insist on going to these places numerous times a week when they know that it is extremely unhealthy for them, but this is one of the main reasons our country is rapidly becoming such an obese nation. Could another reason for our obesity come from what we sell our students in middle and junior high schools? Sodas are now on sale at 60 percent of middle and high schools nationwide, according to the National Soft Drink Association. There are also vending machines full of junk food that are in mostly all of our schools.Teaching the students to make healthy choices in their daily nutrition/diet and then putting them into a campus full of soft drinks and poor nutritional snacks is being a little hypocritical. Schools have invited soft-drink and fast-food vendors onto campus for a simple reason: money (Greenblatt).

Most agree that increasing physical activity in our schools would help solve obesity problems that run through a lot of our children. But with all the large corporations helping schools financially and schools want to ban the “un-educational” P. E. classes; this probably won’t happen too soon.Some people become so desperate to lose weight that they will do anything it takes just to lose a few pounds like taking diet pills. Diet pills are very risky because not a lot of them get approved by the FDA and they can have serious side effects to them. Many affect the central nervous system and can pose other health risks that don’t become apparent until they have been taken over several years (Bettelheim).

Taking diet pills is a big risk because even if they work at the beginning, you never know what could happen to you in the long term.Part of the worrying about diet pills are the misuse of them. Some of the medications were originally developed for other medical conditions and now are sold on the black market (Bettelheim). Diet pills are looked down upon by doctors because of the uncertainty of them and the health risks that are being found out about them. Is the fat in the foods we eat really making us gain all the weight or is it the other stuff like carbohydrates and sodium? Doctors have told patients to change their diet from high carb, low fat to high fat, low carb to force your body to burn fat rather than the carbs you eat.Most recently a man named Robert Atkins invented this low carb high fat diet trend. The Atkins diet allows people to eat foods high in fat and protein, such as cheese, eggs and meats, limits the intake of certain fruits and vegetables and severely restricts the consumption of certain types of carbohydrates like breads, rice and pasta.

A study presented at an American Heart Association conference in November suggested that over a six-month period, people on the Atkins diet lost more weight than a group on a high-carbohydrate diet (Greenblatt).This diet is extremely controversial though because of how unreasonable it is to say someone can eat a bacon cheeseburger without the bun and be on a healthy diet. It may not be the amount of fat in our foods that relates to our obesity; it could just be the amount of carbs and calories that people take in each day. Americans have always been vigorous eaters. The earliest settlers feasted on turkey, bear and venison and learned from Native Americans how to grow potatoes, pumpkins, beans and corn.The typical daily menu was probably the equivalent of several of today’s fast-food meals. But most early Americans weren’t overweight or obese because they spent their days burning off thousands of calories performing manual labor (Greenblatt).

Physical exercise is the most important factor when trying to stay healthy and keeping off the pounds which is probably why people of the older days were so fit. They had to do manual labor for everything they had to do while kids and adults these are becoming lazy because of all the convinces there are in our everyday routine.People want to always point the finger at fast food restaurants and soda companies for promoting unhealthy habits and fatty food/drinks. No doubt all of these factors, and many more, are contributing to the creation of what Kelly Brownell, a noted expert on eating disorders and director of graduate studies at Yale University calls a “toxic food environment. ” People are eating bigger and fattier meals, drinking more sodas and exercising less. There are fewer opportunities for children to play or for adults to strain themselves physically at work.People sit in cars rather than walking and tend to snack pretty heavily when they’re sedentary, whether they’re watching TV, working at a computer, or trying to kill as many space aliens as their Xbox will allow (Greenblatt).

Americans are becoming less active and eating unhealthier which is making our country more obese. Obesity is one of the biggest growing problems for Americans over the past few years becoming the leading cause of death. There are many reasons people think the cause of obesity is becoming so bad like all the fast food places, sodas and junk food being sold to young children, and the kind of diets we are trying to use.All of these are leading contributors but the leading cause of obesity is the amount of exercise people are doing now days. Americans are slowly become less and less active by driving and being chauffeured to any activity they go to. It has gotten so bad that schools are wanting to cut out physical education class and the ones who already have don’t even let the kids out for recess. Obesity is something no one wants to be faced with because of all the health risks that go with it and the way the ideal person should look based off the media.

The people themselves are the only one that can be the one to blame because in the end it is self motivation that keeps people from being overweight and they are the ones who have the responsibility staying active being in shape.Work Cited Greenblatt, A. (2003, January 31). Obesity epidemic. CQ Researcher, 13, 73-104. Retrieved September 19, 2010, from CQ Researcher Online, http://library. cqpress.

com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2003013100. Bettelheim, A. (1999, January 15). Obesity and health. CQ Researcher, 9, 25-48. Retrieved September 19, 2010, from CQ Researcher Online, http://library. cqpress.


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